Showing posts from July, 2019

6 ways to manage changes in tax

Technological advancement, changes in compliance rules; change is here to stay in tax. Verina Morwood, Manager at Deloitte, on how to stay grounded when managing the ever-changing tax landscape. Verina is currently in her last year of a Master of Laws (Tax) at the University of Sydney.
Studying a Master’s degree allows her to deepen her understanding of tax concepts she is already using at work.
She says, “the technical development has been fantastic, and the best bit is that I then get to apply the content on a day-to-day basis at work.”
Along with managing a full-time job and postgraduate study, Verina also manages to remain an invaluable advisor for her clients in a climate where change has become the new constant. 
Any tax professional knows that change is here to stay, whether it be from automation, compliance changes or tax reform. 
Here are Verina’s six top tips to managing the stormy seas of change:
1. Remember the tax basics – don’t forget how important core skills still are.…

Why you need tax expertise and professional or ‘soft’ skills

Suzie Boulous CTA on the importance of tax education and professional skills.Brown Wright Stein announced the promotion of two female Senior Associates to Partnership in June.
One of the Partners, Suzie Boulous, CTA, works in the area of estate planning, business succession, asset protection and restructuring.

“I love working in tax because I believe tax knowledge is fundamental to providing holistic service to clients,” she says.
“I was fortunate to have recognised fairly early in my career that tax issues intersect across all facets of the law.

“As such, I took steps to educate myself in tax as well as became involved in working in tax.”

Suzie says being promoted to Partner represents a culmination of years of hard work and dedication to her network of clients.

“As a female lawyer working in tax and estate planning, it also represents an opportunity to be a leader in my field with the hope that I can act as a role model for younger practitioners who wish to progress in their career,” sh…

Tax Partner on how to beat disruption in tax

Partner at Arnold Bloch Liebler, Clint Harding, CTA, shares his tips on how to manage disruption and automation in tax.

Clint practises at Arnold Bloch Leibler’s taxation department with a focus on corporate and international tax, financial instruments and transactions, and tax audits and disputes with the ATO.

He was also named the Corporate Tax Adviser of the Year at the 2018 Tax Adviser of the Year Awards.

We caught up with him at the 34th National Convention in Hobart.

“I'm a year older, a year wiser, a year less hair than I had last year,” he laughs.

“But I think the most meaningful thing that's come out of winning the award for me is really the people I meet along the journey, the other finalists, and the other smart, clever people who were involved in the process.

“It’s also been so rewarding to continue building those networks as well as the opportunities that came through the awards process.”

Future of tax and education

Clint says disruption and change in tax …

Superannuation and estate planning

Superannuation and its link with estate planning has taken a big step forward. This is a result of both 2017's superannuation reforms and the increase in the number of cases being contested before the courts and tribunals.

In his article in The Tax Specialist, Graeme Colley looks at the superannuation side of estate planning, and discusses who is eligible to receive death benefit payments and the issues with a member's transfer balance cap.

His article is excerpted in this post.

Superannuation provides a useful vehicle as part of the management of a client's estate planing.

It is however not exhaustive due to the limits imposed by the introduction of the transfer balance cap and the value of death benefits that can be retained in superannuation.

It is essential that an adviser understands how death benefits can be retained in superannuation and who is eligible to receive lump sums and pensions.

The validity of death benefit nominations, provisions of the fund's tr…

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Indirect tax issues for inbound investors

All prospective and existing inbound investors should have indirect tax front of mind.

These taxes present a range of traps for inbound investors across Australia.

At the Queensland Tax Forum in May 2019, Melanie Shaw and Katrina Parkyn, ATI, presented the session 'Indirect tax issues for inbound investors'.

Covering the key differences between duty on direct and indirect acquisitions, foreign purchaser surcharge duty and land tax, their session also looked at some stamp duty traps on common commercial transactions, and provided some lessons from the frontline, including the latest trends in dealing with revenue offices.

The paper they presented addressed the key differences affecting inbound investors between duty on direct acquisitions, and duty on indirect acquisitions, including foreign purchaser surcharge duty and land tax.

Professional Development:International Tax Series - Join us for a look at this increasingly important for advisers. 2 August - 4 September 2019 in a l…

ATO Deputy Commissioner, Deborah Jenkins on GST

GST seems like a simple enough tax, but it can get tricky.

ATO Deputy Commissioner, Deborah Jenkins, will provide an update on key GST issues, how the GST fits into the whole of the system, and the future, in her closing keynote address at this year’s National GST Intensive in Melbourne.

We spoke to her for this post

“I’ll be discussing some of the key issues we are seeing with GST right now, but I’ll also be discussing how the ATO can work with the profession to design system solutions fit for the future, like how we can make the most of digital to simplify how people meet their obligations” she said.

“I am going to cover some of the current key issues in GST, and how it fits into the whole of the tax and super system, as well as what we should be considering for the future. You might say I’m a bit of a GST nerd!”

Asked about some of the blind spots in this space, Deborah told us “The profession tends to be heavily focused on complex technical issues but the vast majority of taxpayers …

Current developments in the charities and not-for-profits sector

Written by Bridgid Cowling

Bridgid Cowling is a Senior Associate at Arnold Bloch Leibler in the firm’s public interest law and native title groups. 

She advises a broad range of clients with a focus on charities and not-for-profit organisations, Aboriginal Land Councils and Native Title Representative Bodies 

She is also the Chair of The Tax Institute’s National Not-For-Profit Technical Committee. 

Players in the charities and not-for-profits sector have been kept on their collective toes over the past six to 12 months. 

The review of the Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Act 2013 (Cth), the introduction of modern slavery legislation, expansion of the whistleblower protections in the Corporations Act 2001 (Cth), the suite of foreign influence legislation including amendment to the Electoral Funding Act 1918 (Cth) and the ongoing review of the deductible gift recipient framework, have kept us all busy. 

Having incorporated these changes into our organisations and our practice there is…

State Taxes: Stamp Duties and Property

Not for some time has South Australia seen such a dynamic taxation climate.

The re-write of the Stamp Duties Act 1923 is formally underway and a draft Bill is imminent.

The proposed amendments to land tax aggregation currently being put together by Treasury are likely to be game changing for large landholding groups.

Restructuring for clients may not only be desirable but a necessity for survival.

At the upcoming 2019 SA Property Day, Lee Jurga, formerly of RevenueSA, will look at the fresh challenges your clients may face as a result.

We spoke to him for this post.

“As part of the Organising Committee for this year’s Property Day it was an easy choice to present the State Taxes Update - I only recently departed RevenueSA after eight years!

It’s both the perfect time and a horrible time to present on the topic given the dynamic environment of state taxes.

Whilst the content can be fresh and dare I say exciting, it is all conceptual at this point given the little information …

How to make your voice count in the profession

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, CTA.

A Barrister at the Victorian Bar since 2003, Simon has been heavily involved with The Tax Institute for several years.

A member of the Victorian State Council, the Victorian Professional Development Committee, and various event sub-committees, he has been chair of the Victorian State Taxes Committee since 2016.

“This 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 …

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

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

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

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…

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CTA dux graduate: “hard work pays off”

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…