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2008 Financial Services Conference

Published on 07 Feb 2008 | Took place at Surfers Paradise Marriott Resort and Spa, National

These sessions looked at current issues and changes faced by the financial services industry. The industry has experienced significant and long anticipated changes in the past year within key areas. In particular, TOFA, Division 250 and the International arena.

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Individual sessions

The litigation lottery

Author(s):  David BLOOM

This paper covers the:

  • risks and issues in conducting tax litigation: Do complex facts (as in many financial services industry transactions) create a barrier for analysis by a court?
  • differences between litigating in the Federal Court as compared to the High Court
  • approach to statutory interpretation in tax matters and the role of the explanatory memorandum
  • limit to a purposive approach to interpretation having regard to the Acts Interpretation Act and case law.
Materials from this session:

Part IVA - current issues

Author(s):  Peter WALMSLEY

This paper covers:

  • commercial transactions - where do you drawn the line?
  • the "Choice principle" - what scope for choice of favourable tax outcomes?
Materials from this session:

Debt/Equity - hot issues

Author(s):  John SMITH

This paper covers:

  • approaching the debt / equity borderline
  • obligations and the debt test
  • funding through connected entities
  • approach to related schemes.
Materials from this session:

TOFA - scope issues - what’s in, what’s not and core interactions

Author(s):  Sarah BERNHARDT

This paper covers:

  • what is a "financial arrangement" and what are the key exceptions?
  • worked examples of whether or not the rules apply to common debt, equity and derivative transactions
  • which taxpayers are covered by TOFA, and what rules apply to entities outside of the regime?
  • how will TOFA interact with the rest of tax law?
Materials from this session:

Division 250 - issues and case studies

Author(s):  Teresa DYSON

This paper covers:

  • highlights for the Financial Services Industry and Infrastructure projects generally
  • core elements and exclusions including the predominant economic interest test (examples of practical applications of the exclusions)
  • calculation methodology
  • the complicated transitional provisions - what are the issues associated with the switching off of Section 51AD and Division 16D
  • how should the industry now approach projects? Do taxpayers need to seek a ruling on specific projects now?
Materials from this session:

Overseas developments in tax risk management

Author(s):  Tony FULTON

The focus of this paper is on overseas developments in tax risk management and disclosure including:

  • Sarbanes Oxley
  • FIN 48 and accounting for uncertain tax positions
  • tax shelter disclosure requirements in US and UK
  • trends in stakeholder disclosure.
Materials from this session:

Tax risk management - the view from the boardroom

Author(s):  Richard WARBURTON

This paper covers the following:

  • comments on ATO letter campaign
  • how active is the Board in tax risk management?
  • advice for in house tax professionals.
Materials from this session:

TOFA - hedging: have we finally got there?

Author(s):  Tony FROST

This paper covers:

  • an overview of the tax character/status and timing rules in the TOFA hedging election
  • is the hedging regime sufficient?
  • linkage to financial accounting rules in AASB 139
  • documentation requirements
  • worked examples.
Materials from this session:

Implementing TOFA for banks

Author(s):  Liz TROMANS,  Jeff SHAW

This paper covers:

  • managing the implementation within the Bank
    • stakeholder impacts
    • systems impacts
    • financial impacts
  • transitional considerations for banks
    • key features of the transitional rules
    • issues and uncertainties within the rules
    • specific challenges for banks.
Materials from this session:

TOFA wealth management and life insurance implications

Author(s):  Jeremy HIRSCHHORN

This paper covers:

  • product issues
    • implications for holders of financial products (CIVs, investment linked policies, other life insurance policies)
    • treatment relative to substitute products (including TRS, indexed and protected products)
    • implications for providers
  • corporate issues
    • consolidation interactions.
Materials from this session:

Super update

Author(s):  Graeme COLLEY

This paper covers:

  • including life companies
  • implementing the big changes
  • post implementation discussion
  • bundling insurance risk policies through Super.
Materials from this session:

Taxation of deferred purchase agreements

Author(s):  Jonathan HARREX

This paper covers:

  • deferred purchase agreements
    • ATO rulings (a long time in coming) and industry response
    • issues for issuers
  • capital protect products update:
    • market practice and product design changes post 1 July 2007
    • emerging issues - "integration" of "arrangements".
Materials from this session:

General leasing update

Author(s):  Jenny CLARKE

This paper covers:

  • McDermott's case / cross border issues
  • Div 250 impact on leases
  • rulings update.
Materials from this session:

The authorised OECD approach… or is it?

Author(s):  David GRECIAN

Transfer pricing is consistently rated as one of the major tax issues by tax directors and CFOs of
large multinational organisations. While transfer pricing rules are common across all industries,
unique characteristics present in the financial services industry: the rules can raise complex issues in their application.

This paper:

  • identifies the hot current and future issues affecting financial service organisations
  • shares practical experiences of the recent OECD guidelines covering attribution of profits to PEs, global trading and insurance
  • advises of the high ATO risk areas for the Industry.
Materials from this session:

International tax update

Author(s):  Alf CAPITO

This paper covers:

  • TLAB 4 - Foreign Tax credit changes and consultation update
  • thin cap update
  • treaties update
  • CFC and FIF reform update
  • withholding tax update - s128F, treaties and trusts.
Materials from this session: