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Beyond Tax Reform - Financial Services Taxation Conference

Published on 27 Feb 2003 | Took place at Hyatt Regency, Coolum, National

If there has been one constant feature of taxation practice over the past 20 years, it has been the pace of change, and that pace has not slackened in the course of 2002. The year has seen the enactment of debt/equity, thin capitalisation and consolidation legislation - each a major area reform in its own right and presenting particular issues for the financial services industry. This is particularly so in the areas of structured finance and financial products and the conference featured presentations on current developments in these areas.

The year has also seen a marked increase in ATO compliance activity, driven by the bedding down of the GST and business tax reform legislation, and a significant shift in the ATO's attitude from education to enforcement mode.

The program was structured to deal with many current tax issues facing financial services groups, including banking, funds management and life insurance.

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

Individual sessions

Panel Discussion: Future of Financial Services in Australia

Author(s):  Tony BURKE,  Richard GILBERT,  David LYNCH Representatives from Australia's major financial service industry bodies discuss the issues facing Australian financial service businesses including future directions. The presentation focusses on industry trends, consolidation and the impact of regulatory changes.

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International Tax Review Issues

Author(s):  Andrew MILLS This seminar paper covers issues such as:
- Taxation of Australian trusts and non-resident investors
- Attribution - FIF & CFC improvements
- Treaties - the way forward
- Foreign income accounts
- Foreign trusts, foreign interposed entities
- Specific investment issues including forex, Div 16E and withholding taxes

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Foreign Currency Gains & Losses - the next instalment

Author(s):  Tony FROST The taxation of foreign currency gains and losses has long been a complex and important issue for all financial institutions. This seminar paper picks up on the latest developments.
- What is wrong with the current law and administration and needs fixing?
- Revenue/capital characterisation and hedging rules
- Review of draft legislation (assuming released) as announced in the 2002 Federal Budget
- What else should be done - are the proposed rules adequate for players in the financial services industry?

An updated version of this paper was presented by Tony at the NSW International Masterclass held in Sydney on 22 July 2003. Click here to view that paper.

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Practical Issues in Consolidating a Financial Services Group

Author(s):  Jeremy HIRSCHHORN This seminar paper covers issues such as:
- Soft spots with historical cost bases
- Dealing with 'special' liabilities
- Allocation to 'special' assets
- Modelling the impact of consolidation choices
- What if the allocation is wrong?

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Transfer Pricing - focus on current issues

Author(s):  Nick HOUSEMAN,  Christina RICH,  Bill YOHANA This seminar paper covers issues including:
- ATO audits and other activity
-- Documentation reviews
-- APAs
-- Client Risk Reviews
-- Tax audit experiences
- OECD - latest thinking on financial services industry issues
- Permanent Establishment
- Other "Hot Topics"

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Life Company - Tax Consolidation Issues

Author(s):  Michael BROWN A worked example of a group of companies entering the consolidation regime, where the group includes a life company. Issues include:
- The treatment of deferred acquisition costs
- How the cost setting rules apply to:- assets held within the VPST and SEA; assets held within the ordinary business and how the rules differ in respect of participating business
- Contrasting the meaning of 'retained cost base assets' for life companies with non life companies
- How the definitions of 'retained cost base assets' and 'reset cost base assets' reconcile to Division 320 valuation methodologies

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GST - Give credit where credit is due

Author(s):  Michael B EVANS What connection is required between an acquisition and a GST registered person's activities for the acquisition to give rise to an input tax credit entitlement? This presentation looks at a number of issues, including:
- Start and finish of an enterprise
- Feasibility studies, R&D and unsuccessful ventures
- Tax related expenditure
- Post cessation expenditure
- Share issues and buybacks

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Stamp Duty/Insurance Protection Tax

Author(s):  Adrian CHEK This seminar paper covers issues such as:
- General Financial Services industry issues
-- Share transfer duty developments
-- Infrastructure financing/investments and land-rich duty
-- Corporate restructure developments
- Banking
-- Mortgage duty developments
- Life/general insurance
-- Characterisation of riders to life insurance policies as general insurance or life insurance
-- Stamp duty on general insurance businesses, focussing on regional differences (eg. SA)
-- Insurance Protection Tax

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Value Shifting - a practical nightmare?

Author(s):  Dr Michael DIRKIS This seminar paper covers the following issues:
- Focus on specific issues for Life insurers, Banks & Funds managers
- Value shifting through services - Traps for beginners?
- De minimis rules and value shifting thresholds - practical safeguards
- Interaction with consolidation

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Capital Management - Current Commercial & Tax Considerations

Author(s):  Neil WARD This seminar paper covers issues including:
- Update on tax developments
- Recent examples of capital raisings
- Effectively managing and raising capital
-- Determining the most efficient form of capital
-- Maximising the potential investor base
-- Addressing stakeholder concerns

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Capital Protected Retail Investment Products

Author(s):  Jamie MARLEY This seminar paper covers topics including:
- overview of the types of products currently available on the market
- overview of the methodology employed in delivering capital protection for some of these products
- discussion of the tax implications of investments in these products
- discussion of the ATO's views on these products.

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Superannuation Hot Topics

Author(s):  Peter HOGAN This presentation covers issues such as:
- trustee duties and responsibilities
- ATO audit activity
- acquisition of assets
- new growth pensions.

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Infrastructure Financing - A Structured Perspective

Author(s):  Steve FORD This session covered topics such as:
- What's happening in the market?
--recent history
--trends, transactions and developments
- Tax reform - challenges and opportunities
--investor return parameters
--project financing in the consolidation regime
--changes to capital allowances
--removal of incentives and concessions
- Expected impact of outstanding tax reform measures.

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