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25th National Convention

Published on 03 Mar 2010 | Took place at Melbourne Convention & Exhibition Centre, VIC

Featuring the very latest technical content and ample networking opportunities attendance at the 25th National Convention was the best way to develop your professional edge in 2010. The convention included corporate and SME streams plus four specialist streams covering superannuation, insolvency, structures and trusts.

The Commissioner of Taxation's Address (Michael D'Ascenzo) can be downloaded here.

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

Individual sessions

The capital v revenue distinction for labour costs

Author(s):  P MAHER This paper looks at the Australian Taxation Office's recent
discussion paper on internal labour costs and whether they should be capitalised for large-scale capital projects including:

  • events leading up to the issuing of the discussion paper
  • the views expressed by the ATO in the paper
  • likely future ATO activities and actions regarding this issue.
Materials from this session:

A summary of the changes to GST law from 1 July 2010 following the Board of Taxation's review on the administration of GST

Author(s):  Cathryn FERRARIS This paper covers an overview of the most important changes to GST, most of which will come into effect from 1 July 2010. This paper looks at:

  • a new voluntary reverse charge in place of the going concern and farmland exemptions
  • simplifying GST adjustment provisions and grouping rules
  • the GST rulings regime
  • the Board of Taxation's review of the margin scheme, GST on financial supplies and cross-border transactions.
Materials from this session:

Using contract law to manage capital gains tax exposures

Author(s):  Cameron RIDER Tax is levied on capital proceeds from CGT events as defined by tax law; but the when, which and what of the CGT event is often a matter of contract law rather than tax law. Contract law determines the time and identity of the event, and the value of the capital proceeds. This paper considers:

  • using contracts to determine timing of disposals
  • using earn-out contracts to defer receipt of capital proceeds
  • using contracts to choose the relevant CGT event
  • amendments, novations and assignments of contracts.
Materials from this session:

The good, the bad and the ugly - Everything you wanted to know about insolvency

Author(s):  Paul COOK This paper covers:

  • what does it mean to be "insolvent"?
  • how to tell if an entity is approaching insolvency
  • what is the difference between an administrator, receiver, liquidator or trustee in bankruptcy?
  • what are some of the common tips/traps for negotiating with creditors, including the ATO as a creditor?
  • what transactions can be unwound in insolvency?
  • is superannuation really protected?
Materials from this session:

The distinction between capital and revenue and its continuing relevance to tax matters

Author(s):  Richard F EDMONDS This paper covers:

  • the concepts of income and capital and their relevance today
  • income side
  • deductions side
  • Division 6 side.
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Bamford v Federal Commissioner of Taxation

Author(s):  Terry MURPHY This paper covers a detailed look at the various issues raised following the Bamford case decision.

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From the eye of the storm - Tax issues for entities nearing, or in insolvency

Author(s):  Len HERTZMAN,  Sarah Blakelock This paper covers:

  • the Commissioner's recovery and collection powers, including the ATO Receivables Policy and practical issues
  • where the Commissioner stands in priority, Bruton Holdings, PM Developments and other developments
  • personal liability of directors, trustees, liquidators and receivers
  • key tax issues.
Materials from this session:

Bamford v Federal Commissioner of Taxation

Author(s):  Mark L ROBERTSON This paper covers:

  • proportionate v quantum approach debate
  • expense allocation
  • "income of the trust estate" debate
  • loss recoupment
  • ordinary income v trust law income
  • conduit theory of streaming tax attributes debate
  • reclassification of capital as income
  • PSLA 2005/1 capital beneficiary approach debate
  • gross or net income
  • present entitlement debates.
Materials from this session:

Company losses - An old issue for a new era

Author(s):  Martin FRY This paper covers:

  • practical issues arising under the tracing concessions
  • recent developments in the same business test
  • losses in consolidated groups - special issues
  • a review of the proposed changes to the COT rules.
Materials from this session:

Executive remuneration - Striking a commercial balance

Author(s):  Andrew HUTT This paper covers:

  • productivity Commission's final report on executive pay
  • APRA standards for the governance of executive pay in regulated organisations, and how these compare on the international stage
  • the new taxation rules applying to executive share schemes
  • Corporations Act requirements for shareholder vote on executive termination payments.
Materials from this session:

Restructuring a small to medium business

Author(s):  Tim CLAYTON Most SMEs will at some stage consider restructuring their
affairs in order to deal with changes to their size, to the market or regulatory framework within which they operate or to the composition or desires of their owners. This paper covers:

  • same and replacement asset roll-over and demerger relief
  • small business CGT concessions, particularly the replacement asset roll-over and retirement relief
  • tax consolidated groups
  • Division 7A
  • depreciating assets and trading stock roll-overs and deemed disposals
  • stamp duty.
Materials from this session:

Estate planning for melded and blended families

Author(s):  Sean MCMAHON,  Jane BLAKE This paper covers:

  • advisers' role in the estate planning process
  • planning for re-marriage and divorce
  • executor and trustee selection
  • planning for potential claims against an estate
  • instruments we use - the will, letters of wishes, testamentary trusts, life insurance and binding financial agreements
  • case study examples.
Materials from this session:

Buying or selling a consolidated group member

Author(s):  Hayden BENTLEY This paper covers:

  • pre-transaction structuring
  • key aspects of cost setting on entry and exit
  • implications of entry and exit history rules
  • comparisons to an asset sale
  • tax sharing.
Materials from this session:

GST and property - The current state of play

Author(s):  Marc JOHNSTON This paper covers relevant GST related cases including:

  • South Steyne
  • Sunchen
  • Gloxinia Investments.
Materials from this session:

Structuring professional practices - changing times

Author(s):  Ken SCHURGOTT This paper covers:

  • structuring and tax - a quick review
  • structuring and professional obligations
  • auditors and liquidators
  • accountants
  • Regulation 9/1101
  • national legal profession legislation
  • professional standards legislation
  • tax agent services and structuring
  • where do lawyers fit with all of this?
  • asset protection
  • taxation issues
  • back to the future - Everett assignments.
Materials from this session:

Corporate acquisitions

Author(s):  Michael CHANG This paper covers:

  • current trends
  • scrip for scrip versus cash
  • pre-sale dividends
  • trends with s 45B
  • financing instruments
  • tax consolidation issues.
Materials from this session:

The administrative penalty regime - A swinging reminder or just swinging?

Author(s):  Paul SOKOLOWSKI This paper explains how the penalty system works and tests the correctness of the following propositions:

  • the purpose of penalties is to punish bad behaviour
  • the Commissioner does not impose penalties
  • if it's not my fault or I don't get a benefit, I will not be penalised
  • the Commissioner's remission power should be exercised only in exceptional circumstances
  • the penalty "safe harbour" under the Tax Agents regime is safe
  • the chances of the AAT or the Court overturning the Commissioner's penalty decision is high.
Materials from this session:

International tax - An update

Author(s):  Lee BURNS The last 12 months have seen significant changes to the taxation of Australian residents and businesses operating offshore. This presentation explores the key changes, focusing on developments in respect of the FIF, CFC and transferor trust rules.

Materials from this session:

TOFA ATO impacts

Author(s):  David HUME This presentation covers:

  • what is keeping us busy?
  • the ATO TOFA team
  • legislative update
  • NTLG TOFA working group - resolving technical issues
  • our experience with private rulings
  • compliance
  • communications products.
Materials from this session:

Trust losses and family trust elections

Author(s):  Paul TANTI This paper covers:

  • the impact of the 2007 and 2008 amendments and the 2009 budget announcements
  • fixed v non-fixed trusts - what is a vested and indefeasible interest?
  • fixed trusts with non-fixed trusts interest holders
  • overview of traps with the individual tests including:
    • the pattern of distributions test
    • the 50% stake test and the alternative 50% stake test
    • the control test
    • the income injection test
  • family and family group - "ins and outs"
  • family trust elections and interposed entity elections - how, when and why to make them
  • the new TFN withholding rules for closely held trusts.
Materials from this session:

Research and development for the SME

Author(s):  Serg DUCHINI,  Sukvinder HEYER This paper covers:

  • implications of an R&D tax credit rather than an R&D tax concession
  • how the new tax credit will work in practice
  • what criteria must be qualified?
  • what meets the new definition of R&D?
Materials from this session:

Select issues in cross border debt financing

Author(s):  Kirsten FISH This paper covers:

  • tax aspects of debt financing
  • deductibility of returns
  • limits on deductibility.
Materials from this session:

Trust losses and family trust elections

Author(s):  Paul TANTI This paper covers case studies on trust losses and family trust elections.

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Self managed super funds - Getting it right

Author(s):  Naomi PAVLAKIS This paper examines recent developments and current issues for self managed superannuation funds including:

  • governance - investment strategy
  • sole purpose test - What a SMSF can and can't do?
    • business activities
    • property development
    • borrowing (incl 67(4A) SISA)
    • related party transactions
    • managing the risk of the activity
  • issues from the National Tax Liaison Group Superannuation Technical Sub-group.
Materials from this session:

How does TOFA affect your business?

Author(s):  Matt OSMOND This paper covers:

  • typical financing arrangements, operational
  • transactions and investments impacted by TOFA
  • identifies what's different under the new measures
  • examines common areas where TOFA affects business.
Materials from this session:

Non-commercial loans

Author(s):  Michael HINE Since its introduction, Division 7A of the ITAA36 has undergone several amendments. On each occasion the scope of the provisions has potentially been expanded. Changes announced in the last Federal Budget have now brought many more dealings with private companies within the operation of the provisions.
This paper covers:

  • expansion of the definition of "payment" - just how wide is it?
  • how to manage family companies holding assets used by associates in the future
  • implications of the recent technical amendments
  • the impact of the Commissioner's discretions in practice
  • undrawn present entitlements - just how do trusts fit in?
Materials from this session:

The capital v revenue distinction for labour costs

Author(s):  Frank DRENTH This paper covers:

  • a commentary on the legal analysis in the ATO's discussion paper
  • a view about the extent to which the discussion paper represents a change in the ATO's position
  • some thoughts about how to resolve any disputes that might arise from the application of the ATO's views on this.
Materials from this session:

Self managed super funds - Key tax issues

Author(s):  Paul BANISTER In the three years since the Better Super Regime implemented major reforms to how super contributions and withdrawals are taxed, a number of practical issues have arisen. This paper examines:

  • issues concerning contributions including:
    • reportable contributions changes
    • excess contributions tax assessment and planning issues
  • issues relating to estate planning including:
    • approaches to managing tax on sale of fund assets post-death
    • experiences regarding managing death benefits tax.
Materials from this session:

Capital allowances - Where are we now?

Author(s):  Vanessa PRIEST This paper covers:

  • investment allowance - timing and other eligibility issues
  • blackhole expenditure - have all the holes been plugged?
  • project pools - practical issues
  • 2009 budget technical amendments.
Materials from this session:

Tax exemptions and concessions for mutuals, charities and other non-profit bodies

Author(s):  Teresa DYSON This paper focuses on the real life tax issues affecting charities, mutuals and non-profit bodies, including:

  • the types of income covered by the mutuality principle
  • charities deriving income from commercial activities post-word investments
  • GST-free activities of charities and non-profit bodies
  • application of concessions to non-commercial activities and fundraising events
  • deductibility of gifts to charities and non-profit bodies
  • role of private funds and the proposed private ancillary fund guidelines.
Materials from this session: