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Tax risk governance

Published on 01 Oct 15 by "TAXATION IN AUSTRALIA" JOURNAL ARTICLE

Governance is the means by which an organisation is controlled and influenced by those who are charged with the responsibility to govern it. A governance framework is a conceptual structure and a set of rules which outlines how the organisation is governed. It includes policies, procedures, systems and controls which are the practical method by which decisions are made and actions undertaken. The Australian Taxation Office’s Tax risk management and governance review guide, published in July 2015, was primarily developed for large corporate taxpayers, but the principles outlined in the guide can apply to a corporation and entity group structure of any size, including private groups and high wealth (PGH) groups and small business entities, if tailored appropriately.

This article encourages large corporates as well as PGH and small business entities to develop governance frameworks which address tax risks, and discusses how that can be done.

Author profiles

Alexander Whitney
Alex is a Senior Associate with with West Garbutt and was admitted as a solicitor in 2014. He has focused on technical tax for most of his career and has experience in the areas of income tax, CGT, GST, superannuation guarantee as well as disputes with revenue authorities.

Alex has acted for a broad range of clients, including family businesses, high wealth private groups, national non-profit organisations, deceased estates and corporate groups. He has acted on large transactions ($100M+) which required significant tax involvement, as well as objections and appeals for income tax, CGT and GST.

Alex has been published in a variety of publications including Bloomberg BNA Tax Planning International Asia Pacific Focus, the New South Wales Law Society Journal and the Tax Institute of Australia ‘Taxation in Australia’ journal.

- Current at 30 August 2019
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Sarah Blakelock
Photo of author, Sarah Blakelock Sarah is a Partner in KPMG Law’s Tax Dispute and Controversy practice. Sarah has more than 17 years’ experience focusing on the prevention, management and resolution of tax disputes. She specializes in risk reviews and audit management, evidence gathering, tax risk and corporate governance as well as alternate dispute resolution and litigation across all taxes, including State taxes. Sarah acts for multinational enterprises, ASX listed companies, large corporates, leading financial institutions, private groups and high net wealth individuals as well as previously for the Commissioner of Taxation across all industries. Sarah is one of the few tax practitioners in Australia with experience in managing and resolving multi-jurisdictional disputes by international arbitration and complex international regulatory investigations (across Australia, New Zealand, Vanuatu, Singapore, Hong Kong and the United Kingdom). Sarah is recognized in Best Lawyers – Tax Law 2017 and 2018; Who’s Who Legal – Corporate Tax (Tax Controversy) – 2016, 2017; International Tax Review – World Tax Rankings 2015, 2016, 2017; Chambers and Partners – Asia Pacific and Legal 500 Asia Pacific and is also a Harvard trained negotiator. - Current at 23 January 2018
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