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Getting money out of SME companies


It is a common expectation that wealth accumulated in an SME company will pass to its proprietors and their families. Because companies are taxed at a lower rate of tax than many individuals, it is legitimate to ensure that money which has been accumulated as a result of a preferential tax rate cannot be enjoyed by the owners or their associates without the requisite make-up tax being paid. There is, however, also a need to ensure that tax law conforms to commercial structures and practices, and is comprehensible to taxpayers.

This article examines in detail the taxation regime that affects the ability of SME proprietors to release money from their companies. The author concludes that the present combination of complex integrity provisions and legislative concepts which are either counter-intuitive or simply incomprehensible to business people means that the costs of compliance for SMEs have increased and will continue to increase.

Author profile

Tony Riordan CTA
Tony Riordan, CTA, is a Tax Partner at Riordans Lawyers in Melbourne, a boutique commercial law firm. He has degrees in Law and Commerce and a Masters in Taxation Law from Melbourne University. His areas of practice include SME structuring, estate planning for high wealth individuals and transaction structuring. - Current at 23 April 2014
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