Showing posts from December, 2013

Looking back on 2013 (Part 2)

I read with great interest the Productivity Commission’s research paper, “An ageing Australia; preparing for the future” (issued in November 2013). For some time, I have followed research in respect of our ageing population because to impact on the changing demographics will have a profound effect on our future government spending and the tax revenues to support spending. This, like other published reports, such as the 2010 Intergenerational Report and PwC’s 2013 report, “Protecting prosperity: why we need to talk about tax”, highlights the cost of our ageing population. The Productivity Commission’s research paper is focused on the spending side of the equation, and it confirms that the projected increase spend on items associated with ageing, health care, age pensions, age care and disability costs will grow from an estimated 20.7% of GDP in 2011-12 to 25.1% of GDP in 2059-60. The research paper states (on page 10):

“The principal indicator of future fiscal pressure is the degree to…

Speaker Profile: Tax and Financial Reporting

In the latest speaker profile in our series, we sit down with Jason de Boer, FTI from Deloitte who is presenting the Tax and Financial Reporting session at the upcoming 29th National Convention in Hobart.

Tell us about yourself

My name is Jason de Boer and I am an Account Director with Deloitte Tax Services. I have been at Deloitte for just over 13 years specialising in corporate income taxation (with a specific specialisation in IFRS and tax effect accounting).

How long have you been affiliated with The Tax Institute?

I have only become affiliated with The Tax Institute relatively recently (in a formal sense) but have been a regular reader of Taxation in Australia over the course of my career.

What does National Convention mean to you, and more broadly, to the tax industry?

The National Convention to me is an excellent opportunity to exchange ideas and knowledge, and to hear from some of the leading experts in the industry. Building relationships with peers through networking is also a …

Wishing you a safe and happy festive season

As the Institute’s 70th year comes to an end, we wish you all the very best for the holiday period and look forward to bringing members more great benefits and opportunities in 2014.

With the year quickly coming to a close, I’d like to take this opportunity to acknowledge those who have volunteered their time and hard work to make The Tax Institute the success it is — both this year and over the last 70 years. In particular, a very big thank you to our committees, volunteers, National Council and particularly Stephen Westaway, 2013 president, for their valuable contributions throughout the year.

2014 education key dates now available

Are you thinking of undertaking a structured education program in 2014?

All of the key dates, including early birds and enrolments, are now available on our website for The Chartered Tax Adviser Program, the Course in Australian Taxation Law, the Course in Commercial Law, and the Course in Basic GST/BAS Taxation Principles.

This is a great opportunity for …

Report from the latest NTLG meeting

Last week I joined our President, Steve Westaway CTA, and Vice-President, Michael Flynn CTA, at the ATO's National Tax Liaison Group meeting. As the ATO's peak consultative forum, the NTLG discusses matters of strategic importance to the tax and super systems. Treasury also join the meeting, which enables a discussion on tax policy.

The minutes will be published in due course, but in the meantime, I can report that discussion at the meeting included the following topics:

The value of further exploring the pros and cons of an extra-statutory discretion for the Commissioner; ATO's Integrated Tax Design function;Update on the current ATO approach to alternative dispute resolution and settlements, including the appropriateness of the current approach and potential improvements; Transforming Tax Technical Decision Making project update;ATO's consultation arrangements, including health and status of the current arrangements and significant matters for consultation; ATO's …

Looking back on 2013 (Part 1)

2013 may be remembered more for what didn't happen than what did.

We did get, to name a few things:

a new federal government;a new Pt IVA;a new registration requirement for financial planners who give tax advice;a concession to excess superannuation contributions tax;a proposed change to the debt/equity rules; anda change to the way consultation is conducted with the ATO.
We didn’t get:

a rewrite of Div 7A;a rewrite of trust taxation; andtax reform.
To be fair, there are some things we didn’t get that maybe we should be grateful for:

changes to how FBT will be calculated on motor vehicles;the imposition of a cap on deductible self-education expenses;the soon to be repealed resources rent tax and carbon tax; andchanges to the deductibility of interest related to foreign dividends.
Again, to be fair, a tax white paper is now on the government’s agenda, and the government has told us that it will advise us of its strategy to deal with the remaining list of tax measures soon.

Don’t miss …

Tax Adviser of the Year Awards have closed

It’s very exciting times at The Tax Institute with nominations for our inaugural Tax Adviser of the Year Awards closing on 10 December.

With all our completed applications in, it is now up for our judging panel — made up of industry figures and members of the profession — to select our winners for 2014 in the categories of Emerging Tax Star, Tax Adviser of the Year, and Chartered Tax Adviser of the Year.

All the winners will be announced at next year’s gala dinner at the 29th National Convention in Hobart. Stay tuned.

29th National Convention

Included with your journal this month is a copy of the 29th National Convention program. Only just announced, Hobart is already looking to be one of our most popular conventions yet.

Long recognised as the essential event for anyone working in tax, attending the convention gives you up to 15 structured CPD hours, and the opportunity to grow your business and professional profile by networking with colleagues from around Australia.

The sessions, dev…

Speaker Profile: Ethical Issues for Tax Practitioners

We sit down with Professor Gino Dal Pont from the University of Tasmania on Ethics in Practice for Tax Advisers to chat about the keynote speaker presentation he'll be presenting at the upcoming 29th National Convention in March 2014 in Hobart.

Tell us about yourself

I am a Professor at the Faculty of Law at the University of Tasmania, with principal interests in equity and trusts, and professional responsibility. I have also taught tax law on and off for years at the Faculty, and retain a continuing interest in the area.

How long have you been affiliated with The Tax Institute?

I was a member in the early 2000s, as well as member of State Council (Tas) and National Education (for one year).

What does National Convention mean to you, and more broadly, to the tax industry?

I cannot comment on the broader industry, but I perceive it as the premier tax conference in Australia.

What is the topic that you are presenting at the 29th National Convention?

I am presenting the Ethical issues fo…

Consultation Steering Group

Effective consultation is integral to ensuring the best outcome in tax law design, implementation and interpretation. This underscores the importance of the ATO getting its new consultation model right. The new arrangements were unveiled earlier this year, but they are only now starting to bed down.

The ATO now has eight key stewardship committees representing key relationships and systems, incorporating four liaison groups and four advisory groups covering major market segments and products. There are also 14 stakeholder relationship and management groups and 11 technical and special purpose groups focusing on specific issues for resolution. I won’t reproduce all of the committees/groups here, but please refer to the ATO consultation framework for further detail.

The Tax Institute’s members have a long history of engaging in consultation to develop and apply tax laws in the national interest. Our consultation efforts have spanned across technical issues, industry focused issues and AT…

November’s free member tax presentations

Here’s a selection of presentations from our leading events series.

Members of The Tax Institute can access these presentations for free by clicking the links below (make sure you’re logged in to our website first). Non-members can purchase the presentations for only $12 each.

Many presentations have a related technical paper, which can also be found on the presentation’s page. Don’t forget, a Tax Knowledge eXchange subscription gives you unlimited access to these papers, presentations, articles from our journals, and much more.

The adviser on superannuation and retirement (Matthew Andruchowycz, CTA)Trust reform: A practitioner's perspective (Fabrizio Porcaro, CTA)Trusts: Current state of play (Arthur Athanasiou, CTA)Trust distributions: The good, the bad and the ugly... (Peter Slegers, CTA)Superannuation succession planning strategies (Nathan Papson, CTA and Murray Wyatt)GST update (Martin Booth, CTA)State taxes update (Cullen Smythe, CTA)Update on salary packaging (Donna Rubbo)Ta…

New ATO Taxpayer Alert

Late on Friday the 22nd the ATO announced that it is reviewing arrangements involving accountants, lawyers and other professionals operating through partnerships of discretionary trusts. It did so by issuing Taxpayer Alert TA 2013/3: Purported alienation of income through discretionary trust partners.

As members would be aware, Taxpayer Alerts are the ATO’s early warning of significant new and emerging higher risk tax planning issues.

Importantly, the ATO acknowledges that professional practices may legitimately operate as a partnership of discretionary trusts, however, the focus is on the misuse of these structures to avoid tax.

The ATO is concerned that the structures may result in an individual purporting to alienate income attributable to their professional services to a trustee partner.
In some cases the arrangement may:

be ineffective in alienating the individual's income,have CGT consequences for the individual which have not been correctly recognised, orinvolve a scheme to …