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46th South Australian Convention

Published on 02 May 2013 | Took place at Novatel Barossa Valley Resort, SA

    Knowing that tax practitioners' day-to-day activities represent a never-ending “balancing act”, this Convention program was designed to cover recent changes, provide thought leadership and also to provide some practical application on these issues.
    This year's programme included:
  • is Australia becoming a sovereign tax risk?
  • tax reform agenda - key issues
  • companies - back in favour?
  • SME risk differentiation framework
  • offshoring of exporting - The ATO's approach to your cross-border transactions with related parties
  • blatant, artificial or contrived...?
  • GST - Managing risk and opportunity in a changing world
  • irreconcilable differences
  • what happens when it all goes wrong?
  • SMSF borrowing - what now?
  • SMSF's and old age: Why all good things must come to an end

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

Individual sessions

Is Australia becoming a sovereign tax risk?

Author(s):  David RUSSELL

How on earth did Australia become a country with sovereign risk concerns? We have gone from a position of being a strong, safe democracy with a reliable (if expensive) tax system, to being viewed as increasingly expensive for investment due to the myriad of “boutique taxes” being introduced – not to mention the additional costs to comply and understand these taxes.

David Russell, QC, CTA (Life) looks at the impact of recent tax policy changes and the ongoing uncertainty on the attractiveness of Australia as an investment destination, including the impact of:

  • retrospective legislation
  • unknown legislative rules
  • inappropriate considerations being taken into account in legislative policy
  • impact of the mining tax and the carbon tax on existing long-term investments.
Materials from this session:

Companies - Back in favour?

Author(s):  Nick WILKINS

With the recent crackdown on UPEs (Div 7A) and the uncertainty regarding taxation of trust income, more people are looking to companies again as an operating structure.

This paper includes:

  • a brief overview of the issues currently being faced by taxpayers operating through trusts
  • a brief overview of the general advantages and disadvantages of operatingthrough a company (tax and non-tax)
  • discussion on the use of a company for conducting a business, including mechanisms which may be used to minimise any perceived disadvantages
  • discussion on structuring options to try and achieve “the best of both worlds”
  • discussion on whether a company could be effectively used as an investment vehicle.
Materials from this session:

SME risk differentiation framework

Author(s):  Scott BRYANT,  Michael CRANSTON

In August 2012, the ATO released its latest Compliance Program for small to medium enterprises and wealthy individuals, showing an important change in its approach to this part of the economy. The ATO has been applying its Risk Differentiation Framework to large business for some years, classifying taxpayers’ risk and determining the level of review or audit activity as a result.This Framework is now being applied to SMEs and wealthy individuals for the first time, and is likely to significantly change how and why a taxpayer is selected for review.

This paper involves Scott Bryant, a tax partner at PwC with many years of experience in dealing with the ATO, and Michael Cranston, the Deputy Commissioner Small and Medium Enterprises. Scott and Michael take you through the practical implications of the new ATO approach, how your clients may attract ATO attention, how the ATO classifies taxpayers, and what the consequences of different risk classifications can be.

Materials from this session:

Offshoring or exporting - The ATO's approach to your cross-border transactions with related parties

Author(s):  Frank PUTRINO

Increasingly, Australian businesses are setting up operations offshore to reduce costs, especially in the Asian region. As businesses start to deal with related overseas parties, they are becoming subject to closer ATO attention due to the perceived risks to the Revenue. The ATO’s compliance activities for the SME market are now focusing on cross-border transactions, and in particular transfer pricing is being examined for smaller business. Recent developments mean now is the time for advisers to consider what kind of transactions are likely to attract ATO attention, and help their clients understand the implications and compliance requirements that follow.

This paper covers:

  • the reform of Australia’s transfer pricing laws
  • key focus areas in transfer pricing, eg business restructures, financing, IP and the internet/cloud
  • permanent establishments
  • transfer pricing documentation and tax return disclosures.
Materials from this session:

Blatant, artificial or contrived...?

Author(s):  Briony RICE

The introduction in 2008 of provisions in the Land Tax Act giving the Commissioner power to disregard minority interests in land, and the more recent introduction of general anti-avoidance rules in the Taxation Administration Act, has left many clients exposed to land tax assessments on a multiple holding basis and has given rise to a feeling of uncertainty as to what structures can still be used to effectively maintain separate ownerships.

This paper covers:

  • a brief overview of the relevant provisions in the Land Tax Act including the definition of “owner” and the operation of sections 13 and 13A
  • a brief overview of the new general anti-avoidance provisions including the meaning of “tax avoidance scheme” and “blatant, artificial or contrived”
  • examples of the types of ownership structures that are being investigated by Revenue SA
  • examples of situations in which Revenue SA has disregarded minority interests
  • examples of structures that remain effective to achieve a separate ownershipunder the Land Tax Act
  • a discussion of whether the general anti-avoidance rules could apply to deny the effectiveness of these structures.
Materials from this session:

GST - Managing risk and opportunity in a changing world

Author(s):  Matthew NICHOLLS

The GST has been with us for almost 13 years. Many concepts and issues that are essential to the administration of GST remain unsettled. The meaning of central concepts such as “supply”, “consideration” and “nexus” continue to evolve. This can make GST a very complex tax to administer but to some extent many businesses regard GST as a form-filling exercise and do not consider the impact it can have. This means that risks and opportunities are not fully considered and GST may be a real, but hidden, cost waiting to be discovered. 

This paper covers:

  • what is the ATO finding in their reviews of the SME sector
  • are there GST opportunities available and how do you find them
  • recent cases – do they create risk or opportunity and how do you take advantage of them
  • good GST governance – striking the right balance between risk and opportunity
  • the year ahead – what changes do we expect and how should you prepare for them?
Materials from this session:

Irreconcilable differences

Author(s):  Arlene MACDONALD

Transferring and dividing family property between the parties in a relationship breakdown will give rise to questions of tax liability and whether it can be deferred or avoided. It is common for family lawyers and their clients to rely very strongly on the accountant or other tax adviser to identify the tax issues and consequences so that these can be taken into account in making decisions.

Mainly using case studies, the paper covers:

  • tax concessions, including CGT, Div 7A, child maintenance trusts and super splitting
  • restructuring or other changes concerning family property before final orders
  • other tax issues, including FTEs, GST, stamp duty and large tax liabilities
  • trust issues
  • conflict of interest.
Materials from this session:

What happens when it all goes wrong?

Author(s):  Paul HOCKRIDGE

Your business is successful but do you have a succession plan installed and ready to go in the event of unforeseen illness, exit or death? What do you need to consider? The sale or transmission of the business assets – who pays for it and can they afford it? What is the mechanism for dealing with the exiting party,and who values the share of income/assets? These are just a few issues that succession strategies will need to consider.

This paper covers following issues:

  • types of buy/sell agreements, including mandatory, conditional and put/call options
  • various funding tools, including insurances and ownership of these
  • tax issues, including deductibility, CGT, FBT, Div 7A and stamp duty
  • the use of SMSFs.
Materials from this session:

SMSF borrowing - What now?

Author(s):  Neil OAKES

Your new client has an SMSF with a limited recourse borrowing arrangement inplace. You want to ensure the LRBA “stacks up” and continues without incident. This case study based paper provides tools for risk managing existing LRBAs and possible solutions where particular LRBAs become untenable.

Topics covered include:

  • accounting and taxation considerations
  • improvements and repairs
  • pensions/liquidity
  • death insurance
  • terminating the arrangement.
Materials from this session:

Part IVA technical discussion

Author(s):  Ben WILSON

A revised general anti-avoidance regime looks likely to take effect from 16 November 2012. Ben Wilson and other members of the Cosoff Cudmore Knox(CCK) lawyers team that successfully litigated the Futuris case, look at the practical application of the new regime. Using examples encountered by SME advisers, the CCK team explore the concepts such as“tax benefit”, “alternative postulate” and “dominant purpose” in order to assist delegates gain a better understanding of tax planning.

Materials from this session: