Showing posts from January, 2018

'Swimming between the flags for professional service entities' – WA Professional Services Half Day

In December 2017, following a promised review, the Australian Taxation Office suspended the ‘Assessing the risk: allocation of profits within professional firms’ guidelines and Everett Assignment materials.
The review indicated that they were being misinterpreted in relation to arrangements that go beyond the scope of the guidelines, with the use of related party financing and self-managed super funds highlighted as being of particular concern.
Following the suspension, the ATO encouraged those professional practitioners who were contemplating entering into new arrangements from 14 December 2017 to contact them via early engagement. It indicated that arrangements entered into prior to 14 December that exhibit any high risk factors may still be subject to review.
This, however, is just one area of the income tax landscape for operating a professional services business that continues to perplex and confound advisers.
We spoke with Corey Beat CTA, a Principal in the Tax Services team at RSM …

A comparable landscape: Ascertaining the policy in Australia’s bank levy

When the Australian Government released its 2017-18 Budget, headlines followed. 1 
One of the more surprising announcements was the proposal of a bank levy targeting the five major Australian banks. The banks in turn opposed what they viewed as an ostensible revenue grab. 2
A notoriously short consultation period 3 for the immediately affected stakeholders was followed by the release of draft legislation a few weeks after the Budget announcement. 
The explanatory memorandum accompanying the Major Bank Levy Bill 2017 attempted to reflect a more principled approach than the justifications expressed in the Budget paper — albeit still less cohesively articulated when compared to some other jurisdictions which have adopted similar measures in recent years, and which the Australian levy seeks to align itself with. 
Indeed, while the Australian bank levy only applies to Australian banks, the Australian bank levy cannot be viewed in isolation, without reference to the international picture …

Member profile - Claire Thornett

Claire Thornett is a senior tax specialist at WLF Accounting & Advisory in Hobart. We asked Claire about her career and life.

Member’s name  Claire Thornett FTI

Company  WLF Accounting & Advisory

State  Tasmania

Member since  2017

Areas of specialty  Not-for-profits, fringe benefits tax and tax-effect accounting

How did you end up in tax?  I started in the specialist tax team at WLF as a graduate in 2014. I loved law at university and enjoy research and writing reports, so specialising in tax was a natural fit for me. I just love tax. The more I work in the field, the more there is to learn, and for me that’s the path to a fulfilling career.

What do you see as the biggest challenges for tax practitioners this year?  As we all know, we’re in the midst of a watershed moment in the industry. Our work is changing relatively quickly, so compliance work will soon be a thing of the past and taking on the role of trusted adviser is how we will earn our keep. For my team, winning advi…

Latest free technical paper - Michael Butler on 'Trusts'

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

The most recent paper is Trusts – vesting, ruling from the grave, splitting, cloning, umbrella & master trusts and more! by Michael Butler CTA.

Michael is a Partner at Finlaysons Lawyers, in charge of the firm's tax and revenue group. He advises domestic and foreign clients on federal, international and state tax matters, and has a special interest in mining and property taxation, corporate restructurings, cross-border investment, trusts, and estate and succession planning. He is a past chair of The Tax Institute’s South Australia State Council and is a regular contributor to Institute events.

Michael’s paper examines a number of issues relating to trusts, from a practical rather than an academic viewpoint, including:

Why trusts can’t last forever—the ‘rule against perpetuities’ (RAP). W…