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ConTax Newsletter - October 2011



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Here employers post jobs which you can browse and then apply for if you're interested.

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Feature article - the role of the general anti-avoidance rule in Australia
Contributed by Keith Kendall FTIA, Senior Lecturer, School of Law, La Trobe University
Kendall Keith image - Contax oct 2011

Abstract: This article aims to outline the progressive structure by which the feasibility of a tax planning arrangement should be assessed under the present state of Australian tax law. In doing so, it will be demonstrated, amongst other matters, that Part IVA, while perhaps the most high profile aspect of this structure, should not be the sole or, in many matters, the central focus of any anti-avoidance risk assessment.

Read this article in full


Sample exam question
Contributed by Keith Kendall FTIA, Senior Lecturer, School of Law, La Trobe University

Kendall Keith image - Contax oct 2011

Natalie intends to purchase an investment property for $370,000. At no time does she intend to live in it. The property is in need of some repairs to the roof and some of the plumbing ($20,000 worth). She intends to rent it to tenants at the soonest possible opportunity.

Natalie is of the opinion that, since the house is an income producing property, she should be able to claim the $20,000 as a deduction.

Advise Natalie on the correctness of her position.

See the suggested solutions for this sample exam question.


Young practitioner profile

Michael Watkins - Contax oct 2011

Name: Michael Watkins
Employer: RSM Bird Cameron (Melbourne office)
Position: Consultant, taxation services
Member since: June 2011

Michael completed a Bachelor of Commerce and Bachelor of Law at Monash University in 2009, followed by a Graduate Diploma in Legal Practice.

He began work as a graduate at RSM Bird Cameron in 2010. Since beginning full-time work he has completed The Tax Institute's Foundation Tax course and has commenced the Chartered Accountants' Program.

Describe your current role
I am currently working as a Consultant in the Taxation Services division of RSM Bird Cameron (Melbourne office). RSM Bird Cameron is a national accounting practice and member of RSM International.

Our focus is on building relationships with our clients to help them connect for success. We have a broad client base from a range of backgrounds (listed and unlisted companies, trusts, partnerships and individuals, Australian and overseas-based). With such a diverse client base, we deal with many different aspects of the taxation system. My role encompasses compliance and advisory services for our clients in areas from income tax and GST, to employee and state-based taxes, to transfer pricing.

Describe your Tax Institute committee or contributing involvement (if applicable)
None, but I do attend the Younger Tax Practitioner Series each month and a range of other CPD sessions run by The Tax Institute throughout the year.

What are your career highlights?
Working for such a diverse tax practice gives you exposure to a range of different client matters. Thus far, my career highlights are:

assisting with the establishment of and providing on-going tax advice for a new not-for-profit organisation in the health industry; being able to respond to developments in taxation law, and providing timely advice to clients on the effect of such developments; andgaining exposure to a wide variety of different areas of taxation.

Why did you join The Tax Institute?
Membership of The Tax Institute gives a range of benefits, from professional development activities, to networking with other tax professionals (accountants, lawyers and barristers), to providing access to a range of research tools.

The constantly changing nature of tax means that it is essential to remain up to date with the latest developments. One way I achieve this is through my membership of The Tax Institute.

What advice can you give to graduates?
In your first few years, don't limit yourself to one or two areas of tax. Try to gain as much experience in as many different areas as possible. There is a lot more to tax that corporate income tax, and many of the less well known areas provide their own rewards and challenges.

Who or what inspires you?
Inspiration comes from providing a client with advice and seeing them implement it. At the end of the day, it is inspiring to see that advice I have been involved with has added value to a client's business.

What do you do to unwind?
When working full-time and studying part-time, downtime is important. I unwind through working as a volunteer for a local community-based organisation (doing things completely unrelated to tax), or catching up with friends after work.

Favourite holiday destination?
Anywhere away from the city, ideally with a bit of sun!


Recent tax cases of interest


Helpful websites

There are a variety of websites which contain useful information on tax in the following areas:



  • Austlii - Federal and State legislation
  • ComLaw - Official Australian Government site, including Acts
  • ATO – extremely useful site, containing:
    • Public rulings and determinations
    • ATO interpretive decisions
    • NTLG minutes
    • Tax, superannuation and related legislation
    • EM's and second reading speeches
  • Federal Parliament - Bills, EM's and Second Reading speeches




The Treasury and Ministry Websites



These organisations produce tax-related publications and/or education courses. A subscription is needed for access.


Other websites


Continue your membership with Australia's leading tax education body

If you are heading into the tax profession in 2012, continue your relationship with The Tax Institute by applying for full membership now.

Being a member of The Tax Institute will ensure you have access to the best tax education products and services available to the tax profession, as well as enable you to gain exposure to future employers and mentors from around the country.

Membership of the Institute is essential for anyone who is serious about a career in tax.

For a full list of benefits to members, click here.


Special offers from Business Alliance Partners

The Tax Institute has negotiated special rates on your behalf with our Business Alliance Partners including CCH Australia, Thomson Reuters and Brewer Morris recruitment.

To access these special deals, visit our BAP page and have your member log in details handy.


Contribute now!

If you’d like to increase your profile in the tax industry by contributing to Contax, please email us today with an article or information on yourself.

Alternatively, if you have any feedback or suggestions for us we'd love to hear from you.