Showing posts from May, 2019

Tax in the wake of the Election

Written by Stephanie Caredes, CTA

Expect the unexpected. Were any of us ‘expecting the unexpected’ – the stunning Coalition victory – in last Saturday’s Federal Election?

Many members that we hear from were not. 

All our National Technical Committee members were gearing up for how to respond to the policies in the Labor tax platform that affected their areas of expertise and of course the one that affects many members, the proposed $3,000 cap on the deduction for the costs of managing tax affairs.

In the wake of the Federal Election, the only tax policies that we need to worry about right now are the Coalition’s policies contained in the April Federal Budget. 

If you are wondering what they were, and there weren’t that many, here’s a quick reminder of the highlights:
personal marginal tax rate changes including increasing the LMITO to $255 pa (base amount) and $1,080 pa (maximum amount) from 2019 to 2022 income years and flattening the marginal tax rate scale by the 2025 income year (i.e. t…

Tax Partner: CTA designation is a “stamp of approval”

Antoinette Elias, CTA, who heads up the Oceania Wealth & Asset Management Sector at EY, explains what the Chartered Tax Adviser designation means to her. Antoinette Elias is Oceania Wealth & Asset Management Sector Leader at EY and has been a tax professional for over 34 years. She was also a 2017 finalist in the Chartered Tax Adviser of the Year Award.
“What I enjoy most about tax is the fact that it always changes,” she says.
“It's challenging. I love working with clients and helping to find solutions to their problems. “I also love being involved in tax policy, that forward-looking pace where you could actually make a difference in terms of how the law should operate and what the future role is for tax.”
Antoinette says tax is going to be more front and centre than ever before as it is now a topic that the public talk about.
“That's quite different to even as early as five years ago,” she says.
How membership has supported her career
“The Tax Institute has helpe…

Trusts: Estate Planning and Issues with the Recently Deceased

Like most Western countries, Australia has an ageing population, increased wealth in succession, more contested estates, and an abundance of issues to deal with in conjunction with legal, accounting, financial and other advisers, and trustees, executors and administrators, who may be involved in a client’s affairs.
Queensland’s Death… and Taxes Symposium is returning for its third year on the Gold Coast, and we spoke with presenters Matthew Burgess, CTA (View Legal) and Tara Lucke (Nexus Law Group) who in 2014, co-founded View Legal, Australia’s first virtual law firm about their sessions.

At the symposium, along with Peter Godber, CTA (Grant Thornton) who will act as facilitator, Matthew will present on ‘How do you manage companies and trusts that were controlled by the now deceased?’, along with Todd Want, CTA (William Buck).
The session will cover the problems faced by legal personal representatives and executors when dealing with an entity that is controlled by a deceased person, as…

Fraud and Evasion

The policy of the law is that taxpayers with simple tax affairs should be able to treat their tax affairs as closed after two years, and four years otherwise.

Outside those limitation periods, the Commissioner may only amend an assessment if he has formed
the opinion that there was “fraud or evasion”.

That is a simplistic and idealistic view, according to David Marks, QC, CTA, who presented the paper 'Fraud and Evasion' at our 34th National Convention in Hobart in March.

David's paper points out that there are numerous examples of extended and unlimited amendment periods related to the operation of particular provisions.

His paper is excerpted in this post.

Sometimes those particular exceptions to the above rule about limited time for amendment reflect the particular problems raised by special provisions, which are put to one side in this paper.

Fraud or evasion in terms of section 170 Income Tax Assessment Act 1936 opens the door to an unlimited time for amendment, reg…

Tackling financial crime and protecting tax revenues through global collaboration

Financial crime, including tax evasion, has long been a problem faced by governments and regulators around the world.

Rapid developments in electronic trading and the globalisation of business generally have inevitably brought with them increased opportunities for criminal financial activity.

In an article in the February 2018 issue of The Tax Specialist, Allastair McGillivray, CTA, (Director, Australia Tax, Royal Bank of Canada) looks at the issues and calls for governments worldwide to collaborate, along with regulatory bodies and police forces.
His article, excerpted  this post, looks at the development of financial crime and draws on examples including the Panama Papers of 2015 and the Paradise Papers of 2017, to show how active collaboration on a worldwide scale is helping to bring financial criminals to justice and protect global tax revenues.


The very jurisdictional nature of taxation sits somewhat uneasily alongside the increasingly global nature of both busines…

Implications from the High Court decision in Placer Dome

In December 2018, the High Court handed down the much-anticipated stamp duty decision in Placer Dome.

In the cover article in Taxation in Australia's May issue, Johanne Thomas, CTA, considers the broader implications of the decision relating to the identification of goodwill and the valuation of land and other assets, particularly in the mining context. 
These issues may also be relevant in a range of contexts other than stamp duty, including tax consolidation, thin capitalisation and capital gains tax.
The decision handed down by the High Court of Australia in Commissioner of State Revenue v Placer Dome Inc on 5 December 2018, found unanimously for the Commissioner. 
This decision marks the end of a long road for the parties, and was handed down almost 13 years after the transaction which triggered the dispute.

The decision concerned the assessment of stamp duty arising from the acquisition by the respondent (now an amalgamated entity named Barrick Gold Corporation) of a control…

The election and its impact on tax policy

Written by Spyro Papageorgiou, Senior Tax Counsel

The election and its impact on tax policy is at the forefront of my mind at the moment.  However, before I discuss election issues, I want to discuss another issue that continues to be a topic of conversation…

Privilege and ATO concessions

The issue of legal professional privilege (LPP) has and will continue to have tax professional advisers and in-house teams working hard on how best to manage the ‘natural tension’ that arises. My guess is that LPP will be a focus for some time to come with the ATO appearing to be demanding more information in their quest for the ‘smoking gun’. This is opposed to taxpayers resisting the release of contentious documents. The Commissioner of Taxation in his presentation at the Tax Institute’s National Convention in Hobart this year was more than clear. The Commissioner clearly warned  tax professionals that the ATO will be cracking down on the misuse of claims for LPP. The ATO’s intention and resolve to pu…

Simplifying the FBT Minor Benefits Exemption

Written by Bruce Quigley, CTA, Senior Tax Counsel

The various Tax Institute technical committees attempt to take a proactive approach in recommending improvements to the tax and superannuation systems. An example is a recent submission to the ATO prepared by members of the FBT and Employment Taxes Committee and members of the Tax Policy and Advocacy team recommending a simplified and pragmatic approach to the administration of the FBT Minor Benefits Exemption rules.

Section 58P of the Fringe Benefits Tax Assessment Act 1986 (FBTAA) provides an exemption for minor benefits where the notional taxable value of the benefit is less than $300 and it is unreasonable to treat the benefit as a taxable fringe benefit having regard to a number of additional factors. These factors include the infrequency and irregularity with which similar or identical benefits are provided, the total value of the benefit and any associated taxable benefits, and the practical difficulty in determining that total va…

Insolvency & debt resolution: Dealing with clients in difficulty

Your role as a trusted advisor assumes critical importance when your client is facing difficult times.

Being able to assess the health of your client’s business and identify warning signs of financial difficulty, along with the quality of the advice given when your client needs it most is what separates the “good” from the “great”.

In this post we speak to some of the presenters at the upcoming WA Insolvency & Debt Resolution Half Day about their sessions and some of the practical tools required to tackle tax insolvency and debt resolution.

Carl Huxtable (Hall Chadwick) opens the event with an introductory session on business health to set the scene for the program.

Carl says his session will leave delegates equipped with an understanding of warning signs to be aware of to assist their clients in identify potential financial difficulty and consider, at an early stage, the best intervention.

“Too often help is sought too late with the result usually terminal” he told us.

Signs of b…

Double Tax Treaties, Residency, Financing and more – a look at the Corporate Stream at Queensland Tax Forum

The Queensland Tax Forum is just around the corner. 
We take a look at some key sessions in the Forum's Corporate Stream and get to know presenters Rhiain Garrihy, CTA, Julian Lian and Paul Mills.

Meet Rhiain Garrihy, CTA 

Rhiain has been a member of The Tax Institute for approximately 6 years and will be presenting on the changing nature of double tax treaties at the Queensland Tax Forum.

“I am the Executive Manager – Income Tax at Suncorp,” she says.

“I have a Big 4 background and have previously been a Senior Manager at both EY and KPMG.

“From my session, attendees can gain an understanding of recent interpretations of international tax principles and tax treaty changes.”

Double tax treaties are key to understanding the tax consequences of international transactions.

They have been used to determine withholding tax obligations, withholding tax rates, and whether a permanent establishment exists.

The session will consider recent case law developments and the interaction bet…

Dux says Chartered Tax Adviser Program enhanced her practise

Chartered Tax Adviser (CTA) graduate, Claire Thornett, CTA, on how the program made her an even better tax practitioner.
Claire Thornett, CTA, is a Specialist Tax Advisor at WLF Accounting Advisory.
“I've been working in specialist tax advisory for 5 years now at WLF Accounting & Advisory,” she says.
“I started in the tax division.”
Although she was named Duce for CTA3 Advisory, the final subject before CTA status, she says she completed a Master of Professional Accounting, as well as an undergraduate degree in arts, with Honours in English. An all-rounder, Claire says these qualifications worked very well for her role because she writes a lot of client advice.
“One of the good things about working in this division is that I can get really technical, and get into the legislation,” she explains.
“Which I really enjoy.”
Best things about CTA3 Advisory
“The most valuable part of the CTA program for me has been the way it's structured,” Claire says.
“You’re given a topic, a…