Highly relevant and practical – Death… & Taxes Symposium 2019

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 complexities.

A lot of people now have self-made funds particularly in businesses, a lot more structures, companies inaudible trusts, your family trusts, all these sort of arrangements, making their affairs more complicated than ever.

Moreover, he says that 49% of our population are now either first or second generation immigrants or migrants in Australia.

“So all of a sudden we have all these international elements that are out impacting people either through inheritances or offshore assets that they need to now deal with,” he says.

“And so, in a market where there's a lot more scrutiny around tax, and with all of this complexity in these areas, we are no longer just dealing with the day to day meat and butter tax returns.

“We are dealing with a lot of other tax issues that are residing within these estates.”

Ian thinks it is incumbent that tax practitioners on both legal and accounting side understand what this really means; that intergenerational wealth transfer, the “traps” that are in there.

He says he is looking forward to the combination of listening and learning from so many reputable and industry leading speakers. He is also excited for the networking and learning opportunity of being around like professionals that either practice or have an interest in this area of practice.

Never left an event thinking it was a waste of time

Ian says The Tax Institute is the pinnacle body of tax professionals in Australia.  Made up of a mix of senior lawyers and accountants advising and operating top end tax issues, he says this is the professional body that tax professional should strive to obtain membership.

“Institute events attract high-level delegates and speakers, which results in both amazing networking opportunities with senior peers, but also attending presentations by some of the countries most experienced tax advisors,” he says.

“I have never left an Institute event, thinking that was a waste of time.

“Rather, these events both challenge my thinking and expand my understanding of often complex tax issues, not to mention an appreciation of how complex this area really can be.”

Why Death…and Taxes?

Ian says delegates will leave the event with a far broader understanding of this area of practice, from both legal and accounting professionals.

“It's no longer ticking, drawing up general ledgers and producing tax returns,” he admits.

“It's becoming a lot more than that. And that's where events like this here are paramount that you understand, whether it's this, or it's other areas of tax that you understand the nuances that around you.

“But as somebody working in the zone, unquestionably, I'll take things away from this, that I'll be able to implement or change in my practice here, pretty much straight away.”

To Ian, CPD is essential. He asks, if you are not prepared to invest in yourself, why should your clients invest in you?

He says the pace of change and technological advances in the world in incrementally increasing and our industry is no exception to this.  

“To stay relevant, in my view, one needs to pay even more attention to their professional development and abreast of changes in their profession,” he says.

“When I am seeking the services or advice of another professional, I want to know that I am dealing with someone that is credible and current in their thinking and understanding.    

“In my experience, today both clients and other professional have often undertaken their homework on your business, yourself and the issues they have at hand before they even call to make an appointment.  

“Which means things can go quickly south if you’re not on top of your game.”  

Advice to new practitioners: take a leap of faith

Ian says new practitioners need to get themselves out there.

“Expose yourself to this world that's outside of the textbook sort of stuff and learn network, open your eyes,” he advises.

“I remember the first Institute event and I went to in Perth on many years ago.

“I really needed three boxes of Panadol!

“It was a real awakening to me and it really helped spearhead the direction of my career, and the focus and discipline I needed to keep moving forward.”


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