Damian O'Connor, CTA, is the Managing Principal of the specialist taxation firm Tax + Law. Here he tells us a little more about himself, and the session he is co-presenting with Paul Banister, CTA at the 2016 Queensland Tax Forum; 'Trusts and Trust Losses – Everything You Need to Know'.
“I started work with the ATO in 1974 and moved into private legal practice in 1998. Along the way I have had exposure to just about every tax issue there is. The challenge of getting my head around complex tax rules and providing practical advice to clients still gets me out of bed in the morning”, Damian told us.
Asked what attendees can expect to learn from his session with Paul, he said "Often the tax consequences arising from discretionary trust dealings can depend on trust law considerations. This session will explore some of those trust law issues, with a focus on some major cases over the last 10 years".
Common SME structures, too often trusts are used incorrectly or are assumed to be something they are not. Co-presented with Paul Banister, CTA (Grant Thornton), the session will be delivered from two perspectives, looking at what should be included in a trust deed, as well as important trust tax law cases, and what they mean in practice. Damian and Paul will also discuss resettlements, variations and vesting, tax accounting for trusts and what should be considered in family trust and interposed entity elections.
Damian said "Given the wealth held in discretionary trusts by clients, and the estate planning and business succession challenges we face as professional advisers, we need an understanding of some of the trust law issues that are being considered by the courts. This session will provide a practical framework for navigating some of these complexities when clients need practical advice about dealing with discretionary trusts".
Damian has been a Fellow member of The Tax Institute since 2003, progressing to Chartered Tax Adviser (CTA) status, attending his first Institute events “way back in the last century”. Asked which other sessions he was looking forward to at the Forum, he said “The session on Division 7A and UPEs should be very interesting, as Division 7A is an ongoing challenge for professional advisers”.
As for a life outside of tax, Damian replied "I enjoy getting to the football when I am in Melbourne, taking in some Queensland sunshine when I get the chance and to the great embarrassment of my wife Jackie, I have been learning to play the Ukulele”.
The 2016 Queensland Tax Forum takes place 18-19 August at the Brisbane Marriott Hotel. Choose from 28 sessions over two days and a range of flexible ticket options with up to 13.5 CPD hours on offer. Find out more.