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Published on 01 Apr 2004 | Took place at Grand Hyatt, Melbourne, National

At this year's National Convention, the technical program focussed on the critical tax foundation streams which have emerged from the past few years of radical change. Key principles and trends were examined, along with the challenges they present. Moreover, local as well as offshore tax technical areas were included in the program to cover the full range of delegate practice areas.

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Individual sessions

Tax Issues in Property Development

Author(s):  Lachlan R WOLFERS Property Development has re-emerged as a significant commercial activity throughout Australia in recent years. The tax issues associated with this area are often challenging and require a good understanding of the interaction between ordinary income tax, CGT, GST and stamp duty.

Case studies in this seminar paper will deal with the following issues:
- subdividing and selling off part of a main residence (ie fulfilling the new Australian dream of converting the 1/4 acre block into quick cash)
- tax issues in demolishing a house and constructing new townhouses (becoming a one-off developer)
- speculative property development tax issues.

This is a slightly updated version of papers presented on 11 March 2004 at the 38th South Australian State Convention held at Sunset Cove and on 2 April 2004 at the 18th National Convention held in Melbourne.

This paper was also presented by Phil Renshaw and Todd Jones at the Tax Keys to Property seminar held in Perth on 24 September 2004.

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Tax Practice - The Deputy Inspector General's Perspective

Author(s):  Steve CHAPMAN In this paper, the Deputy Inspector General of Taxation provides a summary of the office's current projects and plans for 2004.

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Managing Risks in a Tax Audit - The Tax Man Cometh

Author(s):  Michael BERSTEN This paper deals with strategies for managing tax risks in a tax audit including:
- risk assessment
- relationship management with the ATO
- responsibilities of taxpayers and advisers
- resourcing and co-ordinating the taxpayer team
- resolution strategies
- managing taxpayer and adviser records and other documentation prior to, and during, the conduct of an ATO audit.

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Current Tax Foundations - Moving Targets

Author(s):  Tony STOLAREK This paper examines the fundamental areas underpinning tax advisings in 2004 including:
- the tax reform scorecard
- tax risk assessment given the 2003 ATO initiatives in corporate governance and tax compliance, ASX governance initiatives and CLERP9
- tax technical challenges for advisors in 2004
- critical issues in international tax, income tax and indirect tax.

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Stamp Duty - Cross Jurisdictional Issues

Author(s):  Harry LAKIS This paper will guide you through the 'must know' provisions of the various State Stamp Duty laws and reorganisation relief including the claw back provisions. Focus areas include:
- stamp duty - background - jurisdiction/nexus
- shares/units - nexus
- goodwill-IP - nexus and apportionment
- trading stock, plant and equipment, debtors/receivables
- corporate reorganisation relief.

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Superannuation - An Update

Author(s):  Sharyn LONG This paper gives a thorough analysis of the issues to focus on in 2004 including:
- recent and proposed legislative changes
- safety in super - licensing requirements on SMSF Trustees
- FSRA - future direction in super fund advising
- the ATO 2004 Audit Focus (auditing funds and 'auditing' auditors) and the SMSF 2004 compliance checklist.

This was also presented at the Superannuation seminar held in Perth on 27 May 2004.

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This Capitalisation/Cross Border Financing

Author(s):  Richard SHADDICK This paper covers the key tax issues for clients involved in cross border transactions, including:
- debt financing and thin capitalisation
- thresholds and debt deductions
- foreign controlled Australian entities
- Australian entities operating internationally.

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Winding up a Company

Author(s):  Allan W BLAIKIE This paper focusses on income tax and CGT issues arising from the sale of a business and subsequent liquidation of a private company.

- the tax impact on pre and post CGT assets
- dividend distribution issues and pre CGT and tax-free amounts
- franking account issues under the new rules.

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Foreign Exchange Gains and Losses

Author(s):  David ROMANS This paper covers TOFA reform and key new FOREX issues and will provide answers to the following questions:
- when does the new regime commence?
- how are foreign exchange gains and losses taxed?
- what transition is there into the new regime?
- what compliance saving choices are there?

Materials from this session:

Vesting of a Trust

Author(s):  Tony POINTON Advisers need to carefully monitor a range of issues when using trusts as a planning tool. This paper explores:
- circumstances in which a trusts vests
- fixed / discretionary trusts
- foreign trusts and S99B
- income tax, GST and stamp duty implications.

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Dissolving a Partnership

Author(s):  David W MARKS This paper focusses on current tax issues involving dissolution of a partnership.

- death of a partner / retirement of a partner / distribution of assets
- introducing a new partner / WIP
- State and Territory partnership laws
- partnership interests vs. interest in partnership assets.

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Tax Management of the Client Investment Portfolio

Author(s):  Stephen CARPENTER The important aspects of a range of current financial investments and their tax treatment are examined in this paper including:
- absolute return and hedge funds
- emerging markets funds and private equity
- hybrid securities
- exchange trade funds
- warrants.

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Pensions and Benefits - Estate Planning

Author(s):  Daniel BUTLER,  John SUDANO This paper covers the main rules affecting benefit and estate planning issues for clients, including:
- the pension benefit - complying, allocated, flexi and other pensions, including commutation
- pre planning for pensions
- recent changes to pension rules
- binding nominations and family law risks.

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Transfer Pricing: Recent Developments

Author(s):  Zara RITCHIE Transfer Pricing continues as a major ATO focus area. This paper examines:
- update on the ATO compliance program, schedule 25A, risk factors and managing your risk portfolio
- the status of Transfer Pricing Risk Reviews
- cross-border financing - low interest loans and service fees
- managing cross-border arrangements for services
- advance pricing agreements - recent trends and experiences.

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Developments in the Taxation of Trusts and Beneficiaries

Author(s):  Terry MURPHY This paper considers recent legislation, case law and ATO developments in the taxation of trusts and their beneficiaries. Focus areas include:
- structuring trust transactions with the new s109UB
- streaming of income and capital gains by discretionary trusts
- a review of the proportional approach to taxation of distributions - common traps with trustee distribution resolutions
- deductibility of interest incurred by Trusts following TR 2003/9 - in particular, pay-out of unpaid distributions
- tax preferred distributions by fixed trusts and CGT impact
- Div 152 issues impacting charities, trust deed drafting and Family Trust Elections.

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A Broader Look at Hedge Funds

Author(s):  Marco DI SEBASTIANO Client investment portfolios are now showing a great range of diversification with 'smart' investing now in vogue. This convention paper examines the taxation issues determining the tax treatment of complex products.

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Intellectual Property and Black Hole Expenditure

Author(s):  Andrew O'BRYAN Focus issues for this critical business asset will include:
- Division 40 deductions
- assessability on disposal
- exploitation and licensing
- research and development.

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Tax Strategies & Superannuation Investments

Author(s):  Stephen HEATH Issues covered in this paper include:
- employer ETPs
- SMSFs as planning vehicles - undeducted contributions, business real property and interface with small business concessions
- investment standards - unit trusts and in house assets, joint ventures and private company shares
- maximising pension rebates.

This paper was also presented at the 18th National Convention in Melbourne on 2 April 2004.

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Your Client, the Property Investor/Developer

Author(s):  Rob JEREMIAH This paper focusses on:
- selecting the appropriate holding entity
- property development business or investment holding
- the CGT concessions
- main residence exemption.

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SMEs Going Offshore - Chart Your Course

Author(s):  Ross SELLER This presentation provides a practical overview of international tax issues facing Australian-based SMEs:
- corporate residence - the current landscape
- Schedule 25As from a practical perspective
- representative office and permanent establishment issues
- funding and thin capitalisation considerations
- TOFA CIC and FIF regime issues.

The paper accompanying this presentation is available from the Gadens Lawyers website. Please click here to download it.

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