Showing posts from July, 2017

International Investments: The 2017 National Superannuation Conference

The Trump administration continues to create uncertainty for investors. Now more than six months into his presidency, advisers are still unclear on the long term policy direction of the new administration and its effect on investments made by Australian superannuation funds.
Significant issues affecting due diligence of international investments by large superannuation funds range from the US tax treatment of investments to laws enacted under the Obama administration, including the Protecting Americans from Tax Hikes (PATH) Act, and older laws like the Foreign Investment in Real Property Tax Act (FIRPTA).
At the 2017 National Superannuation Conference, PwC’s Jeff Miller, Makoto Takahashi and Todd Chesla all fly in from the US to present the session ‘International Investments’.
Reviewing current significant issues affecting international investments by large funds, they will cover the recent and proposed US tax reform and the issues for Australian funds investing in the U.S.
Jeff said “We’…

Latest free technical paper - 'Restructuring rollover vs CGT concessions: And the winner is ...'

Each month, members of The Tax Institute can access a complimentary, recently-published technical paper that provides up-to-date information on a relevant issue for tax professionals.

The most recent paper is Restructuring rollover vs CGT concessions – And the winner is … by Jolyon Dare CTA.

Jolyon is a Tax Partner at HLB Mann Judd (NSW), where he specialises in helping corporate and SME clients and their advisors. He has significant experience in SME restructuring, practically assisting small businesses to manage their tax risk and opportunity and to realise their highest value at sale. Jolyon is also a regular presenter at The Tax Institute's Morning Tax Club and NSW Tax Forum.

In the paper, Jolyon explains how the ‘small business restructure rollover’ was originally announced in the May 2015 Federal Budget and ultimately enacted as Subdiv 328G of the ITAA97, having effect from 1 July 2016.

“Additionally, the new law was joined by guidance provided by the Commissioner in the fo…

‘Fraud' or ‘evasion’: dealing with the aftershocks

When the Commissioner lawfully forms an opinion that ‘fraud' or ‘evasion’ has occurred, the aftershocks can reverberate in Part IVC, debt recovery and criminal process, triggering cascading penalties and inflicting severe reputational damage for many years.
There are, however, specific instances in which the Commissioner’s powers can be challenged. There are also steps an adviser should take when advising a client and seeking to protect them.
Further, when considering tax litigation, advisers need to be aware of the impacts of recent tectonic shifts in administrative law.
Matthew Crowley ATI, (Barrister, Francis Burt Chambers) presents the upcoming masterclass, ‘Fraud or evasion: making tax assessments great again, in Perth in September 2017.

Here he outlines some of the complexities in this space and highlights some of the blind spots for advisers. 
Matthew told us: “For the last 25 years or so, administrative/public law has been the subtlest and most dynamic area of the law, to my m…

Member profile – Jonathan Ortner

Jonathan Ortner is a Senior Associate with Arnold Bloch Leibler’s taxation group in Sydney and is The Tax Institute’s 2017 Emerging Tax Star.

We asked Jonathan about his career and life.

Member’s name Jonathan Ortner FTI

Company Arnold Bloch Leibler

State New South Wales

Member since 2016

What initially led you to a career in tax? I took an early interest in tax law, completing both available tax law subjects during my undergraduate degree. Having enjoyed the problem-solving aspects of tax law, I thought there may be an opportunity to make a career out of tax.

After university, however, I joined the funds area of Macquarie Bank. This provided a great insight into the world of finance and commerce.

Although I was asked to stay on in that contract role, I decided instead to travel for a year through South America. While there, I undertook volunteer work in Colombia, helping to build schools and homes for people in need, teaching English to children, and studying Spanish at the universi…

The big issues facing Large Funds – 2017 National Superannuation Conference

The biggest changes to the taxation of superannuation in a decade came into effect at the beginning of July.

The Treasury Laws Amendment (Fair and Sustainable Superannuation) Act 2016 passed in late 2016. Subsequent regulations have also now been introduced and the ATO has finalised various compliance and law companion guidelines on the tax and superannuation reforms.

August's National Superannuation Conference will arrive at an opportune time as advisers to small and large funds come to terms with the new superannuation landscape.

In this post, we highlight some of the issues facing large funds that will be covered at the conference, including:

the CGT and member taxes issues associated with the 2016 Budget measuresissues with investments (both domestic and international)considerations for the design of the in-house tax function and tax operating model for these funds.
The 2016 Budget measures created a number of various operational impacts for funds – in particular, the optional CGT …

Ongoing complexities in a supposedly simple tax – National GST Intensive

It seems like GST has barely been out of the headlines over the last 12 months. 

From states and territories wanting a larger slice of the pie, to the recently implemented 'Netflix tax', what was supposed to be a fairly straightforward tax when it was introduced way back in 2000 remains complex both in practice and administration.

With so much in play, the National GST Intensive returns at just the right time. 

This year’s program will be delivered over two days and will feature some of Australia’s leading GST experts from the tax profession, industry and government. 

Our keynote speaker is the Hon Justice Jennifer Davies of the Federal Court of Australia who will discuss whether it is still relevant to consider the GST a “practical business tax”. 

In her address, Justice Davies will look at how Sterling Guardian Pty Limited v Commissioner of Taxation has influenced recent decisions on GST and whether this approach is still relevant today, given these cases.

For the first time, give…

The diverted profits tax: a new landscape for advisers – 2017 Queensland Tax Forum

The diverted profits tax (DPT) entered into law on 1 July 2017.

Multinational organisations with an annual global income of more than $1 billion (AUD) and an annual Australian income of more than $25 million now face a 40% tax on profits found to have been artificially shifted overseas.

The Government expects significant tax revenues from the new tax, which applies to the 2017 financial year, and to any schemes entered into before the law came into effect.

The DPT builds on the previous Government effort to combat tax avoidance by multinational companies operating in Australia –– the Multinational Anti-Avoidance Law (MAAL), which came into play in December 2015. 

At the upcoming Queensland Tax Forum, MinterEllison's Anthony Portas CTA and Carmen McElwain CTA will present the session ‘Diverted profits tax and MAAL – How and when they apply and how to manage disputes.’ 

We spoke with Anthony about what their session will cover and some of the issues facing practitioners.

Anthony said: ‘In…

Super still super

by Robert Deutsch CTA *

With all the seemingly bleak news associated with looming changes to superannuation, the question continues to resurface: is putting money into superannuation still a viable financial option? The resounding answer is an unequivocal and unqualified YES!

For those thinking about superannuation investment who are confused and frightened by all of the noise associated with the upcoming 30 June tax changes, it is important to understand how those changes are likely to affect the average investor.

For a start, the average investor is unlikely to have superannuation funds in excess of $1.6m in their lifetime. So much of the noise can be ignored. For those average investors, what is largely being restricted is the amount that can be put into superannuation each and every year.

As has been well-documented elsewhere, the limits on putting money into superannuation will change in two ways in particular as of 1 July 2017.

First, the amount of after-tax non-concessional con…

The integrity of our tax system

by Matthew Pawson CTA *

There would scarcely be a single taxpayer in Australia, much less any member of our organisation, who has not watched the unfolding of the alleged $165m tax fraud event during May and June with a sense of grave concern, if not almost incredulous disbelief. That any person, or group, could conceive and execute a scheme of that magnitude for, apparently, personally benefit and self-gratification in this comparatively small jurisdiction is breathtaking to say the least.

Of course, the matter remains under investigation with charges laid and pending. The facts of the matter are not all in the public domain, nor am I privy to them. Therefore, it is inappropriate for me to make any comment about the particulars of the case or any of the allegations connected to it, or to venture opinions about the male fides or otherwise of persons alleged to be involved. I will also avoid any speculation about the possible or probable outcomes. I merely cite the existence of these c…

How are SMSF advisers handling a post 1 July world? – 2017 National Superannuation Conference

1 July 2017 saw the biggest changes to the taxation of superannuation in a decade come into effect.

The Treasury Laws Amendment (Fair and Sustainable Superannuation) Act 2016 was passed in late 2016. Subsequent regulations have been introduced to support the introduction of the Government’s reforms and the ATO has finalised various compliance and law companion guidelines on the tax and superannuation reforms.
The stage is therefore set for the National Superannuation Conference in August, featuring a dedicated stream for advisers to large funds and those working with self managed superannuation funds (SMSFs). 

Here we take a look at a number of key sessions for SMSF advisers, covering the changes to the transfer balance cap, contributions, fixed trust issues, and death benefits and superannuation succession planning.

Transfer balance cap On day one of the conference, following the opening address from Michael Pascoe on the ‘shape-shifting nature of the government’s fiscal policy’, Jemma Sa…

Division 7A and the new small business restructure rollover – 50th WA Convention

Celebrating its 50th anniversary in 2017, Western Australia’s State Convention returns with a packed program that features some of the most-respected tax practitioners from across the state and around the nation. 

Here we take a look at two sessions from the Convention’s dedicated SME stream:

A presentation by Richard Friend CTA on ‘Division 7A – dealing with the here and now'A workshop by Alan Krawitz CTA and Daniel Taborsky CTA on 'The new small business restructure rollover - the opportunities'. In their session,Alan and Daniel will use a case-study-based workshop to provide a practical application of how the provisions of the new small business restructure rollover works in practice, as well as the opportunities available.
As a director at EY Law, Alan's principal areas of practice include income tax, CGT, disputes, tax litigation, superannuation, trusts, and wills and estates. Also with EY Law, Daniel is a senior associate and has almost a decade of experience advisin…

The ethical roadmap: Do you set the pathway or just follow it? – The 2017 Queensland Tax Forum

As an adviser or practitioner, your personal and professional conduct is regulated in a number of ways – from the codes of the Tax Practitioners Board and the Accounting Professional and Ethical Standards Board to the 'fit and proper person' requirements of Institute membership.

The obligations of an adviser to act ethically are there because, in practice, we are often faced with situations that present ethical dilemmas. While our relevant codes of conduct detail how we are required to act, they can often seem more like lofty ideals than practical rules that can be easily applied to the situation at hand. As the vast majority of advisers strive to act ethically, these grey areas and lack of specific guidance add a further level of uncertainty to an already precipitous situation.

At the 2017 Queensland Tax Forum, a panel session will look at ‘Ethics in practice’.
Facilitated by Trevor Pascall CTA (Crowe Horwath), the panel will include Alice McCleary CTA (Life), Chair of The Tax I…

A conversation with a legend in tax

by Noel Rowland *

After 45 years in tax practice, and more than 40 years as a member of The Tax Institute, Tony Slater QC recently announced his retirement. I spoke with Tony about his illustrious career and asked his opinions about changes in the tax profession and in tax administration.

In the early 1970s, Tony was inspired to commence a career in tax when he completed an Arts/Law double degree at the University of Sydney. His tax lecturers, Ross Parsons and Tom Magney, were particularly encouraging. He then joined the firm of Greenwood Challoner & Co, Chartered Accountants, in 1972.

Although admitted as a Barrister to the Supreme Court of NSW in 1975, he continued as a Partner at Greenwoods until 1981, at which time he came to the NSW Bar. He was appointed as Queens Counsel (NSW) in 1992.

Changes in tax practice I asked Tony about the most significant changes he has seen in the tax profession during his career.

“In practice, the biggest thing that changed was that, until the la…