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42nd South Australian Convention: Playing to Win

Published on 07 May 2009 | Took place at Novotel Barossa Valley Resort, SA

This event covered many topics, including:

  • trust distributions
  • property leasing transactions
  • GST update
  • land tax
  • superannuation
  • FBT
  • unit trusts
  • income vs capital
  • tax and climate change.

Get a 20% discount when you buy all the items from this event.

Individual sessions

Trust distributions: Achieving the desired outcomes

Author(s):  Peter SLEGERS The Commissioner of Taxation has demonstrated a renewed interest in trust distributions in recent years. This paper considers some of the commonly encountered issues that arise when preparing trust distribution minutes. It provides useful insights on how to achieve desired outcomes and minimise exposures in this difficult area. Topics covered include:

  • what to look for in the trust deed
  • drafting trust distribution minutes: common problems and suggested solutions
  • the tax net income and trust income debate: state of play
  • practical implications of recent cases
  • pitfalls when income streaming and the significance of PS LA 2005/1 (GA)
  • effective capital distributions.
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Unlocking value from private companies: Ten things you might want to know but were too afraid to ask

Author(s):  Paul SOKOLOWSKI,  Shaun CARTOON

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?
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Commercial and tax issues in property leasing transactions

Author(s):  Trevor EDMOND

Leasing of real property is a commonplace commercial transaction. Given the breadth of commercial dealings it should not be surprising that such activities give rise to a myriad of tax issues. This paper revisits the various tax issues arising in leasing real property. It also considers the planning associated with achieving optimal commercial outcomes from both a lessor and lessee's perspective. Specific topics include:

  • legal nature of a commercial lease
  • key terms and statutory issues
  • tenants fixtures and improvements
  • tax issues with lease premium and surrender payments
  • lease incentives - landlord and tenant tax issues.
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GST update

Author(s):  Lisa SMITH

While GST is a tax that businesses deal with every day, keeping abreast of changes is now more difficult than ever. Over the past year there has been a noticeable increase in GST activity with the release of a myriad of GST cases, rulings and legislative changes.

This paper gives:

  • a summary of changes to the margin scheme
  • an update of key developments, including topical cases, recent GST rulings and ATO announcements
  • an outline of common focus areas for ATO audits
  • consideration of the application of GST to alternative structures.
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Tax issues in uncertain economic times

Author(s):  Adrian LANZILLI

Maximising tax benefits can be difficult when times are tough. Maintaining a strong balance sheet and cash-flow will become a significant focus for many businesses. This paper addresses common tax issues encountered when undertaking internal re-structuring, including:

  • preserving tax losses and relevant provisions applying to companies and trusts
  • debt forgiveness issues in strengthening the balance sheet
  • tax implications associated with impairment of assets
  • realising losses - revenue vs capital.
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Land tax

Author(s):  Bernard WALRUT

The amendments to the Land Tax Act that came into effect from 1 July 2008 continue to present challenges and obstacles for many practitioners and their clients.

This paper addresses:

  • the legislative amendments
  • Revenue SA view
  • structuring and restructuring in the current environment
  • weighing up the land tax saving versus the CGT and stamp duty costs
  • issues with trusts.
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10 rounds with the regulator

Author(s):  Ian READ

With the announcement and legislation of the Simplified Superannuation measures we have seen a large increase in the number of Self Managed Superannuation Funds (SMSFs) being established. Therefore it is no surprise the ATO will be increasing the number of compliance audits it is performing.

This paper:

  • examines the areas of focus by the ATO
  • discusses the common mistakes often made by trustees of SMSFs and how to avoid these mistakes
  • discusses the documentation required by the trustees of SMSFs
  • examines the ATO's view on auditor independence issues for accounting and taxation practices
  • highlights newly released tax law and rulings to assist trustees of SMSFs with their applications.
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FBT changes and minor benefits

Author(s):  Kym DAVIS

This paper covers a number of topical changes to the FBT legislation in recent times with a focus on minor benefits. It also provides practical examples to illustrate the following key areas:

  • how the FBT exemption applies to work-related items
  • use of meal cards in salary package arrangements
  • implications of using a pooled or shared motor vehicle
  • treatment of jointly held assets
  • the application of the minor benefits exemption
  • tips and traps.
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Grants for business

Author(s):  Hank SCIBERRAS

Remaining competitive and profitable requires businesses to continue to find a competitive edge, develop new ideas and innovate. This paper explores the range of incentives available to businesses and briefly considers the implications of the recently released Cutler Review. An explanation of the following eligibility requirements and financial benefits is provided:

  • R&D Tax Offset
  • Government Grant Services and Climate Change:
    • Clean Business Australia initiative
    • Climate Ready
    • Re-tooling for Climate Change
    • Green Building Fund
  • Export Market Development Grant.
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A road map to blackhole expenditure

Author(s):  David ZWECK

This paper presents a practical road map to follow when dealing with business related capital expenditure and considers:

  • common myths and misunderstandings
  • what trumps what when dealing with business-related capital expenditure
  • why business relationship is key
  • lease termination expenditure
  • expenditure in relation to legal or equitable rights
  • interaction with Division 35 (non-commercial loss provisions)
  • issues with goodwill
  • capital expenditure in relation to a business that has ceased.
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Unit trusts – A preferred business structure?

Author(s):  Tim CLAYTON

The unit trust has recently re-emerged to become the preferred structure in a variety of circumstances. This resurgence has provided practitioners with a new range of risks, issues and opportunities. This paper canvasses the technical and practical aspects of the unit trust and compares it to alternative structures.

Topics covered include:

  • when unit trusts are a preferred structure
  • establishment, administration and wind-up issues and opportunities
  • taxation of income and capital gains at the unit trust and unit holder levels
  • stamp duty issues including changes to s71
  • ATO view on ‘uncommercial trusts' and other unit trust arrangements
  • recent cases concerning tax, stamp duty and commercial issues.
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Late breaking tax news

Author(s):  Gary MARTIN This paper focuses on late breaking tax issues/news particularly relevant to the SME adviser.

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Tax and climate change – Are you keeping up?

Author(s):  Tim SANDOW

Many of Australia's companies will be operating in a carbon-constrained environment from 2010. How do you readily identify and manage the key risks, costs and opportunities of climate change? What is the state of play in relation to climate change and tax? Which reports are mere recommendations and which are operative now?

This paper addresses:

  • the Green Paper, the White Paper...which papers are "in play"?
  • a snap shot of current regimes, design principles of the new system and the national consultation timetable
  • identifying the material tax issues for corporates and practitioners to be focussing on now
  • which issues are still being debated and should you get involved?
  • a checklist of climate change issues and opportunities to consider - a practical framework for tax practitioners and corporate tax managers to move forward.
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Taxing and structuring termination payments

Author(s):  Glynn FLAHERTY

The current economic climate has seen an increase in the number of terminations occurring, particularly on the grounds of redundancy. This paper reviews the latest measures and highlights the issues and strategies on all aspects surrounding termination payments.

Topics covered include:

  • employment termination payments
  • genuine redundancy payments including non-arm's length dealings e.g. directors
  • restraint of trade payments - when excluded from ETP treatment
  • lump sum leave payments - annual and long service leave
  • excess payments and Section 109
  • paperwork and withholding obligations
  • areas of potential concern.
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