Showing posts from December, 2017

The R&D tax incentive – latest developments

Research and development (R&D) is becoming an ever-present form of business activity that companies engage in to ensure they remain relevant and competitive in domestic and international markets.

The government's R&D tax incentive, introduced in 2011, continues to evolve and taxpayers will have observed an increase in communications with the regulators in recent years.

In October 2017, The Tax Institute's Research & Development seminar in Sydney delved into the taxation consequences, benefits and topical issues related to the R&D incentive.

At the seminar, KPMG's Kristina Kipper and Dr Renee Levings presented a paper entitled 'The R&D tax incentive – latest Developments', which we outline below. 

Kristina is a partner in KPMG’s R&D Incentives group and is the National Sector Leader for Technology, Media and Telecommunications. Renee is Director, R&D Tax Advisory.

Since the R&D tax incentive began in 2011, registration numbers have increa…

Is there a place for morality and ethics in tax law?

Written by Robert Deutsch CTA *

The release of the Paradise Papers has triggered a strong response from many sectors of society. This has raised an interesting question. When structuring the affairs of a company, are company directors free to pursue whatever legal means are available to minimise tax payable without thinking about the moral and ethical dimensions of what they are doing?

In this context, there has been much judicial commentary dating from early in the last century.

Lord Macnaghten declared in Commissioner of Stamp Duties v Byrnes: [1]

“No one may act in contravention of the law. But no one is bound to leave his property at the mercy of the revenue authorities if he can legally escape their grasp.”

This was followed some 25 years later by the infamous decision of the House of Lords in Inland Revenue Commissioners v Duke of Westminster in which Lord Tomlin made the oft-quoted comment: [2]

“Every man is entitled if he can to order his affairs so that the tax attaching under …

33rd National Convention – what to look out for in the 2018 program

The Tax Institute's National Convention in Cairns next year will be all about reinvention.
Technology has caused an upheaval across the globe, with local tax practitioners reinventing and realigning their businesses to meet shifting client expectations. Keeping this in mind, the Convention’s organisers have developed a program that hones in on supporting practitioners and highlights issues that may not yet be on their radars.
Here we highlight a few key sessions and some of our presenters.
The Convention program includes strong representation from senior members of the Australian Taxation Office, with the Commissioner, Chris Jordan AO CTA to deliver his keynote address to delegates about the ATO’s plans for the year. The popular ATO Roundtable will return– a Q&A-style session which will cover a wide array of current technical issues that tax professionals are grappling with. You can also hear direct from the ATO’s Second Commissioner Andrew Mills CTA (Life) and Chief Tax Counsel …

Member profile – Annette Morgan

Annette Morgan is a lecturer in the Faculty of Business and Law at Curtin University in
Western Australia. We asked Annette about her career and life.

Member’s name Annette Morgan CTA

Company Curtin University

State Western Australia

Member since 2000

Areas of specialty SME tax services, tax administration and tax education.

How did you end up in tax? I ended up in tax completely by accident. I really wanted to be a police officer but apparently I was too short.

I attended secretarial school but luck should have it that my first job was with a small accounting firm in Nedlands, WA. I wasn’t suited to the receptionist job I applied for, but they thought I would make a great assistant to the accountants, and from there the passion for tax grew.

So, studies began in earnest, and after many years of working full-time and studying, I achieved my Masters in Taxation and finished my professional years of study as a CPA. This year, I celebrated 30 years in the tax profession and the passion i…

Transfer balance cap: time to consider post-30 June 2017 issues

The introduction of the transfer balance cap measures led to a frantic amount of activity for self-managed superannuation fund (SMSF) advisers and their clients in the lead up to 1 July 2017. In an article excerpted below from the Taxation in Australiajournal, authors Daniel Marateo and Peter Slegers CTA seek to demonstrate that it is an opportune time for advisers to consider the ongoing issues associated with the transfer balance cap regime.

Daniel Marateo is a lawyer in Cowell Clarke’s Tax & Revenue and Superannuation practice groups. Peter Slegers is a partner and team leader of Cowell Clarke’s Tax & Revenue and Agribusiness practice groups. Daniel was part of the team assisting Peter and co-author Nicole Santinon in producing the SMSF Income Stream Guide, published by The Tax Institute. 
In the article, Daniel and Peter highlight how, due to subsequent legislative developments and ATO pronouncements, transition to retirement income streams, broader succession planning is…

How the tax profession can stay relevant

by Steve Healey CTA (Life) *

Some members of the tax profession have argued that the Australian Taxation Office – by introducing automation, standard business reporting and other efficiencies – has stepped ‘over the line’ and is ‘taking’ processing and compliance work away from accountants and tax advisers.

Examples they have cited include myTax and the expansion of other ATO self-service products at the expense of maintaining and improving those that supported tax practitioners such as Electronic Lodgement Service (ELS), Practitioner Lodgement Service (PLS) and Tax Agent Portal.

I suggest that the ATO isn’t reducing the traditional work of accountants. Technology and technological change is. It’s essential for practitioners to accept this fact and move forward. The profession’s reaction is, of course, similar to that of other professions and industries that are seeing their traditional models disrupted by technological change. Examples include the taxi, transport and accommodation s…