Meet the presenters: 2016 National GST Intensive

For a somewhat simple tax, GST continues to surprise many practitioners with its increasing complexity. The program of this year’s National GST Intensive recognises this complexity, and covers emerging and topical areas as well as looking at some of the basic building blocks of GST that continue to be controversial.


We spoke with two of the presenters from this year’s Intensive, which takes place 8–9 September 2016 at Four Points Darling Harbour, in Sydney.


David W Marks QC, CTA, of Inns of Court Chambers, Brisbane, is a commercial silk specialising in taxation. He co-presents ‘Correcting Mistakes Ratification’, along with Michael Patane, CTA, a consultant with more than 25 years’ experience, and Alex Affleck, Director of Technical Leadership within the Superannuation Business Line of the ATO.

David tells us his session is designed to help “people to feel more comfortable when asked about something that sounds very technical”. “I’m talking about something that we are expected to now, but rarely have to touch. I’ll be practical and try to demystify the area”, he said.

David, Michael and Alex's session examines the availability of the remedy of rectification in correcting mistakes in transactional documentation. Examples of where the remedy has been sought in the GST context include whether a contract is GST inclusive or GST exclusive and whether the parties intended the going concern provisions to apply. They will look at the required elements for rectification and evidentiary burden, a comparison to ratification and retrospective amendment, court ordered rectification compared to rectification by deed, and more.

Asked about his predictions for the new financial year, David said “More case law, as people become aware of the possibilities”.

David told us that to him, the Intensive represents “Practical sessions, and sharing knowledge” and that he is particularly looking forward to The Hon. Justice Tony Pagone’s Keynote Address ‘Interpretation of the GST Act and Influence of the Other Areas of Law’.

Kevin O’Rourke is an indirect tax partner at Deloitte Australia and has been advising on GST since its inception in Australia, and even earlier as a member of the Technical Sub-Committee of the GST Planning and Co-Ordination Committee established to advise the Hewson-led Coalition in the early 90s on the introduction of a GST.

Frequently named as a leading indirect tax adviser by the International Tax Review, Kevin is a solicitor of the Supreme Court of New South Wales and of the High Court of Australia, he is Co-Chair of the ATO’s GST Advisory Group, Chair of the Indirect Tax Committee for Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand, and is a member of the Taxation Committee of the Law Council of Australia.

Affiliated with the Institute for many years, he has been attending and presenting at our GST conferences ever since it was introduced. Asked what the National GST Intensive mean to him, and more broadly, to the tax profession, Kevin told us “The National GST Intensive is, as the name might suggest, a peak conference on GST technical issues”

Presenting ‘Taking the Purpose Out of Creditable Purpose’ on day two of the Intensive, Kevin’s session looks at this foundational concept of GST. His session will cover Rio Tinto and earlier cases, relevance of purpose and motive and asymmetry in the way that acquisitions relating to input taxed supplies and acquisitions relating to other supplies are treated.

Kevin told us “My session ultimately provides an analytical framework for the concept of ‘creditable purpose’ which is a gateway to claiming those important input tax credits. The analytical framework for assessing creditable purpose will be of most assistance in helping delegates help their clients”. He also predicted “The ATO will issue something more formal on this topic at some point during this financial year”.

Looking at the Intensive more broadly, Kevin mentioned “Somewhat dauntingly, my session is sandwiched between two eminent senior counsel, both of whom I am looking forward to listening to [David W Marks QC of Inns of Court Chambers, Brisbane with Michael Patane, CTA, and Alex Affleck on ‘Correcting Mistakes Ratification’ and Tony Slater, QC, FTI, of Ground Floor Wentworth Chambers’ session on ‘Supply’].

Join us and bring your knowledge on key GST issues up to date, discover the latest thinking and take advantage of this great opportunity to network with colleagues and fellow GST experts. The 2016 National GST Intensive takes place 8–9 September 2016 at Four Points Darling Harbour, in Sydney.

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