Showing posts from December, 2012

Part IVA general anti-avoidance rule changes (update on submission)

This week The Tax Institute finalised its submission on the Government's draft changes to the Part IVA general anti-avoidance law.

We support the maintenance of integrity rules within the tax system to ensure that tax is levied fairly, consistently and according to the policy intention of the relevant tax laws. Widespread faith in the integrity of our tax laws is essential to securing taxpayer trust and voluntary compliance.

Part IVA plays a particularly significant role in safeguarding the integrity of the tax system, ensuring compliance with the intention, not just the letter of the tax law. As such, Part IVA should only be applicable in circumstances where the relevant taxpayer has acted in a blatant, artificial or contrived manner in order to pay less tax than would have been the case had tax been appropriately levied on the substance (rather than the form) of the transaction.

The Government's proposed amendments are unnecessarily extensive, place undue and inappropriate r…

A final word

A word or two about the final events for 2012. The Tax Specialists’ Workshop lived up to its reputation as a testing but satisfying engagement with the tough technical tax issues experienced by top tax advisers in the SME and big-end sectors. The groups were very ably led by extremely experienced practitioners who freely imparted knowledge to the delegates. There was also a seriously good dinner held at La P├ętanque.

The Noosa Tax Intensive finished off the year’s event program. It has an enviable reputation for delivering tax education in the best way, learning by doing, and of course, Noosa is almost always delightful in November. The Institute’s National Convention organisers must be vying for a Michelin star of their own because the selection of Berardo’s for the convention dinner was a quality decision.

And finally, it is quite sobering to realise that this is my last effort for the President’s Report. A year has almost gone by and so much has happened, all of it good (but with pe…

Tax Institute a finalist in the Publishers Australia Excellence Awards

National Convention

Included with your copy of the journal this month is a copy of the program for the Institute’s flagship National Convention, which in 2013 moves to Perth. Covering the latest technical content, the convention is your chance to hear from experts with real practical insights, and to catch up with your colleagues and peers.

Register before 25 January 2013 and receive early-bird pricing.

Tax Knowledge eXchange

Congratulations to the final two winners in our Tax Knowledge eXchange 10th anniversary celebrations. Celia Tang, CTA, Tax Consultant in Camberwell, Victoria, and Maria Day of Springfield in Queensland have both won a free subscription to Australia’s leading tax knowledge base.

Congratulations to all of our winners during our celebration of 10 years of the Tax Knowledge eXchange. If you haven’t taken a trial this year, make sure you do soon and see the benefits that our easy-to-use tax knowledge and research tool will deliver for your business.

iPad App: Taxation i…

Reforming inefficient State taxes

Last week The Tax Institute, in conjunction with the Australian Tax Research Foundation, hosted an important tax reform event: Revolutionising State Taxes - Finding a way forward.

The event provided an important platform for discussion and debate about the pressing need for the reform of State taxes.

The Tax Institute has long called for a national vision for the reform of inefficient State taxes such as stamp duties that stifle a productive society. With the recent backdrop of the report of the Federal Government's GST Distribution Review Panel and next week's Treasurers' discussion of this report and also an options paper for State tax reform, the event provided a timely fillip to the debate.

The South Australian Treasurer, the Hon. Jack Snelling MP, called for a mature debate about how to reform the tax mix. He conceded that stamp duties were inefficient taxes and also called for the States and the Federal Government to start an open and transparent process of tax reform…

End-of-year excitement for tax tragics

November has proved to be a very exciting month from a tax tragic’s perspective. We have experienced a generational change at the very top of the Australian Taxation Office administration. Michael D’Ascenzo’s retirement as Commissioner will cap off the renewal of the tax hierarchy, with only Second Commissioner Bruce Quigley remaining to pass on the decades of experience that have otherwise flown out the door.

Michael can look back proudly at the changes he has wrought during his term as Commissioner, the chief among them being his sincere engagement in collaboration and consultation. On behalf of everyone at The Tax Institute, including staff, volunteers and members, I wish Michael well in his new role.

If that is not enough, the appointment of a new Commissioner from the private sector, a first ever, raises intriguing possibilities. The Tax Institute also looks forward to working with the Commissioner-designate, Chris Jordan, in facing the challenges of imposing and maintaining tax …

13 reasons to enrol The Chartered Tax Adviser Program in 2013

Access global career opportunitiesThe Chartered Tax Adviser Program allows you to attain the prestigious Chartered Tax Adviser designation and become recognised for your tax expertise on the international stage.
Relevant and practical tax training The courses are designed by leaders in the tax field, in close collaboration with a wide pool of tax practitioners, to ensure that they are relevant, current and practical.
Flexible study options available to fit your scheduleThe Tax Institute understands that you are a busy working professional, and so offers a number of study opportunities throughout the year so you can arrange your preferred schedule.
Education that is delivered by leaders, for leaders Practising tax experts write, present and assess the courses, allowing you to gain direct access to this influential community of members and tax industry experts.
Tax industry recognised The technical breadth and practical relevance of The Chartered Tax Adviser Program course content is highly…

A national plan for the direction of tax reform

Recently the Government released the GST Distribution Review Panel's report. Amongst other important options, including possible changes to mining royalties and the Minerals Resource Rent Tax, the report is yet another well-reasoned plea for the Federal Government to permit a debate on the rate and base of the GST.

The Tax Institute has long called for the hard work to start now such that we can achieve a national plan for the direction of tax reform.  This must include the Commonwealth and the States and Territories acting together.

Abolishing inefficient State taxes like stamp duty on homes must be considered in the context of discussing the entirety of the GST.

There is no point tinkering with one aspect of the GST, like the imported goods threshold, when time and again history has proven that tinkering with tax systems causes more harm than good. The only way to ensure that real reforms are achieved is to look at the tax system as a whole and that includes the whole of the GST.

The Chartered Tax Adviser Program now open for enrolments

Season’s greetings and best wishes for the festive season

As the year draws to a close, we celebrate our achievements and look forward to bringing members more great benefits and opportunities in 2013.

As 2012 quickly comes to an end, I’d like to take this opportunity to acknowledge the hard work of those involved in making the Institute the success it is. Many thanks to our committees and volunteers, our National Council, and particularly Ken Schurgott, our 2012 president, for their commitment and contributions throughout the year.

Chartered Tax Adviser Program now open for enrolments

Last month, we were proud to introduce The Chartered Tax Adviser Program at our well-received Chartered Tax Adviser information sessions which were held around Australia. The education program is dedicated to developing tax advisers with the professional skills, quality advice and acute commercial skills to join the growing international network of Chartered Tax Advisers.

By helping you progress through …

A proposed ethical framework for tax consultations

Last week The Tax Institute participated in the bi-annual Treasury Revenue Group Stakeholder Consultation meeting. These meetings are a Treasury initiative that started last year after the Government's Tax Forum. They are a welcome addition to Treasury's increased openness with respect to tax policy.

Treasury provided a presentation on the 2012 Mid-Year Economic and Fiscal Outlook as well as further details on their recent internal restructure aimed at better focusing resources and building further expertise in areas such as law design and small business tax issues.

On behalf of the attendees, I lead a discussion on the proposed ethical framework for tax consultations, about which I have written in previous posts. Effective consultation is essential to produce tax laws that are in the broader national interest and this framework has the potential to enhance this.

We also discussed tax reform opportunities stemming from the Australia in the Asian Century white paper as well as …