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Showing posts from 2018

High Court decision in Placer Dome sheds interesting light on the meaning of goodwill in the context of state stamp duty

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Written by Bob Deutsch, CTA, Senior Tax Counsel

I wanted to take a closer look at an interesting recent case involving state stamp duty. The case is a decision of the High Court in Commissioner of State Revenue v Placer Dome Inc [2018] HCA 59 (the Placer Dome case).

Background
The facts in the Placer Dome case were straightforward. Barrick Gold Corporation (Barrick) announced a hostile, and ultimately successful takeover of another company called Placer Dome Inc (Placer) in 2005.

At all relevant times, the sole question for consideration was whether Barrick was liable for ad valorem stamp duty on the purchase of shares in Placer. This rested on whether Placer was (or was not) a “listed land-holder corporation”.
If Placer was a “listed land-holder corporation” within the meaning of Div 3b of Part IIIBA of the Stamp Act 1921 (WA), Barrick was liable to pay ad valorem law duty in the amount of $54,852,300. If Placer was not a listed land-holder corporation, Barrick would be liable for n…

The start to finish of writing great client advice

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The Tax Institute expert Andy Milidoni breaks it down.
There’s no denying that providing exceptional client advice involves exceptional commitment of thought, time and energy. But if you don’t know the fundamentals, you’ll be hard pressed to attract new customers, and keep your existing ones happy.
“What I'm finding is that in practice students aren't always being shown the start to finish of writing advice,” Andy Milidoni, Partner at Johnson Winter & Slattery and CTA3 Advisory lecturer at The Tax Institute, points out.
“In the CTA3 Advisory subject, there's a lot of emphasis placed on the process of providing client advice. That's something students don't always see in practice.
“A lot of the comments I get from students is, ‘I wish someone had shown me that earlier. I know that's what I have to produce, but I don't always get shown that,’” he adds.
Andy has been practicing tax for almost 20 years across all aspects of revenue, law and trusts, includin…

3 ways to make an impact in tax

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The Tax Institute expert Rae Ni Corraidh shares her tips and tricks for success in tax.
Rae Ni Corraidh is a tax adviser at the Knowledge Shop; an external advisory resource for firms that may not have their own tax expertise.
After working at big four companies for ten years in a specialist role, Rae moved to mid-tier firms in order to develop a broader range of tax skills , where she worked for another ten years. She has also been involved in teaching all of the core subjects of structured education programs at The Tax Institute over the last decade.
“Here I get to talk about tax all day long and not have to do time sheets. That's the fun part,” she laughs.
A highly experienced tax professional and teacher of tax, Rae has three tips for making an impact:
1. Keep abreast of change
“You have to invest the time in your own learning and in being aware of what's happening in tax,” says Rae.
“Whether you subscribe to tax updates or you log onto the Australian Treasury website on …

We’re thinking differently about tax education

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Workplaces and the way we engage with the world around us is changing. Many tax professionals are not tied to a desk and are working with clients on site, providing advice, travelling and working remotely. When is there time to sit down and spend two hours per day studying? For many of us the answer will be not very often.
Helping tax professionals keep pace with rapid change To support busy tax professionals to keep pace with the ever-changing tax landscape, The Tax Institute has transformed the way it educates.
Advancing your career as a tax professional requires dedication and time. We recognise that you should have a learning experience that supports your preferred learning style, allowing you to access resources anywhere at any time, that is familiar, convenient and can fit naturally into your daily routine.
This new initiative advances our education offering into short, concise learning activity that can be accessed quickly and easily, allowing you to disseminate information ra…

Stapled structures and foreign investor measures

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On 20 September 2018, the Treasury Laws Amendment (Making Sure Multinationals Pay Their Fair Share of Tax in Australia and Other Measures) Bill 2018 was introduced into parliament to give effect to the government’s proposal to reform the tax treatment applicable to stapled structures and certain foreign investors.

This Bill reflects the culmination of a long process which began with the Australian Taxation Office seeking to address the use of staple structures with TA 2017/1 released in January 2017, and which may almost be resolved with legislative change.

This post excerpts the article 'Stapled structures and foreign investor measures', written by Stuart Landsberg, FTI, Christina Sahyoun and Angeline Young, (all PricewaterhouseCoopers), which originally appeared in the December / January issue of Taxation in Australia, The Tax Institute's member journal.

The Treasurer announced that the Bill will assist the government to “better guarantee the essential services and vita…

Clients separating from their partners - What do you do next?

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Relationship breakdowns are emotional and can be complex. While it marks the end of one thing, it often begins something new, with the path to separating any shared assets rarely straightforward.

This is where the family lawyer and the tax professional enter the fray, to help their client navigate the emotions and the commercial realities of the separation. 
In October 2018, Rishi Wijay, (Klimek & Wijay Family Lawyers) presented the session ‘Your client tells you that they are separating from their spouse or de facto partner. What do you do next?’ at WA's ‘The Client Life Cycle: challenges and opportunities’ event.

We spoke to Rishi about some of the issues facing advisers.

“When a long-standing client of a tax professional tells them that they are separating from their de facto partner or spouse, a difficult journey begins for the client and their trusted adviser. I want to trace that journey from a family lawyer’s perspective, and try to offer some insight into how the tax…

What happened in tax in November

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Written by TaxCounsel Pty Ltd
The following points highlight important federal tax developments that occurred during November 2018.
Each month, these developments are considered in more detail in the 'Taxing Issues' column of Taxation in Australia, the Institute's member journal.
Division 7A consultation

A consultation paper in relation to the amendments that are proposed to improve the integrity and operation of Div 7A ITAA36 has been released.

Small business rates 
An amending Act that became law on 25 October 2018 contains amendments which will give effect to the government’s decision to accelerate the reduction of the corporate tax rate for corporate tax entities that are base rate entities.

Deductions for vacant land


Exposure draft legislation has been released relating to the proposal to deny deductions for losses or outgoings incurred to the extent they relate to a taxpayer holding vacant land.

Education:Think differently about your education. Gain accreditation with sho…

Labor’s negative gearing restrictions – how might they work?

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Written by Bob Deutsch, CTA

The Federal opposition’s plans to introduce restrictions on negative gearing for investors, if elected next year, have received some much-needed clarification.

Last week, I was able to confirm with the Labor Party that their proposed changes to negative gearing would apply across the board to all investments. Previously it was thought that Labor’s negative gearing restrictions might only apply to property investment.

With this knowledge, The Tax Institute issued a media release outlining the good and bad news for investors.

Shortly after the media release was issued, I received feedback from Member 372 who suggested that “it is not the Institute’s business to act as spokesman or apologist for a political party”.


I thank Member 372 for their comments. However, with all due respect to the member, to suggest that by examining these measures, I am acting as an apologist for the Labor party is no more accurate than to suggest that when the the Institute publish…

Becoming a better client adviser through education

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Adam Rutherford, Accountant CMS Private Advisory and dux graduate, on how study made him a better adviser to his clients.
Adam started his professional career at CMS Private Advisory in 2013 where he works as an accountant. 
“I work in the business services division assisting small-medium sized businesses and individuals with a range of taxation matters among other things,” he says.
He says he wanted to learn about the strategies and concessions that may be available to a client when dealing with transactions that have tax implications.

Undertaking education not only builds knowledge and skills but also builds confidence that can translate to success on the job. One of the key challenges for the profession is building a strong pipeline of future advisory capability amidst technology advances and changing client expectations driving a shift in the role of the tax professional.
After completing CTA2A and CTA2B Advanced, Adam says the questions raised throughout the programs helped him…

3 steps to prepare you for tomorrow’s commercial practice needs

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How to help your clients navigate the intricacies of commercial law and think strategically about business risks.
Commercial law, also known as trade law, concerns the laws surrounding business and commercial transactions, including both private and public law. Working in commercial law, you would be spending your time advising clients on various day-to-day legal issues that may arise as they manage a business. If you work in tax, you’re certain to engage with Australia’s commercial law environment. And clients and stakeholders depend on tax professionals to help them navigate the intricacies of commercial law.
Studying commercial law will give you an array of skills that are valued highly in business. It will develop your analytical and critical thinking skills, improve your written communication skills, and help you to think strategically about business opportunities and business risks. The Tax Institute’s commercial law subjects provide candidates with education to register as a tax …