Showing posts from July, 2018

What does the future hold for the tax profession?

Steve Healey, National Head of Tax and Private Advisory Services at Grant Thornton, and former President of The Tax Institute, CTA (Life), shares his insights on future trends in the profession.

TTI:What does the future look like for the profession?

SH: A new way of working is needed for all professionals, and I think the reason for that is because of the rapid change that's happening around us. Robotics, artificial intelligence, machine learning; a lot of those things are going to make redundant what we've done historically as professionals. The rise of the peer-to-peer economy I believe is yet to have its full impact, and that in itself is really going to challenge the nature of all professions, including the tax profession.
Education: Prepare yourself for the future of tax by studying with the experts. Don’t miss out – enrolments close Monday, 16 July.

TTI:What are some challenges ahead?

SH: We've got a wonderful opportunity in front of us and we can either take a glass ha…

How to future-proof your career

Disruption and change is almost the norm in today's marketplace. So how can you make sure your careers is future-proof?

Legislative and regulatory changes, corporate restructures, and digital transformation are just some of the examples of disruption which are becoming more and more prevalent in today's economy. Navigating these variables comes down to one thing – education. Having an indispensable skill set is what will set you apart from the average professional.

Back to you.

You may have just finished your degree and want to work in tax but might not be sure where to start. Or you are already established in the tax industry and are ready to take your career to the next level, and be a cut above the rest.

You could go back to university to complete your masters in tax. But the last thing you want is a super theoretical course with no relevance to your job or career ambitions.

That’s where the world’s most sought after tax credential, the Chartered Tax Adviser (CTA) desig…

Tax 2025 - People, the Economy and the Future of Tax

Grant Wardell-Johnson, CTA, is the Lead Tax Partner of the Economics and Tax Centre at KPMG. Grant is a leading thinker not only on the future of the profession, but also on the future state of society.

In this post we take a look back at the paper he delivered at 2017’s Queensland Tax Forum ‘Tax 2025 - People, the Economy and the Future of Tax’, before looking forward to the keynote he will deliver at next month’s Forum, ‘Tax reform and productivity for growth’.

Grant described the paper as “somewhat speculative”, one that “seeks to look forward through the next eight years, to 2025”.

The paper outlines some key points in relation to eight broad topic areas concerning the future, designed to form a foundation or springboard for thought. The topics covered in the paper are:
How we choose to enframe the future The role that technology will play in all, or virtually all, that we do Our changing values including the role of work and how that will fit within our lives The changing nature…

Dux graduate tells all: how study changed the game

Sam Loader, the "go-to man" for tax at The Peak Partnership, reveals his experience completing CTA2B Advanced and how it has given him more confidence.
We caught up with Sam Loader; Manager - Business Services at The Peak Partnership in Queensland.
But first a brief background of Sam’s experience.
I'm a Chartered Accountant with 15 years' experience in public practice.  I grew up in Hobart and learnt my tax 'chops' at a couple of firms there.  My dad worked at the ATO so I also had an inside on how the other side worked.  I moved from Tasmania to Queensland six years ago to work as a manager for The Peak Partnership, a mid-size firm in South Brisbane. I've recently moved back to Tasmania and I'm currently working remotely. 
What is the most valuable aspect of CTA2B Advanced that you have taken away?
The broad topics and material covered were very relevant to my job as a manager in a public practice firm.  It helped consolidate my knowledge and has made me…

The GST two decades on – 2018 National GST Intensive

This year marks the 20th anniversary of the Howard government’s election campaign for A New Tax System.

Two decades on, how does Australia’s GST regime measure up? And what are the challenges confronting the GST as we contend with increasing globalisation and technological disruption?

The Tax Institute’s 2018 National GST Intensive in Sydney promises to provide an engaging setting for GST professionals to consider these important questions. In this post we highlight some of the key issues to be covered at the event.

The interaction of Australian GST and global trade has been a subject of intense scrutiny with the recent extension of the GST to low-value imported consumer goods, as well as services and digital products. 
Already, the world’s biggest online retailer, Amazon, has resisted Australia’s vendor collection model with its decision to stop shipping to Australian customers from its overseas platforms, citing the impracticality of GST collection. At the same time, Australia has r…

Proposed SG amnesty raises opportunities and risks

On 24 May 2018, the government announced a 12-month superannuation guarantee (SG) amnesty that proposes to give employers an opportunity to rectify past SG non-compliance without penalty.

If the Treasury Laws Amendment (2018 Superannuation Measures No.1) Bill 2018 is made law, the amnesty period will apply from 24 May 2018 and run for a 12-month period to 23 May 2019.

In this article, from the July issue of Taxation in Australia, Christian Pakpahan and Daniel Butler, CTA, (both of DBA Lawyers), argue that the SG amnesty is being actively promoted when no law exists and employers are already coming forward without reading the finer detail.

In the article, Christian and Daniel recommend that Treasury and the ATO consider introducing the amnesty when the law is actually passed, rather than relying on legislation which still has to be passed by parliament which will then have retroactive application to 24 May 2018.

Already employers are beginning to come forward without reading the fi…

What it takes to be the Chartered Tax Adviser of the Year

Stephen Carpenter is a senior partner in KPMG's national Deal Advisory - Tax business. He is the winner of the 2018 Chartered Tax Adviser of the Year award. Following his award, we spoke to Stephen about his journey, what the award means to him and how The Tax Institute has helped his career.

Tell us about your tax career 

I’ve worked at KPMG for most of my career, and in pretty much every part of corporate tax. It’s been a great privilege. In the last several years, I’ve been asked to focus on mergers and acquisitions (M&A), which builds on the previous experience I’ve gained. That broad experience is especially important in M&A because good advisers look at each transaction from many different angles — not just to identify risks, but also to identify opportunities to do things more efficiently. Often, it’s the simplest ideas that create the most value for clients.

What does winning The Tax Institute’s award mean to you? 

It’s wonderful to be recognised for the investment …

US tax reform and issues for large Australian investors

The US tax reforms of December 2017 had a number of impacts for Australian superannuation funds investing into the US. The reforms affected existing investment structures and will also affect the assessment and structuring of future opportunities.

At August’s National Superannuation Conference, Michael Doolan (EY Americas Infrastructure Tax Leader) presents the session ‘US Tax Reform and Issues for Large Australian Investors’. He tells us about some of the issues here.

Michael said “I will be focusing on the impact of US tax reform on investment by Australian institutional investors in alternative asset classes in the United States, such as infrastructure and real estate.

The scale and speed of implementation of the US tax reform legislation has contributed to the need for clarification or technical corrections to a number of the key measures, including the new rules governing the deductibility of interest. My presentation will include a focus on such issues.”

Michael’s session wil…

SMSF Audits – Keeping the ATO from the Door

While prevention is always better than cure, some clients will inevitably find themselves having to deal with an ATO audit of their SMSF.
Shirley Schaefer (BDO) describes herself as “an auditor by training, but an SMSF expert by choice.”
At the 51st Western Australia State Convention in August, Shirley will look at some of the issues facing advisers and trustees around SMSF Audits in her session “Keeping the ATO from the door”.

Shirley tells us about some of the areas of focus and blind spots in this post.
“There are certain trustee behaviours and types of investments that the ATO considers ‘high risk’, and ATO interpretations can change regularly. While this may not be a problem in itself – making sure your trustee clients get things right is important” she said.
“Some of the biggest issues are in not identifying contraventions or not realising that SMSF investments may have ‘fallen foul’ of the ATO guidelines or SISA requirements.This is a complex area of law and being able to ide…

Restoring and enhancing faith in the tax profession

With the close of the financial year, this week I thought I might re-visit some of the more common mistakes which are made by taxpayers in the preparation and completion of their tax returns. As tax practitioners, it is vitally important for our reputations to ensure that these mistakes are not made in returns prepared by tax professionals.
According to the ATO, the top 5 mistakes are:

Leaving out income, either deliberately or inadvertently. This often includes income from casual or temporary work and money earned though the sharing economy;Claiming deductions for personal expenseswhich cannot be claimed even though they may have some remote connection with work. This would include travel from home to work, in respect of which there is much case law to indicate that such expenses cannot be claimed; normal clothes, which would not qualify as uniforms which can, in certain circumstances, be claimed; and phone calls made that relate to their personal affairs, albeit on a phone which is …

Practical Legal Ethics for Advisers

Consider the following scenario from David W Marks QC, CTA...

You operate as a professional in your own field.
You operate as sole principal with a small staff of administrative and clerical employees, including a couple who are able to do bookkeeping.

Some time ago you struck up conversation with a senior employee at a nearby retirement village, Ms Retirement.
One Sunday afternoon you receive a call from Ms Retirement.She tells you the following: One of the residents at the retirement village, Mr Elder, had been talking to her for some time about getting his affairs in order.In fact, a solicitor had drawn up a final draft Will and a final draft Enduring Power of Attorney for his consideration.  Each is complete but for inserting the name of the executor and attorney, respectively. Mr Elder then fell out with the solicitor and the work was not completed.Part of the reason for the work not being completed was that Mr Elder has no relative living in Queensland.  His closest relatives are…

Goodwill and Taxing Scotch Mist

Goodwill is often the most valuable asset in small business, it is specifically included by s 108-5 of the ITAA 97 in the property subject to CGT, and state governments have long recognised it as part of the (stamp) duty tax base.
Whereas the Costello era tax reform took much income tax heat out of dealing with goodwill by extending the CGT discount to all small business assets, and the High Court’s 1998 Murray decision gave more clarity at an income tax level, goodwill remains critically important in the tax bases of the Commonwealth and of the states, and many problems of interpretation and application remain.
At the 51st Western Australia State Convention in August, Prof. Michael Walpole, CTA, (University of NSW) looks at the issues in his session ‘Goodwill and Taxing Scotch Mist’.

We spoke to Michael about what to expect from his session.
Michael said “I’m planning on providing a practical commentary on the relationship between goodwill and the business, and reviewing the question of…

Drivers for change: the future of Australia’s superannuation industry – 2018's National Superannuation Conference

The superannuation industry of 2018 is a dynamic one. A year on from the major superannuation reforms of 2017 there is a continued need for advisers to explore the ongoing challenges and opportunities that those reforms have created. Additionally, a number of significant reviews that are currently underway, combined with the prospect of tax reform both domestically and abroad, point to significant changes on the horizon for the industry.

The Tax Institute’s 2018 National Superannuation Conference in Melbourne this August will provide attendees with outstanding insights into the future direction of our industry and some of the critical technical issues confronting advisers and funds today.

In this post we preview some of the key presentations and speakers to look forward to across the plenary sessions and breakout streams for both large funds and SMSFs.

Treasury keynote and plenary insights

This year’s plenary sessions promise a wealth of insights into the future direction of our supera…