Showing posts from March, 2019

Division 7A and UPEs – The Road Ahead

The tax and regulatory environment for small and medium sized businesses continues to evolve at a rapid pace with Treasury releasing a consultation paper proposing changes to Div 7A in October 2018.  
Scheduled to commence on 1 July 2019, we spoke with Chris Wookey, CTA, about the proposed Div 7A changes.
In recent times, Chris has participated in confidential consultation sessions with representatives from Treasury, the Board of Taxation and the ATO about the upcoming changes to Div 7A as well as being a member of the Board of Taxation’s reference group for its review of small business tax concessions.
When asked what he believed the blind spots where in this area, Chris explained that ‘at a technical level, they include the interposed entity rules (s109T) as well as those involving trusts with UPEs owed directly or indirectly to corporate beneficiaries’. 
At a practical level, he believed ‘the biggest blind spot would have to be the cash flow crunch in a couple of years’ time if the ch…

How mentoring could be key to your career success

Trying to do great things is difficult. Trying to do them alone is, often, impossible. That’s why all great leaders have mentors. 
Most people who are successful end up that way because they’ve sought out mentors who share knowledge, skills and provide the networks to reach the top. In this post, we look at why finding the right mentor can be so valuable to your career progression, and provide some tips for getting the most out of a mentoring relationship. The benefits in working with a mentor Some people view a mentor as a kind of workplace guardian – someone who can not only warn you against making short-sighted moves that could damage your career and instead encourage you to do those things that may be uncomfortable at first but will reap great rewards in the future.

Experience is a valuable thing. And while there’s no substitute for earning it the hard way, there’s also no rule against leveraging the wisdom of others.

A good mentor will provide honest feedback on how you’re performing…

Labor’s tax changes - don’t jump the gun!

Written by Bob Deutsch, CTA, Senior Tax Counsel

Recently, I have heard many people advocate for either purchasing or selling property or shares based on various theories about what might happen as a result of the upcoming Federal election. I find such talk both troubling and dangerous on a number of fronts. 

In my view, doing anything as drastic as buying or selling assets based on tax and tax alone, is generally something that is ill-advised. This applies all the more so when it is about taking steps to buy and sell, merely in the context of what might happen as the result of an election.

Apart from anything else, we don’t know, and will not for some time know the detail of any of Labor’s proposed changes, even if one assumes that they win the election at the very least in the House of Representatives. Thus, even though we know that they propose to restrict the use of negative gearing to newly built residential accommodation, the exact detail of how this will operate remains unclear…

Could a mentor unlock your career’s potential?

As business professionals, contrary to popular belief, we don’t always have the answer to every possible challenge that is thrown our way in our day-to-day job. This is especially the case when we’re just starting out in our careers.

That’s why it’s important to have someone to turn to, to help us and guide us through some of our challenging days at work.

Finding that someone, a colleague or a peer whose experience and guidance you can rely on can play a significant role in your overall success, both early on in your career and even late in your professional life.

A strong and trusted mentor can be that someone to provide you a with solid baseline of career support, someone who will keep you grounded, and someone who will help you develop self-awareness and insights into your goals throughout your entire career journey.

In 2018 the Institute piloted the Young Practitioners Mentoring Program, linking younger members with experienced professionals for a nine-month, structured men…

Eddy Moussa on change and the best career advice he's received

Eddy Moussa, CTA, Tax Partner at PwC, reveals how professionals can cope with change where they have a good sense of themselves and shares two pieces of advice he has put into practice in his career.

We caught up with Eddy at the at the Women in Tax Lunch in Sydney last October. He says a new skill set is emerging in tax around being able to cope with technology and automation.

“Those sorts of things are influencing the profession,” he admits.

“So, tax practitioners need to continue to be good at understanding the law and good with the numbers in terms of accounting, et cetera.

“But also a new skill set is emerging related to new tools and technology.

“And that's something that I'm certainly seeing across the profession at the moment,” he adds.

Eddy thinks the future of tax will involve a lot more automation and early engagement with the ATO through data analytics systems. In many ways, he says this is happening right now.

He says professionals can cope with change where the…

How storytelling methods can help you excel at tax advice

BDO L&D senior manager, Colleen Mortimer, CTA, discusses how storytelling methods can help you piece together a great piece of tax advice – every time.
Tax expert Colleen Mortimer is Senior Manager - Learning & Development at BDO and a lecturer for The Tax Institute. She is also a lecturer at Curtin University in the Masters of Tax programme. She says she has been involved in teaching every structured education program the Institute has to offer.
“I run the face-to-face education program for CTA1 Foundations, which covers taxation law basics,” she says.
“I also teach a few modules in CTA2A Advanced and CTA2B Advanced, and on occasion, I'll do some work for the CTA3 Advisory subject. I'm also the subject convener for CTA2B Advanced. These are the subjects you need to complete to become a Chartered Tax Adviser.”
Colleen says she got into tax because it was the job she worked in when she finished university. When asked what her greatest achievement has been, it is inspir…

Starting a tax career in an era of automated tax compliance

Currently a Principal at Deloitte, Roisin Arkwright, CTA, reveals how she thinks a career in tax will change in the future and shares her tips for new practitioners.
Roisin started as a KPMG tax graduate in London in 1992. After passing the UK Chartered Tax Adviser examinations, and then teaching others to do the same, she moved to KPMG Australia as a manager in 2000.
“I eventually headed up the graduate tax training program there and became a Director,” she explains.

“Subsequently I moved to Deloitte in 2011 as a Principal and have worked in the tax policy group.” As a lecturer for The Tax Institute, Roisin has been on a number of education committees and also works as an examiner for the structured education program.
“I have written exams, some of the workbooks, and the subject materials. And lately, I’ve been involved in recording webinars, writing assessments and late-breaking facts for CTA3 Advisory,” she adds.
Roisin says teaching tax is about being able to explain complicated i…

Energy & Resources: 101

The Tax Institute’s Energy and Resources 101 event comes at the optimum time for tax practitioners to refresh and update their Energy and Resources knowledge and tax technical skills.

In Perth on 2 April, The Tax Institute's WA State Chair Nick Heggart, CTA (Greenwoods & Herbert Smith Freehills) and Professor Sam Spearing (Curtin University) present at the Energy & Resources 101.
They tell us a little about their sessions in this post.

A Director at Greenwoods & Herbert Smith Freehills, Nick has been affiliated with The Tax Institute for around 20 years. He originally became involved through attending seminars to upskill his presenting technique during the early stages of his career. 
At Energy and Resources 101 he presents 'Income Tax – Core Principals’. 
Nick says ‘delegates will leave my session with the relevant tools to be able to advise clients on the optimum approach in different situations. I will be presenting an overview of the income tax issues that arise…

Making sense of the menu of small business CGT concessions

The theme of The Tax Institute’s Noosa Tax Intensive in November 2018 was “Mixing it right from the start to the finish - your client’s journey to sizzling success”.

The focus of the event was on your client’s growth journey, ensuring that you have the right ingredients from the start, have the ability to capitalise on the recipe and grow it once the recipe is just right. 
In her session ‘Making sense of the menu of small business CGT concessions’ Leanne Connor, CTA (WGC Business Advisors), looked at what’s involved when a client is looking to restructure or is considering an exit through a business or share sale.

In her paper presented at the event, Leanne asked “What if you don’t have the right ingredients from the start to achieve what you set out to achieve? What if you have managed phenomenal growth and now you want to exit the business without giving away the value to the taxman?” 
Speaking to us before the Intensive, Leanne said "Revisiting the small CGT concessions avail…

Borrowing to buy shares – the hurdles that lie ahead!

Written by Bob Deutsch, CTA, Senior Tax Counsel

In light of Labor’s proposals in relation to negative gearing and imputation credits, I thought it might be useful this week to revisit a common but somewhat risky investment strategy whereby taxpayers borrow money, frequently by way of what is described as a margin loan, to buy shares.
Borrowing to buy shares in some ways is not dissimilar to the situation with borrowing to buy an investment property in as much as you can claim a deduction for the loan interest provided that it is reasonable to expect that assessable income will eventually flow from that investment. In other words, it doesn’t really matter if no dividends are received in the current year, so long as dividends can be expected to flow in future years. How distant that flow of future dividend income can be is a matter of some judgement, but provided that dividends are likely to flow at some stage in the next two to three years, there should be no problem. Beyond that, spe…

What happened in tax in February?

Written by TaxCounsel Pty Ltd

The following points highlight important federal tax developments that occurred during February 2019.

Each month, these developments are considered in more detail in the 'Taxing Issues' column of Taxation in Australia, the Institute's member journal.

CCIV draft legislation  The government has released for public consultation two Bills that would implement the tax and regulatory components of the corporate collective investment vehicle (CCIV) regime and their related explanatory materials.
Courier carrying on a business
The AAT has held that an individual who acquired a van and entered into an agreement to carry out courier services in which the van was used was carrying on an enterprise (and was not an employee) and was entitled to GST registration (Qian and FCT [2019] AATA 14).

Commissioner’s refusal to issue product ruling
The Federal Court (Robertson J) has held that the Commissioner’s decision to decline to issue a product ruling was a decis…