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NSW 6th Annual Tax Forum

Published on 16 May 2013 | Took place at Hilton, Sydney, NSW

    The Tax Forum is the premier tax event in New South Wales. The format of three topic streams: SME, Corporate and Hot Topics, offered over 40 technical sessions including:
    Corporate sessions:
  • dividends, franking and Section 254T
  • an update on the consolidation regime
  • an update on the TOFA regime
  • the evolving compliance obligation
  • ATO compliance approaches for large business
  • an update on GST
  • an update on transfer pricing
  • an update on capital management issues including debt/equity: recent developments
  • the new Part IVA – what is its likely application to a range of commercial transactions?
  • R&D
  • losses – “tricks and traps”
  • securitisation vehicles and limited recourse debt amendments
    Hot topics sessions:
  • increased tax risks for directors
  • current issues in superannuation
  • employer tax obligations - staying a step ahead
  • you thought you could provide tax advice - is it legal to provide?
  • alternative dispute resolution - a practical guide
  • superannuation
  • the new Part IVA
  • franking dividends - some tips and traps
  • financial services reforms and regulations
  • what is happening in the not-for-profit sector?
  • residence of individuals
  • the promoter penalties regime
  • garnishees and freezing orders
  • divorce and taxes
    SME sessions:
  • Trusts..What can you do and you need to do before 30 June
  • Is your business CGT concession ready?
  • Limited Recourse Borrowing Arrangements by SMSFs - In practice
  • Division 7A
  • Cross-border and international aspects of GST: A refresher course
  • Review of tax agent services regime with a focus on reasonable care
  • How to get the best deal for SME clients using tax consolidation
  • Use of testamentary trusts in estate planning
  • Should you offer estate planning to your clients?
  • The accidental property developer
  • Superannuation contributions: Getting money into the fund
  • Superannuation contributions: Getting money out of the fund
  • Trust reforms

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

Individual sessions

Dividends, franking and section 245T

Author(s):  James PETTIGREW

This paper examines the dividend and franking implications of the 2010 amendments to s254T of the Corporations Act 2001 and the consequential amendments that were made to the tax legislation, together with the proposed “refinements” to those measures.

The focus of the paper is on: 

  • the new concept of “dividend” for Corporations Act purposes 
  • the impact of the legislative reforms on the tax concept of “dividend” and the franking of dividends 
  • the Commissioner’s views 
  • the potential impact of the future reforms.
Materials from this session:

An update on the consolidation regime

Author(s):  Andrew Hirst,  Daniel SYDES

This paper provides an update on the status of the consolidation regime, and in particular:

  • the current/emerging issues in dealing with the retrospective 2010 and 2012 amendments to the tax consolidation provisions
  • current Board of Taxation reviews/reports
  • dealing with accounting liabilities and the interaction of the consolidation regime and TOFA
  • what’s coming up? 
  • announced but un-enacted measures.
Materials from this session:

TOFA - Business as usual?

Author(s):  Julian CHENG

This paper provides:

  • an update on the recent legislative and administrative developments in relation to the TOFA rules
  • a summary of what issues are still outstanding
  • an outline of the expected TOFA implications arising from proposed changes to the accounting standards, in particular the treatment of financial assets and hedge accounting.
Materials from this session:

The evolving compliance obligation

Author(s):  Judy MORRIS,  David DRUMMOND

This presentation covers:??

  • an update on the international dealings schedule (IDS) and reportable tax position schedule (RTPS)??
  • compliance obligations continue to evolve – what’s next???
  • potential for penalties and interest
  • ??are your systems up to the mark?
  • ??how to prepare for possible ATO compliance activity.
Materials from this session:

Employee share plans

Author(s):  Rob BASKER

Division 83A has applied since 1 July 2009. This paper covers:

  • plans that have been implemented since then and their features and consequences
  • the fall and rise of options since 1 July 2009
  • the trend towards full value/restricted shares and performance rights
  • reporting to the ATO
  • the difficulties with “real risk of forfeiture” and “genuine disposal” restrictions
  • Australia versus the Asia-Pacific on equity treatment (income tax events, reporting, withholding and corporate tax deductions).
Materials from this session:

An update on GST

Author(s):  Alison MARSHALL,  Jacqui HARDWICK

GST is constantly changing. This paper covers:

  • changes around refunds
  • GST Rulings especially around property
  • liability of a trustee for GST
  • acceleration of input tax credit claims/entitlements
  • the High Court and the Qantas decision.
Materials from this session:

Increased tax risks for directors

Author(s):  Bradley TONKS

Changes to the director penalty legislation became effective in June 2012 to increase the potential liability of directors. The legislation was already broad before the changes, and few directors know the extent of their exposure.

This paper covers:

  • the phoenix penalties – how far does it spread?
  • changes in 2012 – new traps
  • Impact on the superannuation guarantee charge
  • what do you need to tell your client?
  • recent cases
  • transitional provisions.
Materials from this session:

It's special, super special - Non-arm's length income

Author(s):  Jennifer YEO

Non-arm’s length super income is top taxed, at least three times the tax rate applies. What is it and why is it so special? How long is arm’s-length? How much more is too much? This session will focus on a checklist for avoiding non-arm’s length income.

Materials from this session:

What's so special about those circumstances? The Commissioner's discretion to disregard or reallocate excess super contributions

Author(s):  Matthew McKEE

This paper covers:

  • a review of the relevant statutory provisions
  • what to do when a client receives an ECT assessment
  • examining the Commissioner’s approach
  • examining the approach of the AAT
  • case study on preparing an application to the Commissioner.
Materials from this session:

Employer tax obligations - Staying a step ahead

Author(s):  Andrew HUTT

This paper covers:

  • the latest developments in the ATO’s compliance activity in relation to employer obligations
  • key focus areas in taking an effective approach to employee share scheme reporting
  • the employee/contractor distinction, and the diversity of treatment for PAYG withholding, superannuation and payroll tax
  • the challenges and opportunities for employers arising from changes to the “living away from home” legislation.
Materials from this session:

Alternative dispute resolution

Author(s):  Deborah HASTINGS,  Gina LAZANAS,  Judy SULLIVAN

A highly practical presentation that will give you confidence to explore ADR options with the ATO.

In particular, the presentation covers:

  • What is in it for taxpayers and the ATO?
  • What are the benefits of ADR for each of the individuals and micro-enterprises, SME and the LB&I sectors? Is ADR more suited to one or more of these sectors?
  • How do taxpayers start the ADR ball rolling? When should this occur?
  • What matters are best dealt with via ADR?
  • What happens at an ADR “hearing”?
  • What outcomes can be achieved compared to traditional litigation?
Materials from this session:


Author(s):  Mark PAYNE

The paper covers:

  • an update on SMSF legislative changes – including related party transactions (new disposal restrictions), off-market transfers, ATO rectification and education direction powers from 1 July 2013
  • Part IVA changes and impact of retirement strategies
  • recent cases and rulings on SMSFs.
Materials from this session:

The new Part IVA

Author(s):  Cory HILLIER,  Justin CHERRINGTON

Based on the first exposure draft, the new Part IVA will apply from 15 November 2012.

This paper examines:

  • why the changes are necessary
  • what the changes are
  • how the courts are likely to apply the changes
  • what it means for taxpayers trying to implementa transaction
  • what evidence you need to keep to support a case which may arise many years later.
Materials from this session:

Franking dividends - Some tips and traps

Author(s):  Brent MURPHY

This paper covers practical issues surrounding dividend imputation including:

  • benchmark rule and getting the documentation right
  • related payment and holding period rules
  • flowing credits through trusts
  • corporations law changes
  • start-up issues
  • dividend access shares
  • share capital tainting
  • over-franking
  • anti-avoidance rules.
Materials from this session:

Financial services reforms and regulations

Author(s):  Nidal DANOUN

This paper covers some of the key elements of the financial services regulations and their impact on practitioners including,

  • impact of Future of Financial Advice (FOFA)
  • accountant exemption and the transition period
  • limited AFSL for accountants and SMSF advisers??
  • tax advice provided by non-tax practitioners/ accountants??
  • SMSF auditors registration.
Materials from this session:

What's happening in the not-for-profit sector?

Author(s):  Darren FITTLER

This paper covers:

  • bedding down of the ACNC and the associated legislation
  • the special conditions for tax concessions including the new “in Australia” provisions
  • the unrelated business income tax (UBIT) requirements
  • statutory definition of “charity”
  • new governance framework.
Materials from this session:

Residence of individuals

Author(s):  Sanjay WAVDE

The question of residency has always been problematic and the changes to s 23AG have increased its importance. A string of recent cases demonstrate the importance, and lack of clarity, in this area.

Thsi paper covers:

  • residency rules – dangerous misunderstandings
  • recent cases
  • substantiation of non-residence status
  • flow-on consequences for employers
  • taxation of benefits – where are they now taxable?
Materials from this session:

The promoter penalties regime

Author(s):  Aislinn WALWYN,  George MONTANEZ

The ATO has a number of cases before the courts and is actively seeking to improve behaviour in this area.

This paper covers:

  • What is the ATO seeing in relation to aggressive tax planning and promoter penalty risks?
  • How is the ATO helping prevent potential promoter penalty risks?
  • How is the ATO working with people who are in breach to rectify actions and minimise penalties?
  • What conduct is the ATO focusing on?
  • What has the Federal Court said so far in?
Materials from this session:

Garnishees and freezing orders

Author(s):  Rashelle Seiden,  Tim RUSSELL

Both of these measures can take a taxpayer by surprise (or not if you are expecting it).

This paper covers:

  • the use the ATO can make of garnishees
  • what the courts have said about garnishees recently
  • the use can be made of freezing orders
  • what the courts have said about freezing orders recently
  • practical steps that can be adopted in expectation of, or in response to, them.
Materials from this session:

Divorce and taxes

Author(s):  Kelvin FITZALAN

With Australian couples becoming increasingly wealthy and one in every three marriages ending in divorce, providing good tax advice in this area is crucial.

This paper covers:

  • the tax cost of divorce and smarter ways of dealing with property settlements
  • what rollovers are applicable and whether they are subject to limitations
  • the application of Div 7A even if transactions are merely satisfying Family Court orders
  • whether there are ways of protecting assets priorto divorce.
Materials from this session:

Securitisation vehicles and limited recourse debt amendments

Author(s):  Mark HADASSIN,  Greig HUBBARD

Draft Taxation Determination TD 2012/D11 and the proposed amendments to Div 243 have the potential to adversely impact on project financing and securitisation activities.

This paper covers:

  • Securitisation structures:
    • what is s 820-39 aimed at
    • what are the ATO’s views?
    • is this just an issue for securitisation structures used in PPPs?
  • Limited recourse debt amendments:
    • what is limited recourse debt?
    • when do the provisions apply (refinancing, sale)?
    • can the provisions apply even if the debt is ultimately repaid in full?
    • how to calculate the “excessive deductions”, including examples.
Materials from this session:

An update on capital management issues including debt/equity: recent developments

Author(s):  Simon JENNER,  Steven GUO

The management of capital and optimisation of capital structures remains a key focus for companies. This paper explores recent developments surrounding the taxation treatment of various capital management initiatives, including:

  • the decision in Mills and the implications for franked instruments
  • the implications of the decision in Consolidated Media Holdings
  • emerging issues under the debt/equity rules
  • the status of the share buyback reforms.
Materials from this session:

Transfer pricing legislation reform - Tranche 2: What does it mean for tax payers?

Author(s):  Paul BALKUS,  Jesper SOLGAARD

What does the next round of proposed changes to the transfer pricing legislation mean for taxpayers?

  • interaction with other transfer pricing guidelines, legislation, treaties and OECD guidelines
  • increase in the ATO’s ability to re-characterise and/or unwind transactions?
  • similarities and differences to Part IVA
  • implications for the preparation of transfer pricing documentation and penalty protection
  • action steps for taxpayers.
Materials from this session:

The R&D tax incentive

Author(s):  Ian Ross-Gowan,  Kris GALE

The R&D tax incentive is now well and truly open for business. In previous years, briefings could only speculate as to how the program could work. For the first time, we can examine the program from a real-world perspective.

Topics covered in this paper include:

  • successful approaches to completing applications for registration including consolidated groups
  • strategic issues in obtaining advance/overseas findings??
  • highlights from AusIndustry guidance material on core versus supporting R&D activities, dominant purpose and sector-specific R&D
  • making sense of ATO rulings on feedstock, clawback, building expenditure and payments to associates
  • how to tackle the new quarterly credits regime.
Materials from this session:

Trusts...What can you do and what you need to do before June 30?

Author(s):  Gordon S COOPER

This paper considers the practical implications of the Division 6 rewrite so far as it has emerged for accountants and tax agents in advising their trustee clients for the 2013 and 2014 income years. This paper covers what you need to do and know prior to 30 June regarding trust distributions, including:

  • practical implications of completing labels 64A and 65W on the trust tax returns, including putting together examples based on variations of trustee resolutions, trust income, net income and the Commissioner’s views as expressed in TR 2012/D1 – how to approach this
  • discussing what the ATO is after regarding disclosure items what is the risk
  • consideration of the trust resolution wording when streaming dividends or capital.
Materials from this session:

Is your business CGT concession ready?

Author(s):  Greg TRAVERS,  Todd Want

Selecting an appropriate structure to operate a business or hold investments is crucial to ensure the desired commercial and tax outcomes can be achieved. So how do you decide what is the right (or wrong) structure for an SME? How do you make sure the structure is ready to access the small business CGT concessions? By focusing on a series of real-life examples of structures used by SMEs, this paper looks at:

  • effective structuring of an SME, including the major strengths and weaknesses of particular structures
  • how to determine if a structure has become ineffective and what to do if this is the case
  • what should you do if you have inherited a poor structure?
  • what factors should be considered if you decide to restructure?
  • how do you know if a business or structure is CGT concession ready?
  • can you manage or fix potential problems in the ability to access the CGT concessions?
Materials from this session:

Limited Recourse Borrowing Arrangements by SMSFs - In practice

Author(s):  Lisa ODDO

The implementation of a LRBA by an SMSF is a very complex transaction since there are a minefield of issues and traps which need to be considered. The successful implementation of these arrangements requires the practitioner to be up to date and on top of their game. Getting it wrong can have devastating consequences.

This paper outlines:

  • practical issues, common errors and traps with implementation
  • the role of the accountant, lawyer, financier and financial planner
  • overview of the finalised SMSFR 2012/1
  • loan and security documents and dealing with the financier
  • stamp duty concessions and dealing with the OSR
  • overview of TA 2012/7
  • latest developments and strategies.
Materials from this session:

Division 7A

Author(s):  Andrew Noolan

You may have a client whose Div 7A (private company or UPE) issues have been ignored, or a new client who has come to you and, on reviewing their accounts, you recognise that there are Div 7A issues. Where do you start? Do you approach the ATO to see if they will disregard the deemed dividends? This paper works through how you would go about working through the Div 7A issues that may arise, and provide practical tips on what you need to consider.

Materials from this session:

Review of tax agent services regime with a focus on reasonable care

Author(s):  Adrian ABBOTT

Looking at the issues from the perspective of an SME practitioner, this paper explores:

  • What the Tax Agent Services Code of Conduct requires, particularly in respect of the need to take reasonable care
  • What level of reliance can a tax agent place on a client’s records?
  • What records must a client keep and why?
  • Does a tax agent need to conduct some form of detailed review or audit of a client’s records in order to satisfy the reasonable care requirement?
  • Can a tax agent exclude particular aspects from the scope of their engagement and still meet the reasonable care requirement?
  • Is it possible to meet the best practice standards expected by the ATO?
  • What happens if a tax agent doesn’t meet the standard expected by the ATO?
Materials from this session:

Use of testamentary trusts in estate planning

Author(s):  Dung Lam

This paper covers:

  • use of testamentary trusts in modern wills
  • what is a testamentary trust?
  • advantages of testamentary trusts
  • taxation issues surrounding testamentary trusts – current and perennial
  • aspects in relation to the structuring of testamentary trusts.
Materials from this session:

Should you offer estate planning to your client?

Author(s):  Bernie O'SULLIVAN

Your website probably says that you provide estate planning and business succession advice. But what advice are you really providing, and are you doing this in the most cost-effective way? Are there additional services that could amount to a new revenue source for your practice? With an ageing client base, now is the time to get your succession services into order.

This practical paper covers:

  • what to tell clients about your estate and succession planning services
  • when is advice “legal advice”?
  • what is an estate plan?
  • what is the best way to engage a lawyer?
  • how to protect your role as the client’s trusted adviser.
Materials from this session:

Superannuation contributions: Getting money into the fund

Author(s):  Jennie LYNN

This paper covers:

  • what is a contribution?
  • taxation impacts of contributions
  • the importance of timing of contributions
  • keeping your contributions caps on or off
  • the impact of proposals in the wind
  • cutting-edge contributions strategies.
Materials from this session:

Superannuation benefits: Getting money out of the fund

Author(s):  Mike Mitchell

While building up superannuation is important to provide for a comfortable living in retirement, just as important is how you take your superannuation benefits. Understanding the options available and how best to structure payments can save money and any pain that may arise in getting it wrong.

This paper covers:

  • lump sum or pension or combination
  • taxation of superannuation benefits
  • are reversionary pensions still useful?
  • binding death benefit nominations
  • timing of benefits
  • latest strategies and traps to snare the unwary
  • anti-detriment
  • ATO view on pensions, TR 2011/D3.
Materials from this session:

Trust reforms

Author(s):  Ken SCHURGOTT

The paper considers:

  • where the rewrite project is up to and its likely outcome
  • what the proposals mean for 2013 trust and beneficiary assessments?
  • what the proposals mean for the 2014 income year??Is CGT and franking credit streaming unaffected?
  • where does TR 2012/D1 fit?
  • is there a requirement to amend trust deeds (again)?
Materials from this session: