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Showing posts from July, 2019

The Tax Institute: More than just CPD Events…

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You may only know The Tax Institute for our great CPD events, but we do much more! As the leading forum for the tax community in Australia, The Tax Institute is a critical voice in tax policy and advocacy matters and has sought after views.

Following the most recent submission by The Tax Institute’s Victorian State Taxes Committee to The Hon. Tim Pallas MP, Treasurer of Victoria on the State Taxation Acts Amendment Bill 2019 (now law) (see link below), we spoke with committee chair, Simon Tisher.

A Barrister at the Victorian Bar since 2003, Simon has been heavily involved with The Tax Institute for several years. He is a member of the Victorian State Council, Victorian Professional Development Committee, various event sub-committees and has been Chair of the Victorian State Taxes Committee since 2016.

“The submission related to concerns The Tax Institute State Taxes Committee had about the new economic entitlement provisions in the State Taxation Acts Amendment Bill 2019 (now law).”…

Determining a base rate entity’s corporate tax rate and franking rate

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The last two years of corporate tax cuts produced multiple legislative amendments.

The previously mundane process of determining a company’s tax rate and its franking rate is now more complicated, and there are a number of anomalous outcomes.

Many advisers are asking themselves if they really understand how to work out whether a company is a base rate entity.

At the 2019 Private Business Tax Retreat in September, Robyn Jacobson, CTA will be presenting the session ‘Determining a base rate entity’s corporate tax rate and franking rate’, where she will dig into the issues facing advisers.

We spoke to her for this post.

“Recent policy changes, ATO draft rulings and legislative changes have resulted in significant complexity and confusion. In my session, I’ll try to help delegates better understand the enacted and proposed measures that determine a company's tax rate and franking rate” she said.

“I will walk delegates through the new measures and provide practical information on how to…

Current employment tax challenges

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Written by Paul Ellis

Paul Ellis is an Employment Taxes partner with EY’s People Advisory Services practice. He chairs The Tax Institute’s National FBT and Employment Taxes Technical Committee.

Current employment tax challenges

Taking a proactive approach in identifying key trends and issues and recommending improvements to the employment tax and superannuation systems is an important focus of the Institute’s National FBT and Employment Taxes Technical Committee.

Employment taxes present a uniquely interlocking web of State and Federal obligations, which continue to present increasing challenges. At the same time, it is becoming increasingly more difficult to resolve complex issues, whether with the tax authorities or through legislative change, where required. In addition to these challenges, we are also simultaneously on the cusp of a growing digital tax administration era, which is already shaping future employment tax compliance strategies.

Resolving complex matters

Certainty of treatme…

Tips, Traps and Strategies for Pension Commencement

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The transfer balance cap is now enshrined in our businesses. It requires substantial consideration for our clients as part of their retirement planning, estate planning and meeting their living needs.

Once a pension is commenced, it doesn’t mean there are no further matters to resolve with respect to such a pension.

At this year’s National Superannuation Conference, Jemma Sanderson, CTA, presents ‘Tips, Traps and Strategies for Pension Commencement’. We spoke to her about what’s happening in this space.

Jemma told us “With the biggest changes to super enshrined with us for a few years now, it is important that we don’t rest on our laurels in terms of the ongoing strategic considerations for our clients.”

“A lot of planning was undertaken for those in pension phase at 30 June 2017, and while my session at this year’s Conference will provide guidance regarding those pensions, advisers need to be aware that there is still a lot to consider for their clients who are retiring now or i…

New Fin Year, New Business Finances

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There are many common mistakes new business owners tend to make with their finance. How many times has a new business owner begged and borrowed as much capital as possible to start and progress t…

CTA dux graduate: “hard work pays off”

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Rachel Vijayaraj, CTA, weighs in on the Chartered Tax Adviser (CTA) Program and how it’s supported her career.

Rachel is a Senior Associate at Brown Wright Stein Lawyers. She was also awarded Dux in CTA3 Advisory, the final subject in the CTA Program before becoming eligible for the CTA designation.

“I've been practising as a lawyer for the last 10 years,” she says.

“In the early part of my career, I practised in tax disputes (and that still forms a part of my practice) although my interests have led me to specialise in trusts, estates, and not-for-profits with a focus on tax.”

Rachel says the most valuable aspect of the CTA Program was the collaborative approach in learning with peers, and particularly in consolidating her tax knowledge in areas that she might not practice regularly.

“One of the key areas of new confidence for me was studying the elective corporate tax,” she says.

“I've practised in the SME and private client space, and I don't have much exposure…

4 ways to balance work and study

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Working full-time while studying has real benefits. In addition to having a steady income, you can apply your study directly to your role as you learn new practices, strengthening the link between theory and practice within your career. However, combining study with full-time work also has its challenges. It’s no easy task. Juggling your work commitments and deadlines, with assignments, exams and lectures can lead to stress, anxiety and loss of control. If you’re not managing your time well, things can easily get out of hand.

It is important to find the right balance to avoid the pitfalls and make sure you remain successful in both.

Here are some simple tips on how to do that.

1. Focus on key dates and plan forward

Being organised and managing your time effectively will ensure you fit all your commitments in. Make a plan that includes all your key work and study deadlines. When you can see that things will overlap, plan to get ahead. This means when your deadlines are looming, you are …

Better Managing GST – New Developments

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Tax functions are faced with the growing challenges of staying abreast of changes to the GST legislation, ATO interpretation and case law, and how these changes impact on their rapidly evolving business models.

They are also expected to better manage the costs associated with GST compliance, and demonstrate strong controls over the GST compliance process.

 Adding to these challenges, many taxpayers are now having to respond to the ATO’s recently commenced GST Streamlined Assurance Review (“SAR”) program, covering the top 1,000 public and multinational groups.

In the paper 'Better Managing GST – New Developments', Andrew Cavenor, and Ravnit Narayan, (both EY) presented at the NSW Annual Tax Forum in May 2019, Andrew and Ravnit summarised the key changes of the last twelve months to the GST law, ATO interpretations, and case law.

It also considers how taxpayers can prepare for an ATO GST SAR, and concludes with comments on how digital developments are helping tax functions bet…

Privilege or concession: the modern tax adviser’s challenge

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A litany of professional advisers and groups are capable of providing Australian taxpayers with tax advice.

Broadly, these advisers operate within either the accounting or legal profession and offer similar, if not identical, services. Where tax advice is sought from a legal adviser, legal professional privilege (LPP) has been held to protect confidential communications between the lawyer and their client.

In contrast, tax advice acquired from an adviser who is not a lawyer does not receive the equivalent statutory or common law protection. In some circumstances, however, the Commissioner of Taxation allows tax advice provided by a professional non-lawyer to remain confidential through a non-binding, discretionary administrative privilege known as the “accountants’ concession”.

In the cover article of July's issue of Taxation in Australia, Donovan Castelyn, Annette Morgan, and Dale Pinto, CTA (Life), argue for the abrogation of the distinction between the accountants’ concession …

What's happening in tax?

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Written by TaxCounsel Pty Ltd

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

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

Penalty interest
The Commissioner has released a final ruling which considers the deductibility of penalty interest and the treatment of penalty interest for CGT and depreciation purposes (TR 2019/2).

Business continuity: similar business
The Commissioner has issued a final law companion ruling that provides guidance on what the carrying on a similar business means in the context of the recently enacted business continuity test provisions (LCR 2019/1).

GST property decision tool
The Commissioner has released a GST property decision tool which is designed to assist users to determine the GST implications for property-related transactions.

TPB decision: stay refused 
The AAT has refused an application for a stay…

International Taxes - Australia is the New Black!

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Australia’s increasingly globalised workforce sees individual taxpayer’s arrangements becoming more and more complicated. It has never been more important for advisors to be across changes to international tax law.
We spoke with Neil Brydges, CTA, Sladen Legal and Daniel Diaz, FTI, Victorian Bar, ahead of their presentations at the Victorian International Tax Day on Thursday 8 August 2019.
About Neil
Initially joining The Tax Institute in 2007 whilst undertaking a Foundation course, Neil went on to become a Chartered Tax Advisor in 2012. Neil is now a Principal Lawyer in Sladen Legal’s tax group, with a focus on advice and disputes. Neil practises in all areas of direct and indirect tax, primarily on the taxation of trusts, corporate tax, mergers and acquisitions, international tax, and Division 7A. His client mix includes family groups as well as business enterprises.
Following the Board of Taxation’s review on rules for tax residence of individuals, in September 2018, Neil’s presentati…

Highly relevant and practical – Death… & Taxes Symposium 2019

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Director at BNR Partners, Ian Raspin, CTA, discusses what he is looking forward to at the event and why CPD events like this are crucial for tax professionals.
Ian is a Certified Practising Accountant and a Director of BNR Partners where he heads the firm’s Estates and Trusts Division. He will also be speaking at this year’s Death… & Taxes Symposium.
“The speakers at this year’s event, are unquestionable some of the most respected and experienced people in the country on succession law and tax issues,” he says.
“We have an aging population and are witnessing the start of the largest intergenerational wealth transfer in history.
“Both estate and estate tax law are not straight forward, and practitioners really need to be alert to the issues and risks in this area, to be able to attend to their clients’ needs and manage the risks of this area,” he explains.
Ian says that by 2050, nearly 25% of our population will be over the age of 65. This is a growing market with increased complexit…

The State Taxation Minefield – Avoiding the Explosion

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With The State Taxation Acts Amendment Bill 2019 coming into play on 1 July 2019, we spoke with State Taxes expert Simon Tisher, CTA, Victorian Bar, ahead of his Melbourne and Geelong July Breakfast Club presentations on The State Taxation Minefield – Avoiding the Explosion.
There are few people more qualified to speak on the topic, than Simon Tisher, CTA, Victorian Bar.
A Barrister at the Victorian Bar since 2003, Simon practices predominantly in state and federal taxation, and other areas related to taxation including superannuation, insolvency and professional indemnity claims (commonly involving tax advice).He appears for and against the ATO, led and unled by Senior Counsel and has been the Chair of the Tax Institute’s State Taxes Committee since 2016.

In Simon’s timely session, following the passing of The State Taxation Acts Amendment Bill 2019 in June 2019, he will discuss the impact of the Act passed in June 2019.
He says “This Act rewrites the economic entitlement provisions and…

New Financial Year Resolutions

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Written by Stephanie Caredes, CTA

Welcome to the new Financial Year!

We hope members have been enjoying the preambles that have been prepared by our National Technical Committee Chairs so far. This is an opportunity for members to see what our National Technical Committees work on on behalf of the broader membership. More preambles from our Chairs are to come in the following weeks. 
A new year is always a great time to reflect on what one might want to achieve in the upcoming year – set goals, tick things off the bucket list, that kind of thing. A new financial year should be no exception. 
30 June however is traditionally a frantic time for most members. It bodes the start of the next Tax Time, Tax Time 2019 in this case, clients always want to wrap up transactions that have been hanging around for a while (or they just need to get them done because it is the end of the financial year!), a few ‘EOFY’ parties happen, not leaving much time to plan for 1 July. 
The back-to-back frenzy of ev…

Decision-making in GST and big data: 2019 National GST Intensive

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Get to know speakers Robert Olding, CTA and Lachlan Wolfers, CTA. 
Widely recognised as one of Australia’s top GST experts, Robert Olding, CTA has 30 years tax technical and administrative experience in the private and public sectors.

“My professional life is currently spread over several different activities,” he says.

“Sitting on administrative review hearings at the Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal; providing advice, training and legislative drafting services in various countries as an IMF (International Monetary Fund) fiscal law expert.

“Advising the Queensland Office of State Revenue and chairing the OSR’s Taxation Rulings Advisory Panel; providing advice and representation to a small number of clients on indirect tax matters; and more recently as a part-time senior member of the Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT).”

At the 2019 National GST Intensive, Robert will be presenting about decision-making in GST.

“I am intending to traverse statutory interpretation;…