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17 Dec 2018 | Riposte | Private Wealth

Capital gain versus revenue gain, again

The recent decision in the Ransley case has shown the willingness of the ATO to target investors seeking to adopt CGT treatment on the sale of shares. The decision also upheld the 50% penalty applied by the ATO.

12 Nov 2018 | Riposte | Real Estate | Private Wealth

Extension of significant global entity definition and impact for large private groups

On 20 July 2018, Treasury released Exposure Draft legislation to extend the definition of a significant global entity (SGE). As a result, the extended definition of an SGE may include members of large private groups headed by unlisted companies, trusts (including discretionary trusts), partnerships or other investment vehicles. This will have wide ranging implications for affected large private groups which were previously outside the scope of some anti-avoidance provisions, increased administrative penalties and the requirement to lodge general purpose financial statements. The change is proposed to apply for income years starting on or after 1 July 2018.

07 Nov 2018 | Tax Brief | Corporate and Mergers & Acquisitions | Private Wealth

Vacillation in Small Business Territory

The taxation of small business entities has seen more than the usual degree of schizophrenia in the last few weeks. While there were tax cuts for small business, Treasury released a Consultation Paper outlining proposed amendments to Div 7A. These measures are, for the most part, decidedly not concessional.

Tax Brief 7 November 2018 - Vacillation in Small Business Territory (240 kb)

23 Oct 2018 | Riposte | Real Estate | Private Wealth

Victorian Land Tax: Guidelines for the Absentee Owner Surcharge Exemption

The Victorian Treasurer has published further guidelines on the circumstances in which an impacted landowner may be granted an exemption from the Absentee Owner Surcharge (AOS) for the 2019 land tax year onwards.

22 Oct 2018 | Riposte | Real Estate | Private Wealth

Denying deductions for vacant land – Exposure Draft

The Government has released Exposure Draft legislation, as previously announced in the 2018-2019 Budget, to deny certain deductions associated with holding vacant land incurred from 1 July 2019. These integrity measures, which are effectively targeted at private trusts, SMSFs and individuals, can apply to deny deductions where the land is not being used to carry on a business for the purpose of producing assessable income.

17 Oct 2018 | Riposte | Real Estate | Private Wealth

Circular trust resolutions – family trusts to be taxed at 47%

Following on from the Government’s announcement in the 2018-19 Budget, an Exposure Draft entitled Treasury Laws Amendment (Measures for a Later Sitting) Bill 2018 has been released which proposes to impose trustee beneficiary non-disclosure tax (currently, 47%) on the untaxed part of a circular trust distribution to which the trustee of a family trust becomes presently entitled.

16 Oct 2018 | Tax Brief | Private Wealth

Taxing private trusts - a moving target

Our revenue authorities have been very active recently issuing judgments, making pronouncements and intensifying enforcement activity, all directed to the way the tax system operates in relation to income made from, and gains arising on transactions with, assets that are held on trust. This Tax Brief highlights the effects of some of the more important developments affecting private trusts.

Tax Brief - Taxing private trusts – a moving target (322 kb)

11 Sep 2018 | Riposte | Real Estate | Private Wealth

NSW land tax: property developer liable for land tax under property development agreement

The Civil and Administrative Tribunal of New South Wales decision in Australia Avenue Developments Pty Ltd as trustee for the SOP Site 3 Partner Trust v Chief Commissioner of State Revenue [2018] NSWCATAD 144 demonstrates the importance of considering land tax implications when structuring property development arrangements.

13 Aug 2018 | Riposte | Financial Services | Private Equity | Private Wealth

Tax Law Bites Trust Law on Franking Credits

The High Court of Australia has restored sanity in a long running saga in which a trustee purported to separate franking credits from the underlying dividends in allocations to beneficiaries. The Court held (as the parties now accepted) that this was not possible and that a contrary decision of the Supreme Court of Queensland in its trusts jurisdiction to which the Commissioner of Taxation was not party did not bind the Commissioner.

13 Aug 2018 | Riposte | Real Estate | Private Equity | Private Wealth

Tax Law Bites Trust Law on Franking Credits

The High Court of Australia has restored sanity in a long running saga in which a trustee purported to separate franking credits from the underlying dividends in allocations to beneficiaries. The court held (as the parties now accepted) that this was not possible and that a contrary decision of the Supreme Court of Queensland in its trusts jurisdiction to which the Commissioner of Taxation was not party did not bind the Commissioner.

12 Jul 2018 | Riposte | Private Wealth | Employment & Superannuation

Board of Taxation reviews residency test for individuals

The Board of Taxation has released a self-initiated report considering the existing individual income tax residency rules. In providing its recommendations, the Board of Taxation concludes that the existing residency rules are no longer appropriate and must be modernised.

04 Jun 2018 | External Publications | Private Wealth

Managing Part IVA

The Tax Institute's Private Business Tax Retreat was held on the Gold Coast from 31 May - 1 June 2018. As part of the Retreat, Greenwoods & Herbert Smith Freehills Director Cameron Blackwood and Senior Associate Chris Aboud presented on managing Part IVA.

The Tax Institute Private Business Tax Retreat - Managing part IVA presentation - Cameron Blackwood and Chris Aboud (444 kb)

15 Mar 2018 | Riposte | Employment & Superannuation | Private Wealth

Labor to deny SMSF franking credit refunds

Labor announced that, if elected, they would deny franking credit refunds for superannuation funds and individuals. Although targeted primarily at Self-Managed Superannuation Funds, some APRA-regulated funds that cater principally for pensioners and some non-working and low-income individuals will also be adversely affected.

18 Dec 2017 | Riposte | Private Wealth

The ATO broadens its targeting of private groups

Having focused on the top 320 privately owned and wealthy groups, the ATO is now looking at the next 1,200 largest groups to interview.

26 Sep 2017 | Riposte | Private Wealth

Crackdown on Phoenixing: Director Identification Numbers

The Government has announced a package of reforms in a bid to crackdown on illegal phoenixing activities, which will require every company director to register for a unique Director Identification Number. The Government also intends to consult on other measures targeted towards phoenix operators.

20 Sep 2017 | Riposte | Private Wealth

Corporate tax rate cut - passive income exclusion

The Government has released exposure draft legislation to clarify that the corporate tax rate reduction will not be available for corporate tax entities with predominantly passive income. There are areas of the drafting that may require amendment.

15 Sep 2017 | Riposte | Private Wealth

Private Groups and Trusts under ATO scrutiny

The ‘Tax Avoidance Taskforce – Trusts’ is targeting privately owned and wealthy groups involved in higher risk trust arrangements. The ATO has released a list of situations which attract the Taskforce’s attention and may result in severe sanctions for targeted taxpayers.

04 Aug 2017 | Riposte | Private Wealth

Labor’s family trust distribution tax

In an audacious move to target income splitting, if elected, the ALP will introduce a minimum 30 per cent tax rate on all discretionary trust distributions made to adult beneficiaries.

17 Jul 2017 | Riposte | Private Wealth

A severe case of the penalties

The AAT has upheld the Commissioner’s decision to impose penalties of up to 95% of the tax shortfall. It is a timely reminder of the various powers that the Commissioner has to impose penalties on taxpayers.

06 Jul 2017 | Riposte | Private Wealth

ATO targets converted UPEs

The ATO has issued a warning that it is targeting arrangements where unpaid present entitlements of unit trusts within private groups are converted to equity. The unit trust may then make payments or loans to other members of the private group.

26 May 2017 | External Publications | Private Wealth

The expanding offshore client

"The Expanding Offshore Client – How Australian Tax Rules Are Taken With You and How to Manage Them" was authored by Director Cameron Blackwood and Senior Associate Chris Aboud and presented by Cameron at The Tax Institute Private Business Tax Retreat in May 2017.

(782 kb)

06 Apr 2017 | Riposte | Private Wealth

ATO takes action on assurance for Private Groups

The ATO’s focus on large privately owned and wealthy groups is in full swing with no sign of slowing down in the 2017 year.

07 Mar 2017 | Riposte | Real Estate | Private Wealth

‘Improvements’ – pre- or post-CGT assets?

According to the ATO, any intangible capital improvements made to a pre-CGT asset may be treated as a separate CGT asset.

17 Feb 2017 | Riposte | Private Wealth

Is a register of beneficial ownership of companies coming?

As part of the global tax transparency push, Australia is considering how a register of the beneficial ownership of companies might be implemented.

11 Nov 2016 | Riposte | Private Wealth

Private groups attracting ATO attention

In another attempt to help “get things right”, the ATO has released a list of behaviours, characteristics and tax issues of privately owned and wealthy groups that will attract the ATO’s attention.

25 Oct 2016 | Riposte | Private Wealth

Tax transparency – a looming issue for private groups?

Greater tax transparency is a looming issue for privately owned and wealthy groups with numerous measures already having been introduced and other measures under consideration by Government.

13 Sep 2016 | Riposte | Private Wealth

“Every year counts” for private groups

The ATO's key initiatives for private groups in 2016/2017 are outlined in the latest update on its Reinvention program: “Every year counts for Privately Owned and Wealthy Groups”.

16 Jun 2016 | Tax Brief | Private Wealth

Does your tax governance framework live up to ATO expectations?

The ATO has released a new online resource to assist private groups “get things right”, particularly when it comes to tax governance.

16 Jun 2016 | Riposte | Private Wealth

Does your tax governance framework live up to ATO expectations?

The ATO has released a new online resource to assist private groups “get things right”, particularly when it comes to tax governance.

03 Jun 2016 | Riposte | Private Wealth

Tax adviser or ATO informer? The Mandatory Disclosure proposal

As part of the 2016-17 Federal Budget, the Government announced that it will introduce Mandatory Disclosure Rules to require tax advisors (and in certain circumstances taxpayers) to report ‘aggressive tax arrangements’ to the ATO.

11 May 2016 | Riposte | Private Wealth

Panel session with Jeremy Hirschhorn, ATO

On 11 May 2016, Greenwoods and our associated law firm, Herbert Smith Freehills, hosted a panel session in Melbourne titled "Are you on the ATO's radar?", which included ATO Deputy Commissioner, Public Groups, Jeremy Hirschhorn. Our Riposte summarises the key points raised in the session.

06 May 2016 | Riposte | Private Wealth

Budget 2016 - Reflections for large private groups and HWIs

The 2016-17 Federal Budget confirms that the ATO will continue to be heavily focused on the tax affairs private groups (and their tax advisors), however, there will be some welcomed relief on Division 7A and a lower company tax rate (eventually).

27 Apr 2016 | Riposte | Private Wealth

Senate Committee reports (again)

The Senate Economics References Committee’s inquiry into Corporate Tax Avoidance released a second report: Gaming the System. Its sole recommendation is to extend the committee's term to September 2016 ‘to explore the implications arising from the Panama papers’.

05 Apr 2016 | Riposte | Private Wealth

Panel session with Jeremy Hirschhorn, ATO

On 4 April 2016, Greenwoods and our associated law firm, Herbert Smith Freehills, hosted a panel session titled "Are you on the ATO's radar?", which included ATO Deputy Commissioner, Public Groups, Jeremy Hirschhorn. Our Riposte summarises the key points raised in the session.

01 Mar 2016 | Riposte | Private Wealth

ATO reinvents, targets private groups

Privately owned groups are a key target of the ATO's “Reinvention program” and will need to determine what the ATO's new approach means for them.

16 Apr 2013 | Tax Briefs | Private Wealth

ATO Disclosure of Taxpayer Information

This Tax Brief explains the proposals to amend the law to allow disclosure of information about the tax affairs of large taxpayers, who will be affected and how the measures are likely to work.

ATO Disclosure of Taxpayer Information (199 kb)

28 Apr 2008 | Tax Briefs | Private Wealth

The ATO's Approach to Administering the Promoter Penalty Regime

This Tax Brief examines the two Practice Statements (PS LA 2008/7 and PS LA 2008/8) issued by the ATO in relation to administering the promoter penalty regime.

The ATO's Approach to Administering the Promoter Penalty Regime (50 kb)

01 Jul 2005 | Tax Briefs | Private Wealth

Legislation to Amend the Self Assessment System

This Tax Brief outlines the provisions of three instalments of legislation to give effect to Treasury’s report to the Government in December 2004 and January 2005 on aspects of the self-assessment system.

Legislation to Amend the Self Assessment System (190 kb)

30 Jun 2005 | Tax Briefs | Private Wealth

Commissioner One, Taxpayer Nil

This Tax Brief discusses the Federal Court decision in Commissioner of Taxation v BCD Technologies Pty Ltd about whether a company tax return lodged with no tax payable was an “assessment”.

Commissioner One, Taxpayer Nil (107 kb)

04 Feb 2005 | Tax Briefs | Private Wealth

Capital Gains Everywhere in Settlement of Actions

This Tax Brief considers the AAT decision in G Cassegrain & Co Pty Ltd v Commissioner of Taxation which held that a settlement payment made to the taxpayer, a family company, was assessable as a capital gain.

Capital Gains Everywhere in Settlement of Actions (209 kb)

11 Jan 2005 | Tax Briefs | Private Wealth

ATO Access to Board Papers on Tax Compliance Risk

This Tax Brief contemplates an ATO Practice Statement (Practice Statement) setting out its access policy for company board papers relating to taxation risk.

ATO Access to Board Papers on Tax Compliance Risk (173 kb)

13 Jan 2005 | Tax Briefs | Private Wealth

The Review of Self-Assessment - Amendments, Penalties and Interest

This is the last of our Tax Briefs on Treasury’s report to the Government on aspects of the self assessment system released on 16 December 2004. In this Tax Brief we focus on the recommendations dealing with changes to the powers to re-assess tax liabilities, and with proposed changes to the rules concerning the imposition and remission of penalties and interest.

The Review of Self-Assessment - Amendments, Penalties and Interest (184 kb)

06 Jan 2005 | Tax Briefs | Private Wealth

The Review of Self-Assessment - Overview

Treasury’s report to the Government on aspects of the self assessment system, and the Government’s response to the Report, accepting all of the recommendations was released in January 2005. This Tax Brief is the first of three focussing on the recommendations of the Report.

The Review of Self-Assessment - Overview (163 kb)

08 Jul 2004 | Tax Briefs | Private Wealth

Commissioner's Spotlight Remains Focussed on Part IVA

This Tax Brief considers the case of Spotlight Stores Pty Ltd v Commissioner of Taxation which considered in detail the various tests for the application of Part IVA.

Commissioner's Spotlight Remains Focussed on Part IVA (648 kb)

02 Jun 2004 | Tax Briefs | Private Wealth

Pratt Brings Clarity - Accountants and Legal Professional Privilege

This tax brief summarises the decision in Pratt Holdings v FCT on whether advice obtained by a taxpayer from an accounting firm to be provided to the taxpayer’s legal adviser is subject to legal professional privilege.

Pratt Brings Clarity - Accountants and Legal Professional Privilege (158 kb)

31 May 2004 | Tax Briefs | Private Wealth

High Court Re-Mystifies Part IVA

The tax brief summarises the High Court decision in FCT v Hart and its interpretation of Part IVA

High Court Re-Mystifies Part IVA (206 kb)

04 May 2004 | Tax Briefs | Private Wealth

Packer Wins Battle, Commissioner Wins War

This Tax Brief analyses the Full Federal Court’s decision in Asiamet (No.1) Resources Pty Limited v FCT. The Court upheld the decision at first instance on the Commissioner’s discretion to grant extensions of time for loss transfers under s.80G(6A)(b) of the Income Tax Assessment Act 1936.

Packer Wins Battle, Commissioner Wins War (255 kb)

10 Nov 2003 | Tax Briefs | Private Wealth

FCT v Zoffanies Pty Ltd

This Tax Brief considers the Federal Court decision in FCT v Zoffaines in which the a decision of the AAT that the provisions of Part IVA did not apply to the circumstances of the case which involved an R&D syndicate was set aside and remitted to the AAT for re-hearing.

FCT v Zoffanies Pty Ltd (206 kb)

29 Oct 2003 | Tax Briefs | Private Wealth

The Pendulum Swings Back to Enforcement

This Tax Brief serves to remind large business taxpayers that the ATO is back in the enforcement business.

The Pendulum Swings Back to Enforcement (120 kb)

03 Oct 2003 | Tax Briefs | Private Wealth

Sleight v Commissioner of Taxation [2003] FCA 896

The Federal Court held that Part IVA had no application and consequently allowed the claims for deductions by the taxpayer in connection with his investment in a tea tree oil cultivation project, a “tax effective investment scheme”.

Sleight v Commissioner of Taxation [2003] FCA 896 (208 kb)

09 Sep 2003 | Tax Briefs | Private Wealth

Harts Case

This Tax Brief considers the decision of the Full Federal Court in Harts Case which upheld the decision decision to deny deductions for outgoings incurred in connection with the conduct of air-show activities by the taxpayer and ruled that the taxpayer was reckless in claiming those losses as deductions.

Harts Case (289 kb)

25 Aug 2003 | Tax Briefs | Private Wealth

ATO Releases New Compliance Program

This Tax Brief considers the Australian Taxation Office compliance program 2003, complementing the detailed large business compliance plan released in June.

ATO Releases New Compliance Program (106 kb)

04 Aug 2003 | Tax Briefs | Private Wealth

"QT-Pie in Streamland: No Fairytale Ending"

This Tax Brief considers the decision in Electricity Supply Industry Superannuation (Qld) Ltd v Deputy Commissioner of Taxation wherein the Full Federal Court considered whether there was a franking credit streaming arrangement within the meaning of Part IVA.

"QT-Pie in Streamland: No Fairytale Ending" (320 kb)

14 Jun 2003 | Tax Briefs | Private Wealth

Mochkin Arrives at the Emerald City

This Tax Brief considers the decision of the Full Court in Federal Commissioner of Taxation v Mochkin, which dealt with the operation of Part IVA and the diversion of personal services income.

Mochkin Arrives at the Emerald City (282 kb)