Tuesday, 26 July 2016

Superannuation with an international flavour - Marsha–Laine Dungog JD, LLM, and Roy Berg JD, LLM

On day two of the 2016 National Superannuation Conference we are joined by two US based practitioners for the session ‘US Tax Issues Affecting Australian Superannuation Fund Members with a US Connection’, Marsha–Laine F Dungog JD, LLM, and Roy Berg JD, LLM. We spoke to them about what to expect from their session.


An international tax lawyer admitted to practice in California, Michigan, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, the US Tax Court and the U.S. Supreme Court, Marsha–Laine Dungog JD, LLM, is a senior US tax lawyer at Moodys Gartner Tax Law LLP. Marsha specialises in crossborder tax planning and tax compliance services for high net worth individuals and entrepreneurs. She has over 15 years of experience providing international tax consulting

Roy Berg JD, LLM, is an international tax lawyer and admitted to practice in Canada and the U.S. and Director, US Tax Law, and Barrister and Solicitor of Moodys Gartner Tax Law LLP. Roy has more than 23 years of experience in cross-border tax matters, IRS controversy, estate planning and finance.

Ending the conference with a strong international flavour, Marsha and Roy’s session will examine current trends in the US tax treatment of Australian superannuation funds and its implications for US citizens and Australian residents with US tax reporting obligations.

They will also discuss the various administrative remedies and legislative policy changes presented before the US Department of Treasury, the Internal Revenue Service, US Tax Court and tax-writing committees of the US Congress that could ameliorate these US tax liabilities.

Asked what attendees expect to learn from their session, Marsha said “Delegates will be able to appreciate helpful provisions in the Australia-US Totalization Agreements and Tax Treaty that would mitigate potential exposure of the Super and its members (with a US connection) to harmful US tax consequences, as well as incorporate the potential US tax consequences to the Super and its members that may arise from certain actions undertaken by or on behalf of the Super.”

Roy said “Delegates will learn how to identify U.S. citizen participants (the accent doesn’t always give it away) and the tax the consequences of not reporting properly” as well as “how the US classifies Supers, how it doesn’t classify them, where additional guidance is needed, and how FATCA reporting has increased the stakes for coming into tax compliance”.

Marsha mentioned “Delegates will gain an understanding of the various income tax and reporting obligations of Supers with US persons who are member-beneficiaries; how to utilize the US-Australia Totalization and Tax Treaty Agreements; and how tax amnesty programs/enforcement initiatives may be able to assist in the US treatment of Supers. Delegates will also walk away with a better understanding of the US tax implications of Super activities (contributions, accretions and distributions); and hear about potential US tax exposures and planning strategies with their clients and manage potential US tax reporting obligations arising therefrom.”

Asked about new or hot topics they will cover, Marsha pointed to “Potential US income and estate tax exposures for the Superannuation Fund and its members.”

Looking ahead, when asked about their predictions for the new financial year, Marsha responded “US and Australian legislative or treasury department advisors may take a closer look at the current state of Super taxation by the US and look for permanent solutions that may be addressed vie executive or legislative branches of government.” Roy said “With FATCA reporting currently underway and reporting under the common reporting standard soon to follow, I predict that the international tax aspects of government and private retirement schemes will become even more relevant to clients and practitioners alike.”

“The Conference exposes me to different stakeholder perspectives on Superannuation and identifies planning strategies and remedies that may be helpful for my clients. It also provides an opportunity to engage in meaningful dialogue with our peers and colleagues on Superannuation policy and taxation from different corners of the world to identify trends and coordinate advocacy initiatives.”, Marsha said.

Roy told us “The National Superannuation Conference is the premier venue to: a) learn about tax changes that affect my clients; b) network with peers; and c) obtain insight into administrative rules.”

The 2016 National Superannuation Conference takes place 25-26 August at the Crown Conference Hall, Melbourne. Featuring two streams – Large Fund and Self-Managed Superannuation Funds and including 12 CPD hours it has been accredited by the SMSF Association and the Financial Planners Association.