Wednesday, 28 September 2016

CGT - 31 Years On - New Panel Session at the 24th Noosa Tax Intensive

Day one of this year's Noosa Tax Intensive was due to kick off with a plenary session from Justice Tony Pagone, a leading Federal Court judge specialising in taxation matters, speaking on recent Australian federal taxation decisions and their implications for taxpayers and their advisers.

Justice Pagone unfortunately is now unable to speak at this year's Intensive. Nevertheless, the Institute is excited to announce we have secured a number of leading tax specialists to debate on whether - after 31 years - CGT has lost its way.

Our expert panel will consider whether: 

  • Australia's CGT rules, and the way they are administered, are keeping pace with the rapid changes in the modern business environment in 2016 
  • the ATO has responded adequately to, and actively engaged with, SMEs in relation to CGT issues; and 
  • "looking through the lens" of recent cases, the interpretation of CGT rules has adapted since their inception and where is this heading in the future?
The agenda will include the CGT treatment of restrictive covenant payments (Hepples), lease incentives (Cooling, Montgomery), less than arm's length dealings (AW Furse, Collins), damages and compensation payments (Sydney Refractive Clinic), trust settlements (Oswal, Taras Nominees), and the old "chestnut", the date of acquisition and disposal of an asset (Sara Lee).

Our panel consists of:

Professor Gordon Cooper, CTA Life

Professor Cooper is a Chartered Accountant in sole practice at Cooper & Co. He is an Adjunct Professor in the School of Taxation and Business Law (incorporating the Australian School of Taxation) at the University of New South Wales. In June 2003, he was awarded an AM in the Queen’s birthday honours for “Services to the tax profession and to the community as an adviser on national taxation and legislative reform, and through education and professional organisations”. Together with Chris Evans and Kirk Wilson, he is an author of the Australian CGT Handbook, now in its seventh edition.

Mark Robertson, CTA, QC

Mark is a Queen’s Counsel with chambers in Brisbane and Sydney. He has appeared in many anti-avoidance cases Australia-wide for taxpayers and for the Commissioner.

Brian Richards, CTA

Brian Richards, CTA, is a senior taxation practitioner who has spent considerable time advising SME legal and accounting practitioners on a broad range of taxation matters, particularly CGT, entity structuring, intellectual property transactions, business succession and estate planning. Brian consults extensively to accounting and legal practices and has extensive experience in presenting papers at Institute events.

Join us in Noosa in November for what is sure to be a spirited panel debate. Other highlights from this year's event include:
  • Paul Hockridge, CTA and David Marschke, CTA on private company capital management
  • Simon Steward, QC, FTI, together with ATO Chief Tax Counsel Kirsten Fish, CTA, on Part IVA and SME restructures
  • Perennial favourite Fiona Dillon, CTA on Div 7A and ATO hotspots
  • And - of course - the cosmopolitan, yet tranquil, lifestyle that only Hastings St, Noosa offers.
The 24th Noosa Tax Intensive takes place 10-11 November 2016  at the Sofitel Noosa Pacific Resort. View the full program here.

Thursday, 15 September 2016

Practically Using the Small Business Restructure Rollover - SME Tax Symposium

Dung Lam is a Senior Associate at McCullough Robertson and has practised in the SME sphere for more than a decade. Advising on a wide variety of taxes, from income tax, CGT and GST to state taxes such as payroll and land tax, Dung also assists taxpayers in tax disputes with the ATO and state revenue authorities. We spoke to her about the upcoming SME Tax Symposium, where she will present the session ‘Practically Using the Small Business Restructure Rollover’.

Effective from 1 July 2016, the new Small Business Restructure Rollover allows small businesses to potentially restructure their operations without triggering any tax implications. While the new rollover provides some fantastic opportunities for small businesses, there are traps and tips which need to be taken into account when practically applying it.

Dung told us her session will look at the “Practical issues that only come out when you actually apply the law. The rollover is deceptively drafted to read simple but it is actually quite complicated to use. I'll be covering some traps and tricks we have seen so far in reviewing the rollover's applicability to client situations.”

Asked about any hot topics or new issues her session will cover, Dung replied “The rollover is new in itself and there is not much on it currently. My session will consider the application of the rollover combined with the abolition of stamp duty on non-land business assets in NSW, and also its proposed $10 million turnover threshold”.

Dung tells us the session will help delegates help their clients as “The rollover is one possible restructure tool that may allow clients to move out of inefficient structures. The session will hopefully allow practitioners evaluate using the rollover as compared to other options”.

Looking at the wider event, she said “The SME Tax Symposium is an excellent forum for practitioners to discuss matters that affect the SME market. Practising the SME market is a different skill set from the general tax industry where one becomes specialised deeply in one particular strand of tax, be it corporate tax or indirect tax. The SME market requires practitioners to have a broader range of tax and duty skills, so having a forum dedicated to this generalist skill set is important”.

Asked about other sessions at the Symposium she is most interested in attending, Dung told us “They all look good, but the panel session ‘ATO Challenges in the SME space’ looks particularly interesting as we are seeing increased audit/review activity from the ATO. The 'Estate Plan and changes to Super’ is also highly relevant".

The 2016 SME Tax Symposium takes place 13-14 October at the Swissotel Sydney. Featuring seven sessions and two 2 workshops, this one and a half day event includes up to 10 CPD hours. Find out more.

Tuesday, 6 September 2016

Practical Part IVA scenarios - The 24th Noosa Tax Intensive

David W Marks, QC, CTA, is a Brisbane commercial silk, specialising in tax. He appears in court as a specialist advocate. At the 24th Noosa Tax Intensive, David will be our coordinator for the workshop on Part IVA. This workshop will explore the issues presented by Simon Steward, QC, in plenary session seven in relation to Part IVA, and how it may, or may not, be applied by the Commissioner in different practical situations.

Plenary session seven, ‘When will Part IVA be an issue with SME reorganisations?’ is presented by Simon Steward, QC, FTI (Victorian Bar) and Kirsten Fish, CTA (ATO) and examines the extent to which transactions may be formulated given the presence of the new Part IVA. In particular, can beneficial tax results only be achieved by accidental planning?

David tells us that delegates at the workshop he is coordinating will discover “the practical application of Part IVA” and it will “enrich their understanding of practical Part IVA scenarios”.

David is joined in the workshop by workshop leaders workshop leaders Rosalie Cattermole, CTA (PwC), Muhunthan Kanagaratnam, CTA (Deloitte), Philip Keir, CTA (Whitehill Keir), Sally Newman, CTA (Minter Ellison), and Eugene Wheelahan, FTI (Victorian Bar).

Asked which other sessions he is looking forward to at the Intensive, David told us “The Hon. Justice T Pagone’s session on day one on ‘CGT – 31 years later’ should be very interesting”. 

The 24th Noosa Tax Intensive takes place 10-11 November 2016 at the Sofitel Noosa Pacific Resort and features seven plenary sessions and three workshops over the two days, and includes 13.5 CPD hours. Find out more about the workshop and the plenary sessions here.

Private Company Capital Management – The 24th Noosa Tax Intensive

Paul Lyon, ATI, is a Tax Partner with EY in Sydney. Paul will be one of more than 30 experts heading north in November for the 24th Noosa Tax Intensive where he be one of the leaders for a workshop on 'Capital Management Issues', coordinated by Scott McGill, CTA (Pitcher Partners). The workshop draws on two plenary sessions on Private Company Capital Management, presented by Paul Hockridge, CTA (Mutual Trust) and David Marschke, CTA (Mills Oakley Lawyers) on day one of the Intensive. 

Paul Hockridge, CTAPaul Hockridge, CTA, is a Tax Partner at Mutual Trust with over 30 years’ experience in tax, asset protection, estate and succession planning, FBT and salary packaging. We spoke to both Pauls about what to expect in the plenary session and the workshop.

Specialising in advising high-wealth families and closely held businesses as well as many accounting and law firms, Paul Hockridge teaches in the Masters program in the Law School at the University of Melbourne and has been involved in consultation with both federal and state governments on a variety of tax matters. 

In his plenary session, Private Company Capital Management – Part 1, Paul Hockridge looks at getting value out of the company, and strategies for the founding shareholders to extract retained earnings from the private company. The session will also look at getting money out of cash box companies, franking credit refunds through SMSF shareholders, dividend strategies, utilising Div 7A secured and unsecured loans, dividend access shares, pre-sell down restructuring and more.

Asked what delegates can expect to learn from the plenary, he told us “They will discover how they can extract wealth without paying unnecessary tax, as well as some non-obvious traps to avoid. The session will provide a checklist of ideas and potential traps.”

Paul Lyon, ATI
At EY, Paul Lyon specialises in advising private groups, and has been part of an expert panel providing assistance to the Board of Taxation and sat on a number of ATO subcommittees. The workshop Paul and the team will lead will draw on the issues in dealing with equity in private companies. A series of case studies will look at real-life examples around strategies for repatriating money out of private companies to the shareholders, introducing new equity participants, dividend access shares, and other matters.

Paul tells us to expect “Practical tips as well as technical traps, that will help delegates identify the important issues in advising private groups”.

Paul is joined by workshop leaders Chris Ardagna, CTA (Brown Wright Stein Lawyers), Martin Booth, CTA (Pitcher Partners), Hannah Soh, CTA (Deloitte), Todd Want, CTA (William Buck), and Tristan Webb, CTA (Crowe Horwath).

When asked about other sessions at the Intensive they are looking forward to, Paul Lyon said “As one of the workshop leads, I’ll be paying particular attention to the two plenary sessions the workshop draws on (Private Company Capital Management – Parts 1 and 2), but to be honest, the entire program appeals to me.” Paul Hockridge told us “I’m keen to hear Simon Steward, QC, FTI, and the ATO’s Kirsten Fish, CTA, on ‘When will Part IVA be an issue with SME reorganisations’”. 

The 24th Noosa Tax Intensive takes place 10-11 November 2016 at the Sofitel Noosa Pacific Resort and features seven plenary sessions and three workshops over the two days, and includes 13.5 CPD hours. Find out more about the workshop and the plenary sessions here.

Division 7A and Division 152 - The 24th Noosa Tax Intensive

Brian Richards, CTA, of Richards Advisory, has specialised in providing taxation advice to accounting and legal practitioners in respect of a wide range of business clients for approximately 40 years, or as he puts it “Has been around for a long time, but loves tax”. His particular taxation specialty areas include business restructuring, intellectual property transactions, CGT issues and tax planning matters.

At the 24th Noosa Tax Intensive in November, Brian joins workshop leaders Ash Chotai, CTA (Chotais Chartered Accountants), Neal Dallas, CTA (McInnes Wilson Lawyers), Linda Farmer, CTA (Grant Thornton), Stuart Glasgow, CTA (Mutual Trust Pty Ltd), and Maggie Millar, FTI (Grant Thornton) for a workshop on Division 7A and Division 152, coordinated by Paul Banister, CTA (Grant Thornton).

This workshop expands on the issues discussed in three plenary sessions at the Intensive in relation to private company payments and loans, and the small business CGT concessions. The case studies will be based on live situations, and will address unpaid present entitlements, aspects of the maximum net asset value test, current Div 7A strategies, the small business restructure provisions and more.

Brian tells us “The interactive style of the session will be of key benefit to delegates, with the practical applications of provisions the focus”.

His workshop draws on the issues covered in the plenary sessions ‘Loans and UPEs – Do We Need a Company Bypass … Or Maybe Even a Trust Transplant?’ from Greg Travers, CTA (William Buck), ‘ATO Hot Spots’ from the ATO’s Fiona Dillon, CTA, and ‘SMEs and Tax – Forever Changing’ by Linda Tapiolas, CTA (Cooper Grace Ward Lawyers).

The 24th Noosa Tax Intensive takes place 10-11 November 2016 at the Sofitel Noosa Pacific Resort and features seven plenary sessions and three workshops over the two days, and includes 13.5 CPD hours. Find out more about the workshop and the plenary sessions here.

Thursday, 1 September 2016

Preparing for a future that is already here - The VIC 4th Annual Tax Forum

Almost all practitioners would agree that tax reform, technology, and globalisation will change the way the tax profession operates in the future. The problem is – the future is already here – and it has begun to affect the tax profession as a whole. How will you, as a tax adviser, prepare for these future changes at the same time that you’re grappling with current ones? Join us and a long list of thought leaders at the VIC 4th Annual Tax Forum to prepare for this brave new world.

With Parliament finally resuming after what has been a year marked with political instability and would-be tax reform, the proposed close-but-no-cigar tax measures will be right back on the Government’s agenda. Hot topics relating to tax reform, corporate tax, superannuation, and small business will resurface. These also tie in with ongoing conversations about mergers and acquisitions (M&A), diverted profits tax, base erosion and profit shifting (BEPS), country by country reporting (CbC), and multinational anti-avoidance law (MAAL).

In true “domino effect” style, these issues cause a chain reaction in the economy, with key developments trickling down to both SME and corporate practitioners. This year’s technical program hones in on how key changes affect the private and corporate streams, with a focus on taking an outward-looking, prospective approach to plan for the changing world of tax.

The changing world of tax

Technological developments, disruptors, and globalisation have changed the tax game for advisers and their clients. Businesses are being structured differently than they were only a few years ago and future developments will come much sooner than expected. Globalisation has also enabled the erosion of tax bases of many countries and the implementation of BEPS, CbC reporting, and MAAL now dominate the work of corporates as over 100 countries collaborate to combat tax avoidance strategies.

Against this backdrop, keynote speaker Karen Payne, CTA (CEO, Board of Taxation) will open the technical program with her discussion on the Board’s current role, priorities and work program, including tax reform and the Board’s contribution to addressing BEPS, improving policy development processes and reducing tax red tape.

Peter Williams (Deloitte), Ken Spence, CTA (Greenwoods & Herbert Smith Freehills) and Catherine Willis (ATO) will also address the changing face of tax in their session, with a focus on the ATO’s part in all of this. Coming from different perspectives, they will discuss their experiences and speak on:

  • How the roles of advisers and the ATO have changed since they started working in tax
  • The practical impact of digitisation
  • How they see the role of the adviser and the focus of the ATO evolving in the future.

Battle of the Think Tanks

This session provides a unique opportunity to hear from some of Australia’s pre-eminent tax policy thinkers on the future of tax reform following the Federal Election. Facilitated by Paul Abbey (PwC), expect some lively debating from panellists Michael Potter (The Centre for Independent Studies), John Daley (Grattan Institute) and Peter Davidson (Australian Council of Social Service), who will reflect on a range of competing economic and social views on tax policy.

What can we learn from others? 

Tax reform is a mandate for all countries but how has one country in particular dealt with the broad-brush of reform? David White (Victoria University of Wellington) will reflect on New Zealand’s experiments with different tax reform structures and institutions over the last 30 years through two case studies – one on GST and the other on CGT. The session will consider the tension between the short and medium term for all stakeholders, and how to foster more positive participation in tax reform by different disciplines, genders, and generations.

Risky business: tax governance

Tax reform, increased media attention, and tax transparency have all opened up key issues for tax governance and risk management. At this year’s forum, Sarah Blakelock, CTA (KPMG) will facilitate a discussion between panellists Jeff Stevenson (ATO), Robert Gallo (PwC) and Stuart Cameron, CTA (Suncorp Group) on what the continuing evolution of tax governance for corporations will mean for advisers, risk officers and the ATO.

The panel will also address the ATO’s risk differentiation framework, the implications of the ATO’s tax risk management and governance review guide, and the impending release of ATO guidance to directors of their duties around tax.

It’s a deal! The M&A boom…

Joint ventures and M&A are seeing plenty of action of late. Company acquisitions are on the rise with appetite for M&A activity growing. The resurgence of M&A has affected not just corporate advisers but also those practitioners advising in the SME space.

Each year, the M&A market throws up new and novel transactions and new twists to old problems. In his session, Aldrin De Zilva, CTA (Greenwoods & Herbert Smith Freehills) will go through a summary of the most interesting corporate mergers, acquisitions and divestments in the public arena over the past 12 months, novel funding techniques and their consequences, and associated rulings and advice provided by the ATO.

Similarly, Simon Aitken, CTA (RSM Australia) will focus on topical issues arising over the past 12 months in the SME sector, including utilising small business restructure rollovers in M&A transactions, identifying the traps and opportunities in small business CGT concessions, early-stage innovation companies, and the Foreign Investment Review Board obligations.

Start planning for change

Tax reform will continue to impact both corporate and SME sectors. Come join us at this premier forum to hear experts highlight the key changes and how you can stay informed and prepared. 

The VIC 4th Annual Tax Forum takes place 5 - 6 October 2016 at the Park Hyatt, Melbourne. Featuring three streams (Corporate, Private and Hot Topics), 28 technical sessions, more than 40 expert speakers and flexible ticketing it includes up to 11.5 CPD hours. Find out more.