Showing posts from May, 2018

A radical super idea - back to the future!

The Tax Institute's Senior Tax Counsel Bob Deutsch, CTA spoke to members in our TaxVine eNewsletter last week. He had this to say:

This week I return to one of my favourite topics – superannuation. 

As many of you know by now, I am a very firm believer in superannuation and that superannuation should be used exclusively for the benefit of members in retirement. I am not enamoured by the idea of allowing access to super for residential housing purposes, or indeed for allowing gearing of superannuation funds. From where I sit, the former defeats the very purpose for which superannuation was created, namely, to keep oldies off the age pension (and thereby allow more of the Budget revenue to be used to assist younger people to get into housing). Further, in my view, gearing is positively dangerous in any market rout which can happen at any time.  

However, there is an opportunity to enable at least some small part of superannuation to be used for the benefit of the overall community thro…

83 and still new things to learn

Doctors, lawyers, teachers and other professionals never stop learning new techniques and strategies to hone their craft and remain on the cutting edge in their field – and so, too, do tax practitioners. Joseph Malouf, The Tax Institute’s most mature graduate, is proof that you are never too old to learn. 

Joseph became the oldest graduate on 24 May 2018 at age 83 when he was awarded the Graduate Diploma of Applied Tax Law through The Tax Institute.
“I’m very excited and proud to have completed the Graduate Diploma,” Joseph said. “I’ve had a very successful career in the accounting profession over many years, spanning many disciplines. All required the sound knowledge of taxation principle foundations.”
Joseph adds, “Certainly, having the qualifications and designation will support my practising career, in addition to the confidence built on the skills and knowledge I happily acquired in my studies with The Tax Institute.”
Keeping up with Australia’s evolving tax system
Joseph’s eagerness…

Transfer pricing post Chevron and PCG 2017/4

In April 2017 the Full Federal Court issued its judgment in the Chevron case. The matter was later resolved between the parties and Chevron abandoned its application for special leave to appeal to the High Court. In May 2017, the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) issued PCG 2017/D4.

At The Tax Institute’s 2018 Financial Services Taxation Conference, Julian Humphrey, CTA and Tim Keeling (both of KPMG), presented the paper Transfer pricing post Chevron.

The paper is excerpted below.


On 21 April 2017, the Full Federal Court dismissed Chevron’s appeal and upheld the amended assessments made by the ATO with respect to interest deductions claimed by Chevron Australia Holdings Pty Ltd (CAHPL) on an intra-group loan. In this regard, all three judges found for the Commissioner, dismissing Chevron’s appeal.1

The decision represents a significant win to the ATO with respect to transfer pricing and in particular, transfer pricing as it pertains to cross-border related party loans.


Valuations: Getting value from the valuers - The 18th Annual States' Taxation Conference

The recent decisions in AP Energy, Placer Dome and RCF IV have cast a fresh light on the care that needs to be taken when issuing instructions for expert evidence. These cases focused on valuation issues for mining projects but there are implications for other items of dutiable property, and across all state taxes.

At July’s 18th Annual States' Taxation Conference in Melbourne, John Middleton, CTA (Clayton Utz) presents the session ‘Recent decisions on valuations and briefing experts’. We spoke to him about the potential impact of these recent decisions and what else he’ll be covering at the event.

John said “My session is going to look at the duty implications of some recent cases that touch on valuations and goodwill for mining companies. I've really enjoyed digging around in the old goodwill cases with animal metaphors like Krakos. I'll also be covering off on some tricky issues with briefing valuers and experts - how you can get the best out of the evidence they give. …

Dealing with public money and the scope of the Commissioner's powers - The 18th Annual States' Taxation Conference

The framework which underpins the Commissioner’s powers has both legislative and common law aspects. In the past, there has been debate as to whether these powers are wide or more narrow in scope.

For those in revenue practice, dealing with public money, there are wide-ranging and important implications they may not have considered before entering a dispute.

At the 18th Annual States' Taxation Conference, taking place in July, David Marks, QC, CTA (Queensland Bar) presents the session ‘Not my money to give away’, where he will discuss the scope of the Commissioner’s powers, looking at the nature of a state taxes dispute, and present a “plain theory” about dealing with what is a difficult area.

We spoke to David about some of the challenges.

“This is a particularly difficult area. There are subtleties, and the caselaw is full of obscure distinctions. My aim is to lay out a workable, plain theory” he said.

David’s session looks at the scope of the Commissioner’s powers, including c…

Tony Slater, QC, on the future of tax

The future of tax – how different is the answer now to what it might have been 30, 20 or 10 years ago?

There is no question that most industries, in particular the accounting industry, is going through monumental change. From tax laws to technology, this rapid change has shifted focus for senior management on how tax will be managed in their businesses in the future.

At The Tax Institute’s 33rd National Convention, Tony Slater, QC, reflects on over 40 years’ experience on the key differences in the tax industry today compared to 10, 20 or 30 years ago and detailed three approaches that tax practitioners can take to benefit in the future.

“The things which have changed or not changed over the past 40 years can be summarised as being compliance activities, complexity and cooperation. Compliance is less and less a part of tax practice, as electronic systems enable taxpayers to file their returns directly and the tax office to pre-fill their returns. Filing returns and having them assesse…

‘Dealing with the business of estates, dealing ethically - the 2018 Death... and Taxes Symposium

It is well documented that Australia is facing a period of monumental inter-generational wealth transfer.

With an ageing population and increasing wealth held personally and via superannuation funds and trusts, the practical matters in the event of incapacity or death have increasing importance.

As a trusted adviser to their ageing clients, tax advisers are well positioned to help clients and their families deal with the administration burden caused by incapacity and death. In fact, clients increasingly expect their advisers to have the skills to assist.

Here we speak to three presenters from July’s Death... and Taxes Symposium, taking place on the Gold Coast, about some of the issues facing advisers.

In what will be an eye-opening start to the Symposium, David W Marks QC, CTA (Queensland Bar) will deliver the keynote address, ‘Practical legal ethics for the adviser.’

When advisers take on roles such as executor they can face issues of conflict and potential liabilities. In his keyn…

Funds Management - recent issues

The global funds management industry is experiencing a period of significant transformation. The industry in Australia is no exception.

The Tax Institute’s Funds Management seminar in April 2018 explored the key tax changes.

Led by a panel of expert presenters in the field of taxation of funds and asset management, the sessions in the seminar were constructed to provide an overview of the tax changes and an opportunity to discuss the practical application of the key reforms.

The papers from the event are now available on our website for individual purchase, or included free to access with a subscription to the Tax Knowledge eXchange. We highlight a selection of them in this post.

Asset management developments in tax: What’s new in the last year

Written by Jennifer Kwok, Director, Ernst & Young and Susan Spencer, Senior Manager, Ernst & Young, this paper provides a broad overview of the current state of tax developments in the asset management industry in Australia.

The pape…

SMSFs and the state of play post-2017's reforms

Last year saw the biggest changes to the taxation of superannuation in almost a decade.

With subsequent legislative developments and ATO pronouncements, transition to retirement income streams, broader succession planning issues and issues with the transitional CGT relief have become key areas of focus.

Here, Peter Slegers, CTA and Nicole Santinon, authors of the SMSF Income Stream Guide, and Joshua Pascale and Daniel Marateo, who joined them in producing the new second edition of the Guide, tell us about these issues facing advisers.

It is now almost a year since the Fair and Sustainable Superannuation reforms came into effect. Can you summarise the feeling amongst advisers?  

The transfer balance cap and associated reforms have certainly changed the landscape for SMSF professionals. Not only have the reforms placed considerable limits on the scale of the tax advantages associated with income streams, but it is now more difficult than ever for members to maximise the value in their…

Non-Resident Trust Beneficiaries - the WA Trusts Half Day

Trusts increasing present complex and varied issues for practitioners. In practice, these issues require an application of tax law and trust law, as well as an understanding of ATO views and judicial interpretations.
At the WA Trusts Half Day in May, Antony Barrier, FTI, looks at issues around residency in his session ‘Non-Resident Trust Beneficiaries’, which we look at in more detail here.

Antony told us “Issues involving non-resident beneficiaries may not arise every day, but they certainly come up from time to time. It’s not likely to lessen in frequency or importance, either.”

The challenges involved in advising non-residents of their Australian tax obligations are magnified when the entitlement derives from the non-resident’s interest as beneficiary of a resident trust.
“My session will be a refresher for some, and likely broaden the knowledge of others, depending on their experience. It will be relevant to anyone who has a client with a family trust or who is involved in any ot…

Harnessing the revolution: how your business can benefit from disruption

Disruptive innovation is attracting a great deal of attention across industries and around the world, creating entirely new markets and fundamentally changing the way the world works. It’s no wonder that tax departments find themselves in the path of disruption as well.

At The Tax Institute’s 33rd National Convention, Dr Baden U’Ren, Assistant Professor of Entrepreneurship at Bond Business School, discussed how professionals can take advantage of disruption and “catch up with the wave.”

Here we cover his three strategies to help business benefit from the opportunities available and gain a framework to guide strategic decision-making so that you minimise risk.

When Baden talks about harnessing the revolution, what he refers to is the senior or ownership levels of an organisation being on the front foot with respect to the mindset they bring to the challenge of disruption to business models.

He says, “There are trends and technological revolutions that are occurring – decision makers n…

Keeping on top of the ever-raising tax law ‘bar’

Tax law is a field with constantly changing laws, rules and regulations. Ongoing education is not just nice to have, it is essential. Here we talk to two high-achievers who topped their respective years in the exam to become a Chartered Tax Adviser (CTA). They discuss their experience and achievements and explain why The Tax Institute’s education program is so important in their line of work.

Sarah Nicol is a senior consultant and CTA in corporate tax at KPMG in Brisbane and also holds a practicing certificate. Nathan Yii is principal lawyer, SMSF Specialist AdvisorTM and CTA at Nathan Yii Lawyers in Melbourne. Sarah was dux study period 3 in 2016 and Nathan dux study period 2 in 2017 when they completed the CTA3 Advisory exam and achieved the CTA post-nominals.

Nathan Yii began his legal career as a trainee and junior solicitor in the areas of estate planning, structuring and superannuation. “Ever since uni days, I have always been interested in tax and this was what the law firm I …

What happened in tax?

Written by TaxCounsel Pty Ltd

The following points highlight important federal tax developments that occurred during April 2018.
Each month, a selection of these developments are considered in more detail in the Taxing Issues column of Taxation in Australia, the Institute's member journal.

Amending legislation: small business CGT concessions etc On 28 March 2018, the Assistant Minister to the Treasurer introduced an amending Bill into parliament that contains amendments that will give effect to CGT and several other previously announced amendments.
Amending legislation: super guarantee Also on 28 March 2018, the Minister for Revenue and Financial Services introduced an amending Bill into parliament to implement several recommendations contained in the Superannuation Guarantee Cross-Agency Working Group’s report to strengthen compliance with taxation and superannuation guarantee obligations.
Multilateral Convention legislation The Treasury Laws Amendment (OECD Multilateral Instrumen…