Advocacy work is in full swing

Written by Stephanie Caredes, CTA, Tax Counsel

It has been a very busy start to the year for the Tax Policy and Advocacy team with numerous submissions already on our plate. 
We are interested to understand members’ views on the reporting requirements that should apply to the Sharing Economy and what members think of the ATO’s proposal to replace certain Annual Taxation Determinations with website content.Please send your comments through to the Tax Policy inbox.

Gearing up for the election
Members will have seen the Prime Minister’s announcement earlier this week to increase the small business Instant Asset Write-off amount from $20,000 to $25,000 effective 29 January 2019 and extend the availability of the write-off to 30 June 2020. This extends both the threshold for 17 months and the availability of the measure by 12 months from its original end date of 30 June 2019.
We seek members’ views on whether you think this measure is useful to your clients. What has the take-up of the original…

Why ‘learning agility’ is crucial for success in tax

Sabah Hussain, FTI, Marketing & Innovation Finance Manager - Tip Top Australia (George Weston Foods), on why curiosity is King in tax.
For Sabah, working within a daily fresh environment at Tip Top means no one day is the same. She is constantly having to adapt and respond to different internal and external risks and opportunities which can be uncomfortable. Yet, it forces her to adapt and apply lateral thinking as well as technical skills.
It’s no secret that technological advancement and compliance changes are shaking things up in the tax profession.
“As people we can be hardwired to avoid change and find comfort in routine,” she says. “This is quite characteristic of traditional tax, accounting and finance disciplines, particularly in the areas of compliance, governance and reporting.
“It is important however that as professionals we are constantly keeping ourselves aware of not only technical developments, but also an overall general awareness of current affairs, industry and…

Robert Campbell, CTA, on saving marriages and more

Yes, you read right. Here is a glimpse into how a tax professional does exactly that.
Robert Campbell, CTA, and Director at McCleod, Campbell & Associates, started his career in an undergraduate position at a small suburban accounting firm in Parramatta, which gave him a broad introduction to many aspects of the accounting practice.
He then gravitated towards tax and went on to work with EY in their tax consulting division.
“I loved learning about the tax rules and understanding more about them, and I would teach myself through the master tax guide,” he says.
Robert says his biggest achievements include working in tax for 20 years and setting up his own practice in that time.
“This is because I set it up from scratch,” he explains.
“I didn't buy a business or take over someone's feed-base, I set it up fromnothing.”
Interestingly, Robert says he keeps a low profile.
“I work strictly off referrals,” he explains.
“My business is strictly referral driven. There's never a wee…

When Does Tax Advice Become Legal Advice Which Contravenes State or Territory Law

For accountants and lawyers practising in tax, it can be difficult to stay across the range of different laws that apply in each State and Territory.

Every tax practitioners and tax agents should be aware of their obligations and what they can and cannot do in relation to providing advice. This ‘blind spot’ is partly because Federal law permits registered tax agents and BAS agents to do various things, and this law (if constitutional) overrides State and Territory laws. 
In his upcoming session, 'When Does Tax Advice Become Legal Advice Which Contravenes State or Territory Law' at the upcoming 2019 National Convention, John Morgan, CTA will examine this overlooked area and the consequences of getting it wrong.

Ranging from return of fees to criminal prosecution, they can put your professional accreditation at risk, and will be more than theoretical if they threaten the business model of affected practices.

We spoke to John about what to expect from his session. 
John said, “D…

Why mentoring is important for your career

Trying to do great things is difficult. Trying to do them alone is, often, impossible. That’s why all great leaders have mentors. 
Most people who are successful end up that way because they’ve sought out mentors who share knowledge, skills and provide the networks to reach the top. In this blog, we will provide you with the valuable resources and information about why a mentor is so valuable to your career progression. 1. Mentor advantages A mentor can be viewed as a kind of workplace parent – someone who can warn you against making short-sighted moves that could damage your career and instead encourage you to do those things that may be uncomfortable at first but will reap great rewards in the future.

Experience is a valuable thing. And while there’s no substitute for earning it the hard way, there’s also no rule against leveraging the wisdom of others.

A true mentor will provide honest feedback on how you’re performing and offer suggestions on how to improve your performance. They may …

New superannuation reforms one year later – Practical issues for SMSFs

One year on from the introduction of the most significant superannuation reforms in over a decade, practitioners working at the coalface are experiencing a diverse range of compliance and planning issues which are only now coming to light.
In his paper, excerpted here, presented at the SA Super Day, Peter Burgess (SuperConcepts) dives into a range of issues relating to the ‘transfer balance cap’ (TBC) and ‘total super balance’ (TSB).
Peter is one of our presenters at the upcoming 2019 Super Series, which takes place around the country from March.
Peter notes in his paper that that these new concepts of an individual’s ‘transfer balance cap’ and ‘total super balance’ are central to almost all of the reforms that came into effect on 1 July 2017. His paper seeks to identify compliance and planning issues relating to a member’s TBC and TSB and explains what actions practitioners can take to mitigate unintended breaches of the law.
Total super balance
An individual’s TSB is the sum of thei…

What happened in tax since December

Written by TaxCounsel Pty Ltd
The following points highlight important federal tax developments that occurred since December 2018.
Each month, these developments are considered in more detail in the 'Taxing Issues' column of Taxation in Australia, the Institute's member journal.
Granny flat arrangements The Board of Taxation to undertake a review of the tax treatment of granny flat arrangements and recommend any potential changes.
Resolution of tax disputes Measures are to be introduced that are intended to make it easier, cheaper and quicker for small businesses to resolve tax disputes with the ATO.
Australia’s tax treaties The Multilateral Convention to ImplementTax Treaty Related Measures to PreventBase Erosion and Profit Shifting entered into force in Australia on 1 January 2019.
Income for fame or image A public consultation paper has been released in relation to the proposed amendments to tax arrangements for individual income derived from a person’s fame or image.