Trust distributions: Achieving the desired outcomes
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)
Unlocking value from private companies: Ten things you might want to know but were too afraid to ask
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?
Commercial and tax issues in property leasing transactions
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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:
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.
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.
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