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Showing posts from September, 2017

Realising the potential of women in the tax profession – Women in Tax National Congress

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The influence of women is growing across the traditionally male-dominated professions of tax, accounting and law. Yet we still see too few women in leadership positions.
The inaugural Women in Tax National Congress will address this issue. Focused on the unique challenges facing professional women, this new event will feature high-profile presenters from the business world, media, academia and government.
Julie Abdalla FTI, from the National Congress organising committee, said: “It’s important to give a voice to women who are underrepresented in the tax profession. Everyone in the profession, regardless of gender, will benefit if we can realise the potential of female talent that exists in the profession.”
The congress will showcase some of Australia’s most influential leaders, who will offer insights and share their experiences of building a career in a male-dominated profession.
The day begins with a keynote address from one of Australia’s most high-profile female leaders, Emeritus Prof…

Taxing earnings – the great distortion

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written by Robert Deutsch CTA *


Is it just me or are there others out there who find the debate about lowering the corporate tax rate to 27.5% (ultimately to 25%) somewhat perverse in view of the fact that the top marginal tax rate is sitting at almost 50%?

Let’s look at the tax effect on the last $200,000 of taxable income of each of three fictitious taxpayers:

News Today Pty Ltd – the owner of an outer-Melbourne newsagencyBob Build – a respected architectAmy Land – a real estate investor.
News Today derives taxable income of $200,000. Assuming it is accepted that it carries on a business (1) and its turnover is less than $10m, it qualifies for the reduced corporate tax rate of 27.5%. This would give rise to tax of $55,000.

Bob Build earns $380,000 in 2016-17 in taxable income and will consequently pay tax on the top $200,000 of $94,000 (inclusive of the Medicare levy).

Amy Land purchased real estate in Sydney’s inner west for $1m in May 2014 and sells it in August 2016 for $1.2m. Tax …

Our partnership with LexisNexis is an investment in your future

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The tax profession is always evolving. Likewise, the tools you need to do your job are continuously changing.

You, our members, have told us that something you value is the opportunity to contribute to the design and development of the tools you use daily in your work, so that the finished product closely matches your needs.

Our business alliance program is all about delivering value to you, through our relationships with other providers and through special offers, so the Institute and its members can help shape the development and delivery of products and services.

Institute membership gives tax practitioners the ability to give back to the profession: to offer time, share experiences and provide unique, relevant insights into how members work today, and how they anticipate they’ll work in the future.

Our relationship with LexisNexis demonstrates the benefits of this unique approach.


A quick look back

In 2014 LexisNexis and The Tax Institute ran a workshop to explore the content needs of t…

Navigating the digital landscape: a plan for today's tax professional – 2017 SME Symposium

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“The past is a foreign country: they do things differently there." 

But what about the future? 

Just as your role today has changed markedly from what it was ten years ago, the tax professional of the future undoubtedly will be even more different. And preparing for this eventuality is no longer something that SME firms can put off.

Simply being a subject matter expert may not be enough in the practice and professional landscape of the increasingly-near future. The successful practitioner will be someone who can navigate and capitalise on the ever-changing technology landscape to benefit their clients and practice.
Alongside sessions that will deliver strong tax technical content, the program of this year’s SME Symposium has expanded to look at how the tax practice of the future will operate. 

Opening with a look at the role of a tax professional and asking if a new model is needed, Michael Cox (PwC) will then dive into how practitioners can navigate the new digital landscape they fi…

Succession planning for family trusts – the WA Tax Intensive

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With seemingly ever-increasing levels of wealth held in family trusts, advisers need to be aware of succession planning strategies for assets held in a trust environment.

Various options are available to ensure that the control of family trusts passes as your clients intend and desire. But they're not without complexity.

At the upcoming WA Tax Intensive, Matthew Burgess CTA will look at some of the common strategies practitioners can implement. He will take a deep dive into the fundamental issues that need to be considered whenever assisting with the hand over of control of a family trust. 

Matthew founded View Legal, a specialist national tax and estate planning firm, in 2014. Before this he was a lawyer and partner at a leading independent firm.

We spoke with Matthew about what to expect from his session in Perth – ‘Succession planning for family trusts’.

“I’m looking to present an interactive-style session," Matthew said. "The ‘deep dive’ that we’ll take looks at the key…

Reflections on the Australian tax system

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written by Matthew Pawson CTA*


I take the opportunity of the September President’s report to offer some reflections on the current state of the Australian tax system. To set the scene, however, I start with an adaptation of material recently penned by Canadian Tax Foundation Executive Director and CEO, Heather Evans (even though, obviously, her concern and audience is Canada): (1)

“The tax system is crucially important to economic growth in [Australia]. It supports the development of an equitable society and the redistribution of income to help provide for [Australians] who need assistance. It is entirely appropriate for our government to expect all taxpayers to be compliant with the law and to pay, on a timely basis, the amount of tax that they owe [or at least their fair share]. However, it is equally appropriate for all taxpayers to expect fair treatment under our tax laws, regardless of their income or level of wealth. Targeting certain segments of the taxpayer population on the ba…

Avoiding avoidance – restructuring away from Division 7A

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Practitioners and their clients continue to wade through the minefield that is Division 7A. Traps and complications can surprise even the wariest of advisers, with serious impacts for the client and their relationship with their adviser.

From the newly released PCG 2017/13 (covering how to deal with UPE’s under sub-trust arrangements maturing in the 2017 and 2018 income years) to the potential application of subdivision EA, the rules around Division 7A are complex and intersect with many other areas of tax legislation.

We recently spoke with Ken Schurgott CTA (Life), Director of Schurgott & Co Lawyers and past National President of The Tax Institute, about Division 7A and the restructuring of entity arrangements. This is the subject of his upcoming session at the Division 7A Day in Perth at the end of October. 

Ken told us that “Division 7A is a boon for advisers, but the detail is treacherous when it comes to structuring around the provisions. That is where we will be going in the …

Rewarding SME employees: alternatives and considerations – 2017 SA Tax Intensive

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Private companies are increasingly turning to equity incentive plans in lieu of cash remuneration to attract and retain key employees.

These incentive plans can often be complex to implement and operate, with legal, accounting and administrative implications that need to be considered.

Ranging from the ‘vanilla’ to premium-priced and purchased-option schemes, each comes with a unique set of benefits and potential traps.

Division 7A continues to cause headaches for advisers, and fringe benefits tax consequences are always lurking in the background. There are also a number of recent start-up concessions to be aware of.

At the upcoming South Australian Tax Intensive, EY will facilitate a workshop on ‘Rewarding your employees: what are the alternatives and considerations from an SME perspective?' It will deep-dive into some of the common and not-so-common issues that SME businesses and their advisers may face.

Led by Ben Turner FTI, a Senior Manager in EY’s People Advisory Services t…

How to succeed in the tax profession

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written by Adam Woodward *


It takes a special type of person, with specific skills and attributes, to thrive as a tax professional in today’s dynamic business environment.
A career in tax can be challenging, yet ultimately fulfilling.
An effective tax adviser listens to clients, digests their facts and opinions, and then provides technically accurate, commercially prudent advice.
In this context, developing expertise in analysis and communication is critical. In fact, a career in tax involves a lifetime of learning vital skills that can be used in all aspects of life.

The skills you’ll need The primary skills required to succeed in tax include the ability to identify pragmatic solutions to complex problems, and to clearly articulate these solutions to clients.
Working in tax is a process. First, you have to understand the problem. You then research and analyse relevant tax laws. Finally, you develop and present accurate solutions.
Strong technical skills and a process-driven mindset a…