Showing posts from October, 2014

Investing in quality tax learning is a necessary part of developing the tax profession

Tax is a well-respected specialisation in the accountancy profession. In serving their clients, tax professionals in the modern world need a range of skill sets, not least excellence in the understanding and application of tax laws and regulations. 

Gordon Grant, Head of Tax Learning and Development at one of the major accounting firms in Australia, provided some insight on the need for investment in tax learning and education.

I am originally from the UK where, in my experience, people with a range of different degree disciplines (and a number without degrees) choose to join professional services firms and enter the tax profession having technical competencies developed by undertaking qualifications and training offered by professional bodies in addition to internal, employer-provided learning programs.

In Australia, where professional education in tax looks slightly different than in the UK, my experience is that the value of an internal learning program for participants can be greatly…

On the taxation of multinationals

The international community’s pressure is mounting on the taxation of multinationals; and it is starting to result in some significant changes to existing taxation structures.
Recently, in delivering the Budget, the Irish Finance Minister announced that the government would begin phasing out the ‘double Irish’ structure. As members will be aware, the double Irish allows firms with operations in Ireland to make intellectual property royalty payments to a separate Irish-registered subsidiary that is resident in a country that has no corporate income tax.
This change takes effect from 1 January 2015 for new companies, but existing companies have a generous transition period to the end of 2020.
However, despite the positive sentiment behind this face-saving announcement, there is still a major aspect of the Irish tax system that remains of international concern: the very low 12.5% company tax rate that will remain untouched.
It is clear that it will take much more pressure from the inter…

The Tax Institute’s education training is a win-win for partners and employees

As students begin the search for grad positions and employers start sifting through countless CVs, we took the opportunity to sit down with Martin Booth, partner at Moore Stephens Sydney, to talk about his ideal candidate.

We expect both cadets and graduates to do The Tax Institute’s CTA1 and CTA2 courses at Moore Stephens Sydney and, when it’s introduced, we’ll also be encouraging them to undertake the Graduate Diploma of Applied Tax Law.

We’ve always found The Tax Institute’s tax training a win-win for both the partners and its employees. At university, people will often only do one tax subject, which only covers some very basic legal concepts. And if my experience is anything to go by, it goes in one ear and out the other as soon as exams are over.

I’ve got a Master’s of Taxation degree, so I think I’m in a good position to draw a comparison between lawyers and accountants. What I like about The Tax Institute’s courses are that they’re more focused on the legal rather than accounting …

Employee share schemes and start-ups

This week the Federal Government announced changes to the tax treatment of employee share schemes.  This was part of a wider package called the Industry Innovation and Competitiveness Agenda.

The Government's announcement includes an unravelling of the infamous 2009 tax changes to employee share schemes and this is a welcome move. It will go a long way to addressing the unfair imposition of a significant tax burden on employees. It should also address the significant compliance burden that employers face under the current rules.

However, as members are well aware, the devil is often in the detail, so we look forward to carefully consulting with the Government on draft legislation to ensure that the new rules deliver the intended outcome and serve to improve the tax treatment for both employees and employers. The Tax Institute's submission to Treasury on this matter can be accessed here.

The 2009 tax changes certainly have taken their place in the annals of political history as so…

New Graduate Diploma Raises the Bar for the Tax Profession

15 October, 2014:  Last night The Tax Institute launched its first postgraduate course, the Graduate Diploma of Applied Tax Law, at an event attended by the tax profession’s leading luminaries, including Commissioner of Taxation, Chris Jordan AO.

According to Noel Rowland, CEO of The Tax Institute, “The Tax Institute is raising the bar for the tax profession.

“The launch of our Graduate Diploma of Applied Tax Law means that we are the only professional association to provide a postgraduate education solely in tax.

“The tax profession will undergo fundamental shifts in both its business model and its workforce, resulting in the need for a changing professional capability in Australia.

“Consumers of tax services are now seeking tax professionals who offer more than tax advice, and who are equipped with the skills to take on the role of business advisor as a whole.

“Tax professionals must be at the centre of business decisions and be able to think and problem solve in a highly nuanced e…

The public debate on the taxation of multinationals

Most recently, members may have read some of the series of Fairfax press reports stemming from a publication that claimed almost a third of Australia’s largest companies are paying less than 10¢ in the dollar in corporate tax. Whilst there is ongoing commentary on the details and analysis contained within the report (Who Pays for our Common Wealth?), we can be certain that the focus on our tax system and the way that it interacts with the global tax environment is set to intensify.

Late last week the Leader of the Australian Greens, Senator Christine Milne, successfully moved that the Senate Economics References Committee examine tax avoidance and aggressive minimisation by both Australian corporates and multinationals operating in Australia.  Specifically, the Committee will examine: 

the adequacy of Australia's current laws;any need for greater transparency to deter tax avoidance and provide assurance that all companies are complying fully with Australia's taxation laws;the br…

Recognising the tax profession's highest achievers

We are pleased to announce that nominations are once again open for The Tax Institute’s Tax Adviser of the Year Awards. Designed to celebrate the profession’s highest achievers, this is your chance to be recognised by the profession’s leading tax luminaries.

This year we’ve introduced two new categories; the SME Tax Adviser of the Year Award and the Corporate Tax Adviser of the Year Award.

Nominations close 9 December 2014

Nominate yourself, a colleague or industry peer in one of four award categories:
Emerging Tax Star AwardNEW:SME Tax Adviser of the Year NEW:Corporate Tax Adviser of the Year Chartered Tax Adviser of the YearEntries close 9 December 2014 - Download your entry kit and application forms now and start working on your nomination today.

The awards will be judged by leading tax practitioners and will be presented at an official awards ceremony at our 30th National Convention on the Gold Coast in March 2015.

Three finalists selected in each category will be flown to the Gold Coas…

Spring sittings of Parliament

The Tax Institute continued our ongoing engagement with key stakeholders this week, including key Federal MPs during the current Spring sittings of Parliament.

We met with both Government and Opposition MPs to discuss a range of tax matters of interest to both them and, of course, the Tax Institute. Topics included:

the need for financial planners providing tax advice to have appropriate tax and commercial law qualifications;Tax White Paper latest: scope/coverage, timing, key reform topics;Federation White Paper: revenue challenges for States, GST distribution;G20/BEPS issues: domestic law changes/need for concerted international action; andATO Portal frustrations/ELS to SBR: the ongoing importance of the tax professional in an environment of moving towards more pre-filling/automation.
We look forward to continuing these discussions over the months ahead and, as always, welcome member input into our activities.

The Tax Policy team may be contacted via


December's free member tax presentations

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

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). Non-members can purchase the presentations for only $15 each.
Members, don't forget you also receive a free technical paper each month as one of your membership benefits. During October you can download 'Division 7A – Putting your hands in the till without getting your fingers burnt' from Chris Davis, CTA. Find out more here. You can also access the free paper on our new iPad and Android tablet app.
International developments - Michael Evans, CTAManaging interaction and information flow with the ATO - Angelina Lagana, CTA and Carmen McElwain, CTA Living with change - Kevin O’Rourke and Raj Srikhanta Current issues in the financial services space - Item 32 - Rodger Muir and Martin Scott Current issues in the financial services space - Enterprise - Rodg…