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Unlocking value from private companies: Ten things you might want to know but were too afraid to ask paper


Our tax system ensures that a company is not a personal bank account or cash box to be dipped into as and when required without tax implications (whether we understand them or not). In tough economic times, the temptation is to not pay close enough attention to the tax pitfalls in accessing wealth located within a company or a corporate structure. This paper considers ten things you might want to know about liberating wealth from companies, including:

  • can a trust make distributions of income to a company without ever transferring cash or property?
  • can a company issue a dividend access share and bypass existing shareholders in distributing funds?
  • can returns of capital be taxed as dividends?
  • can private company groups ever demerge?

Author profiles

Paul Sokolowski CTA
Photo of author, Paul SOKOLOWSKI Paul Sokolowski, CTA, is a partner at Arnold Bloch Leibler, and is the national leader of the firm’s taxation practice. Paul advises clients, including high-net-worth individuals, large private groups and public entities in tax reviews, audits, disputes and litigation, and in domestic and international transactions. Paul is a regular speaker and writer for the Tax Institute, and other organisations and publications. He actively contributes to tax policy, legislative, technical and administrative development and debate. In March 2019, Paul won The Tax Institute’s 2019 Chartered Tax Advisor of the Year Award. - Current at 16 December 2020
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Shaun Cartoon FTI
Shaun advises on a broad range of taxation issues in corporate, international and employment taxation, with a focus on M&A, capital management, employee share plans and superannuation. He also has experience in tax audits and disputes and has been involved in the carriage of tax cases through the Australian courts. Shaun is a member of Allens' Accelerate, an initiative aimed at providing cost efficient tax and legal services to high growth startup companies in Australia. - Current at 24 April 2017
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This was presented at 42nd South Australian Convention: Playing to Win .

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10 rounds with the regulator

Author(s):  Ian READ

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