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The 28th National Convention

Published on 13 Mar 2013 | Took place at Perth Convention and Exhibition Centre, WA

    The Tax Institute’s National Convention is undoubtedly the premier taxation conference in Australia. The 2013 convention program, presented by Australia’s leading tax experts and luminaries, ensured presentations of the highest quality. It was both technically relevant and practical to meet the needs of all tax practitioners.
    Papers presented include:
  • plethora of SME topics
  • tax due diligence in M&A
  • tax fraud - what you should be aware of
  • employee equity arrangements
  • recent ATO investigations
  • not-for-profit changes
  • the Personal Service Incomme (PSI) regime 10 years on
  • distressed debt transactions
  • GST and going concern exemptions
  • powers of attorney
  • research and development
  • employment taxation update
  • hot issues in super
  • taxation of financial arrangements
  • tax issues on intergenerational change
  • international tax hot topics
  • tax law partnerships
  • trusts - where are we at amending trust deeds after Clark?
  • tax and infrastructure
  • tax and native title
  • estate planning - how has the dust settled after Kennon v Spry?
  • customs duty
  • taking an SME international
  • part IVA reform
  • taxing trust distributions at 30 June 2013
  • corporate tax planning.

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

Individual sessions

Taking an SME international

Author(s):  Michael SELTH,  Robert JAMES,  Jeff FUNNELL

A business may start off as a small Australian-based operation, but what happens when the SME wants to move into off shore markets, or set up part of its  operations in a foreign country?

This paper looks at:

  • what additional Australian tax obligations arise
  • how and when the foreign-sourced profits will be taxed in Australia
  • what ownership structure in Australia may be suitable to hold the foreign operations
  • practical examples of overseas structures which may be used.
Materials from this session:

Customs duty

Author(s):  Ross THORPE

This paper provides an overview of customs duty as well as indirect tax planning strategies for major projects and related activities. Particular issues to be covered include:

  • import duty concessions, designed to maximise import duty savings for major projects
  • srategic trade planning, incorporating the utilisation of free trade agreements
  • the impact of the introduction of the carbon pricing mechanism as at 1 July 2012 on fuel tax credits
  • tax risk management.
Materials from this session:

Estate planning - How has the dust settled after Kennon vs. Spry?

Author(s):  Matthew BURGESS,  Tara Lucke

Since the High Court decision in Kennon v Spry, there has been increasing concern among practitioners that the trust assets of their clients could be subject to Family Court attack. This paper focuses on the Family Court’s treatment of trusts to consider issues such as:

  • when do trusts become part of the pool of assets?
  • if not in the pool, will a trust be a financial resource? If it is a financial resource, what effect will it have on the outcome?
  • how does a parent structure their affairs to protect their children?
  • what do the more recent cases reveal?
  • what tax, structuring and estate planning issues should be considered?
Materials from this session:

Tax and infrastructure

Author(s):  Craig SAUNDERS

In order to grow and develop the economy, Australia faces a number of infrastructure challenges. The tax issues when undertaking an infrastructure project are often challenging and difficult. This paper addresses solving those challenging tax issues. The paper also considers policy reforms, and whether tax reforms in this area would accelerate infrastructure projects.

Materials from this session:

Trusts - Where are we at with amending trust deeds after Clark?

Author(s):  Grahame Young

This paper explores the circumstances where a trust deed can be amended, and without causing adverse taxation consequences. In particular, it deals with the decision in Commissioner of Taxation v Clark, the subsequent withdrawal of the ATO’s Statement of Principles and the issue of draft Taxation Determination TD 2012/D4. It also focuses on:

  • changes that may be required to existing trust deeds as a result of the High Court decision in Bamford
  • the introduction of the streaming legislation
  • possible future developments.
Materials from this session:

Tax law partnerships - The state of the law in 2013

Author(s):  Matthew Pawson

Covers implications for partnerships in Kelly v Commissioner of Taxation [2012] FCA 423 (27 April 2012), for example:

  • can a trust be a partner in a tax law partnership?
  • does an Everett assignment survive a dissolution and reconstitution of the partnership when a partner retires or a new partner is admitted?
  • stamp duty implications.
Materials from this session:

International tax hot topics

Author(s):  Bob Deutsch

This paper covers recent developments in the international tax area including:

  • what is the practical impact of the changes to the transfer pricing regime?
    • the changes enacted and what is yet to come
    • the likely changes to the way the ATO approaches transfer pricing
  • thin capitalisation
  • tax residence
  • equity post-CGT removal of discounts.
Materials from this session:

Hot issues in super

Author(s):  Sharyn LONG

The current tranche of super changes, including the recommendations from the Cooper Review and the Future of Financial Advice (FOFA) reforms are some of the most significant since the introduction of the SG contribution more than 20 years ago. The paper brings you up to date with all the recent developments,including:

  • valuation rules for SMSFs
  • the new penalty regime for SMSFs
  • borrowing arrangements
  • contributions, pensions and related strategies
  • the FOFA reforms and what they mean for tax practitioners
  • the SuperStream changes
  • other topical developments.
Materials from this session:

Employment taxation update including living away from home allowances and employment termination payments

Author(s):  Sarah BERNHARDT,  Suzanne HOLSTEIN

This paper focuses on practical tax issues and recent tax law changes that have affected the structuring of employment packages for employees,
including in fly-in, fly-out situations and for temporary residents. The paper analyses those reforms and their effect on business, and provides practical examples of how to structure an effective package.

Materials from this session:

Research and development

Author(s):  David GELB,  Phil RENSHAW,  Edward BAYFORD,  Helen GILFIDDER

The passing of two new tax bills in 2011, the Tax Laws Amendment (Research and Development) Bill 2010 and the Income Tax Rates Amendment (Research and Development) Bill 2010, has provided the opportunity to make significant cash savings on eligible research and development (R&D) activities and greater flexibility regarding intellectual property rules. The laws allow for an increased ability to claim overseas R&D, and the opportunity to apply for a Private Binding Ruling on R&D activities. Importantly, the government is targeting the new program at small-to-medium-size enterprises, that can save up to 45 cents on every dollar of R&D spend.

This paper helps you identify the opportunities these changes provide, ensuring you get the most out of your R&D tax incentive.

Materials from this session:

Distressed debt transactions

Author(s):  Adrian VARASSO,  Robert YUNAN

This paper considers issues for debtors and creditors when reviewing the life cycle of distressed debt transactions. Topics covered include:

  • changes to debt arrangements
  • sale of debt
  • debt for equity swap
  • debt forgiveness
  • international issues.
Materials from this session:

The Personal Service Income (PSI) regime 10 years on

Author(s):  Robert WF SCEALES

The Ralph Report concluded that another $500 million of revenue would be available to government if individuals within the tax system as contractors, were taxed as if they were employees. The competing stress of outsourcing, driven by employers seeking severally to avoid union regulation of work conditions, notice, severance pay, state payroll taxes, superannuation surcharge and other labour on-costs, was matched by such contractors wishing to reduce their tax liability by means of deductible expenses. Against that background, the Australian Taxation Office is charged with the enforcement of legislation designed to achieve that aim.

This paper looks at the PSI after 10 years of operation and considers the rules and:

  • how are they being applied?
  • what are the traps to watch out for?
  • the likely impact of the Cameron case
  • what else have the courts said?
Materials from this session:

Not-for-profit changes

Author(s):  John EMERSON

The Commonwealth has a wide-ranging and ambitious reform agenda for not-for-profits. Important regulatory compliance and taxation reforms are included in the agenda.

This paper covers:

  • Australian Charities and Not-for profits Commission
  • new tax regime for unrelated commercial activities of not-for-profits.
Materials from this session:

Accidently getting caught up in tax fraud is usually not a risk on your radar - What should you be aware of?

Author(s):  David Williams

Like professional negligence, tax fraud is not something that a practitioner normally expects to be involved in or accused of. However it can happen
particularly in a “guilt by association” situation or where a client points the finger of blame to reduce their own level of blame. This paper covers:

  • common misconceptions and fallacies
  • identifying and being wary of potential indicators
  • Saxby: Even a simple objection can create an exposure
  • the access of the ATO to previously unavailable sources of information particularly from secrecy/tax havens and everyday sources
  • increased risks for professional advisers who are caught up in dodgy transactions, including heavier sentencing than five years ago
  • are juries more prepared to join up the dots in tax fraud cases?
Materials from this session:

Tax due diligence in M&A

Author(s):  Fiona CAHILL,  Paul CULIBRK

This paper covers key issues in tax due diligence including:

  • fundamentals of tax due diligence
  • role of vendor tax due diligence
  • tax risk management strategies:
    • pricing adjustments
    • tax warranty and indemnity protection
    • managing tax risk through structuring
  • key areas of tax risk, including tax consolidation and clear exits
  • pre-sale restructuring, including pre-sale dividends and pre-sale carve-out of excluded assets.
Materials from this session:

Plethora of SME topics

Author(s):  Grantley STEVENS

The current economic times provides many challenges for businesses and their advisors. This paper looks at “hot issues” facing our clients and includes:

  • the use of appropriate structures and an update of UPE’s
  • resetting cost bases for CGT purposes – is it time?
  • topical FBT and GST issues
  • other issues affecting SBE’s.
Materials from this session:

GST and going concern exemption

Author(s):  Andrew SOMMER

This paper covers:

  • what’s in the going concern
  • practical issues – defining the enterprise, determining the “things necessary”, demonstrating the continuation
  • drafting for the supply of a going concern
  • when must the requirements be met? Can you recover from a failure to meet all the requirements?
  • legislative reform – what was sought, what was promised, what is happening?
Materials from this session:

Facing the dragon in his lair

Author(s):  Martin KEATING

When you need to deal with the Commissioner’s officers you would be well advised to know something about them. In this paper, Martin Keating explores the formal guidelines within which they work, but also relate, with the assistance of some anonymised anecdotes, his first hand observations of some individual attitudes and group dynamics that officers commonly display. Against this background Martin then goes on to make some suggestions about how practitioners might best deal with tax officers on a case by case basis, finishing with a few comments abou thow representative bodies like The Tax Institute can fine tune their representations regarding perceptions of the ATO’s shortcomings in these regards.

Materials from this session:

Employee equity arrangements

Author(s):  Ian BURGESS,  Peter Glindemann

Having the right employee remuneration and engagement structure in place is crucial for an SME when competing to attract and retain talented staff. This paper explores the tax issues for various employee equity incentive arrangements relevant to privately owned businesses including:??

  • whether a “vanilla” ESOP/ESS can be effectivelyimplemented for an SME
  • loan arrangements to fund share acquisitions (FBT– Div 7A implications)
  • dividend access and other special class shares
  • phantom equity plans
  • issues arising for particular SME business structures (eg trusts).
Materials from this session:

Taxation of financial arrangements

Author(s):  Tony FROST,  Andrew Hirst

This paper provides a progress report on the TOFA rules in Div 230 of the Tax Act which have substantially reshaped the way that many taxpayers have to recognise financial transactions for tax purposes.

Topics covered include:

  • TOFA overview
  • where the law is at now and current TOFA issues
  • ATO compliance activities – focus areas of ATO review
  • risk management
  • was TOFA a good idea and what can be done to improve it?
Materials from this session:

Corporate tax planning

Author(s):  Ernest Chang,  Matt BUDGE

This paper focuses on practical corporate tax issues that advisers and management should consider when structuring and financing transactions, including:

  • capital raising
  • debt/equity
  • hybrid instruments including Mills case (taxpayer allowed special leave to appeal to High Court on 10 October 2012)
  • Corporations Act 2001 s 254T amendments
  • repatriation of profits including franking of dividends and withholding taxes
  • returns of capital/share buy-backs
  • proposed business tax working group reforms.
Materials from this session:

Tax and native title presentation

Author(s):  Miranda STEWART

This area of uncertainty is set to undergo significant reform. This paper considers past issues and explores the application of the new rules.

Topics covered include:

  • context of native title agreements
  • current tax and GST issues for both the miners and native title groups
  • review of reform proposals
  • practical issues.
Materials from this session:

Australian Taxation Office investigations - Recent issues

Author(s):  Michael CLOUGH,  Andrew CURRIE

The Australian Taxation Office has issued a risk differentiation framework and has made changes including the establishment of a reportable tax positions schedule. These are tools it says will assist it to identify taxpayers for review. The ATO has also been subject to an IGOT review on its use of alternative dispute resolution, and how it manages the audit process.

This paper considers:

  • how taxpayers are selected for audit
  • the accuracy of identification processes at the ATO
  • the effectiveness of the ATO’s audit managementand dispute resolution.
Materials from this session:

Powers of Attorney

Author(s):  Susan Fielding

The use of a power of attorney is often very important in the context of effecting/completing a commercial transaction or in the context of ensuring that a vacuum does not arise over commercial decisions. This paper covers:

  • what are the legal requirements?
  • who can be the attorney of a power of attorney?
  • the difference between irrevocable and revocable powers of attorney and common law powers of attorney and enduring powers of attorney
  • duties of an attorney
  • the impact of a loss of capacity by the donor
  • appointment of attorneys by trustees and companies
  • where it is permissible to use a power of attorney inthe context of an SMSF.
Materials from this session:

Tax issues on intergenerational change

Author(s):  Peter BOBBIN

Interesting issues that are explored in this presentation include:??

  • market value substitution gains and problems with new streaming rules??
  • Division 7A implications particularly looking at often ignored triggers such as payments and forgiveness of debt??
  • supplies for GST purposes
  • ??UPEs and s 100A implications of any gifts back.
Materials from this session:

Equity, simplicity, certainty and individualised justice – in the one sentence?

Author(s):  Michelle GORDON

The National Convention's annual Justice Graham Hill Memorial Lecture - this year presented by The Hon. Justice Michelle Gordon, Federal Court of Australia.

Materials from this session:

Part IVA reform

Author(s):  AH (Tony) SLATER

The Government has announced that reforms to the tax benefit test in Part IVA will be introduced into Parliament by the end of 2012. These changes will be the first significant amendments to the core provisions of Part IVA since it was introduced in 1981. Part IVA continues to be among the most important, controversial and complex parts of the Australian tax system and will be discussed from the perspective of its efficacy, workability and fairness, having regard to global comparisons.

Materials from this session: