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Taxation

  1. 15 Feb 17 ATO targeting stapled structures The Australia Taxation Office on 31 January 2017 issued Tax Alert TA 2017/1 which sets out the Commissioner’s concerns in relation to stapled structures. Particular focus is on arrangements where ‘a single business is divided in a contrived way into separate businesses’.
  2. 13 Jan 17 Treasurer extends transfer duty relief for Queensland family farms On 16 December 2016 Queensland Treasurer Curtis Pitt announced that the transfer duty exemption available for the transfer of primary production businesses between family members would be extended to cover all assets of that business. The Queensland Office of State Revenue has since released ruling DA105.3.1 confirming how the administrative arrangement will apply.
  3. 24 Nov 16 Gearing up for the Budget Superannuation Changes - Things to do before 1 July 2017 On 9 November 2016 the Government introduced the Treasury Laws Amendment (Fair and Sustainable Superannuation) Bill 2016 to implement its May 2016 Budget superannuation changes. The Bill was passed by both houses of Parliament on 23 November 2016 and is now awaiting Royal Assent.
  4. 19 Oct 16 Proposed shortfall tax penalty concessions for small businesses On 8 September 2016, the Australian Tax Office issued a consultation paper on proposed changes to the penalty regime for small business and individuals. The Australian Taxation Office has proposed a concessional administrative treatment for shortfall penalties that will apply to small businesses and individuals.
  5. 12 Oct 16 Developments in ATO information gathering The information age may have started in the late 1990’s, but the Australian Taxation Office is entering into its own information gathering renaissance. The days when the ATO relied on its own investigations and the taxpayer’s honesty are long gone – the ATO now has long informational reach that extends across international borders.
  6. 5 Oct 16 The drafting of discretionary trust deeds and NSW duty and land tax In recent times most NSW trustees have become tired of the many tax reforms that have affected trusts and which have required amendments to their trust deeds. These reforms include the introduction of the concept of a fixed trust for NSW land tax purposes in the mid 2000s and the introduction of the trust streaming provisions in 2011 as a response to the High Court case of FCT v Bamford [2010] HCA 10.
  7. 16 Jun 16 Family farm transfer duty concession extended As part of the budget this week, Treasurer Curtis Pitt announced that the Rural Assistance Package will extend the duty concession on transfers of family farms to transactions other than by way of gift.
  8. 13 Jun 16 ATO early engagement Review Letters explained The ATO is proactively targeting and engaging taxpayers involved in major transactions often before the taxpayer even lodges its tax return. In this article, we explain the Early Engagement Review Letter, and the necessary actions required after receiving a letter.
  9. 10 Jun 16 Queensland government introduces new property tax for foreign investors On 9 June 2016, Treasurer Curtis Pitt announced that the Queensland government will introduce a new 3% surcharge on stamp duty for foreign investors who purchase residential property in Queensland. The surcharge is likely to be introduced for all Queensland residential land acquisition contracts by foreign buyers signed on or after 1 July 2016.
  10. 11 May 16 Land tax: the things you need to consider when investing in Queensland agricultural land With global food demand booming, investing in Queensland agricultural land is becoming an increasingly attractive option for investors including foreigners. However, investors should be aware of potential land tax ramifications.
  11. 4 May 16 Summary - The Federal Budget Scott Morrison has handed down the Budget which has some surprises, both good and bad for taxpayers and business. An overview of some of the key issues and our comments are set out below:
  12. 26 Apr 16 30 June issues for Self Managed Superannuation Funds – Non-Bank LRBAs and Personal Use Assets With all eyes on whether the Government will introduce changes to the superannuation system in the May Budget, care is still needed to ensure that your self managed superannuation fund complies with the existing law.
  13. 26 Feb 16 Payment of tax in Australia now a condition for foreign investment The Turnbull Government will start to impose new conditions on foreign investment approvals to ensure that multinational companies investing in Australia are complying with Australian tax laws by paying the required amount of tax on their Australian earnings.
  14. 11 Feb 16 The new foreign resident CGT withholding tax....a cheat sheet On 3 December 2015 the Government introduced Tax and Superannuation Laws Amendment (2015 Measures No 6) Bill 2015 into Parliament. This Bill will enact into law a new foreign resident CGT withholding tax.
  15. 9 Feb 16 Business Restructure Rollover Bill Introduced Last week the Tax Laws Amendment (Small Business Restructure Roll Over) Bill 2016 (the Bill) was introduced to Parliament, confirming the Government’s commitment to delivering the “Small Business Restructure Rollover”.
  16. 9 Feb 16 Business Restructure Rollover Bill Introduced Last week the Tax Laws Amendment (Small Business Restructure Roll Over) Bill 2016 (the Bill) was introduced to Parliament, confirming the Government’s commitment to delivering the “Small Business Restructure Rollover”.
  17. 3 Dec 15 Dividend access share did not prevent access to small business CGT concessions The Federal Court has ruled that a dividend access share does not grant the holder an entitlement to the payment of a dividend immediately prior to the CGT event.
  18. 23 Nov 15 Defining agricultural land - foreign ownership of agricultural land register The Register of Foreign Ownership of Agricultural Land Bill 2015 was recently passed requiring all foreign persons that hold any interest in agricultural land to register that interest with the ATO by end 31 December 2015.
  19. 13 Nov 15 Proposed rollover delivers opportunity for SME tax restructure The Treasury has recently released an Exposure Draft setting out the proposed 'Small Business Restructure Rollover' measures announced in the 2015/2016 federal budget.
  20. 24 Aug 15 Davies v Deputy Commissioner of Taxation The Federal Court has recently handed down a decision which is likely to have a significant impact on the application of the employee share scheme (ESS) rules in circumstances where employees acquire conditional rights to acquire ESS interests due to the application of the indeterminate rights provisions.
  21. 26 May 15 Life insurance held in SMSFs for the purposes of buy-sell arrangements The ATO has revised their approach to SMSFs and trustees purchasing insurance over a member’s life for the purposes of buy-sell arrangements.
  22. 13 May 15 'Netflix tax' on intangible services confirmed in Federal Budget In the Federal Budget presented on 12 May 2015, the Australian Treasurer has confirmed an expansion of GST will be introduced from 1 July 2017. Dubbed the ‘Netflix tax’, the GST will apply to the electronic delivery of digital content such as movies, music and games.
  23. 19 Mar 15 ATO's compliance strategy 'Building Confidence' report On 3 March 2015, the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) outlined its compliance strategy in a new publication 'Building Confidence', which replaces the ATO's superseded 'Annual Compliance Program'.
  24. 19 Mar 15 Queensland land tax compliance activity on the rise The Queensland Office of State Revenue is expected to increase its land tax audit activity in 2015 so landholders and their advisors should be ready. Advisors should take proactive steps to review the land tax positions of their clients to ensure it has been properly assessed and paid, particularly where exemptions have been claimed.
  25. 19 Mar 15 IGT report on the management of tax disputes released The report to the Assistant Treasurer of the Inspector General of Taxation’s review into The Management of Tax Disputes was released last Friday.
  26. 19 Mar 15 2015 valuations for land tax The Queensland Valuer General issued annual land valuations on 4 March 2015 to approximately 75% of all landholders in Queensland. In issuing the 2015 valuations, valuations of landholdings will be able to be searched for free online until 2 June 2015.
  27. 2 Feb 15 Queensland Supreme Court clarifies the meaning of 'interests in land' In a decision handed down on 30 January 2015, Sojitz Coal Resources Pty Ltd v Commissioner of State Revenue [2015] QSC 9, the Queensland Supreme Court ruled on what constitutes an ‘interests in land’ under the Duties Act 2001 (Qld).
  28. 16 Jan 15 Employee share scheme changes - exposure draft legislation released Earlier this week the Government released exposure draft legislation in relation to the changes to Australia’s taxation of employee share and option schemes, which were announced in December last year.
  29. 11 Dec 14 High Court reinforces position on what comprises 'consideration' for duty purposes The High Court has ruled in favour of the Victorian state revenue office in a stamp duty dispute with property developer Lend Lease. The dispute relates to an agreement by Lend Lease to buy a number of parcels of land in Melbourne’s Docklands area from the former Victorian state development agency, VicUrban.
  30. 4 Dec 14 Land tax - taking a big picture view on exemptions and ramifications When advising taxpayers, emphasis is often placed on income tax and capital gains tax impacts of transactions, with little thought given to the land tax ramifications of certain decisions. However, with an increasing government focus on raising revenue through land tax, advisers and taxpayers should consider whether they are properly claiming land tax exemptions.
  31. 4 Dec 14 MBI Property Case Study - How GST applies to the sale of leased property On 3 December 2014 the High Court handed down its decision on FCT v MBI Properties Pty Ltd [2014] HCA 49. This case is important because it explains how GST (including the GST-free going concern concession) applies to the sale of leased property.
  32. 17 Oct 14 Important changes to NSW stamp duty, payroll tax and land tax The State Revenue Legislation Further Amendment Bill 2014 (NSW) has passed through the New South Wales Parliament and is awaiting Royal Assent. This Bill makes important changes to NSW stamp duty, payroll tax and land tax which are of interest to owners and developers with self managed superannuation funds.
  33. 15 Oct 14 Employee share scheme taxation - finally some good news After much anticipation, yesterday the Government announced substantive changes to Australia’s taxation of employee share and option schemes.
  34. 8 Oct 14 Certainty to the indeterminate? The proper timing of the date of acquisition of ESS interests for the purposes of determining the tax payable in respect of those interests has been the subject of recent litigation in the Federal and Full Federal Courts.
  35. 2 Sep 14 ATO targeting professional service firms The ATO have now released guidelines regarding the allocation of profits derived by professional services firms. The guidelines threaten audit where not enough of the income generated from a professional service firm is ultimately derived by the individual professional practitioner involved in the business.
  36. 21 Aug 14 ATO ruling disappointing for Bitcoin in Australia The ATO has today released guidance about the application of GST, income tax and capital gains tax to Bitcoin transactions. Australian Bitcoin businesses and users have been eagerly awaiting the decision and will be aware of the significant impact that this will have on the use of Bitcoin in Australia.
  37. 7 Jul 14 Trust reimbursement agreement schemes - New ATO guidance On 2 July 2014, the ATO released the much anticipated guidance on how it intends to apply the trust reimbursement agreement provisions of section 100A of the Income Tax Assessment Act 1936. Section 100A is of importance to taxpayers who have trusts with large unpaid present entitlements to trust income.
  38. 2 Jun 14 Will the Federal Budget announcements impact your year end tax planning? While the Federal Budget didn’t bring much in the way of significant tax announcements, the three year ‘Budget Repair Levy’ on individuals earning more than $180,000 a year from 1 July 2014 places some importance on year-end tax planning opportunities.
  39. 10 Apr 14 ATO voluntary disclosure of offshore income program On 27 March 2014 the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) launched a voluntary disclosure of offshore income program called ‘Project DO IT’.
  40. 12 Jul 13 NSW stamp duty changes - transfer of options to purchase land The NSW State Government recently proposed changes to the Duties Act 1997 (NSW) to charge duty on transactions that affect the transfer of rights under call options. Amendments are targeted at arrangements involving options to purchase land in New South Wales.
  41. 11 Jun 13 Tax office to target discretionary trusts and private company ‘dividend access shares’ The ATO recently announced details of the activities and targets of the Trusts Taskforce. In addition to focusing on the ‘egregious tax avoidance and evasion using trust structures’, the Taskforce will now require trustee resolutions to be made by 30 June each year.
  42. 30 Apr 13 Tax free sale of Australian mining interests by Cayman Island fund On 26 April, the Federal Court overturned an assessment by the Commissioner of Taxation against a Cayman Islands limited partnership. The case demonstrated that Australian mining and resource companies will not necessarily be ‘land rich’ enabling tax free sales by non-residents.
  43. 27 Nov 12 Payroll tax crack down in Queensland Queensland Government announces increased audit activity - so now is an opportune time to consider whether arrangements with contractors are subject to payroll tax.
  44. 3 Oct 12 Queensland State budget announcements A number of changes to duty in Queensland have been confirmed with the passing of the Fiscal Repair Amendment Act 2012 late last week.
  45. 10 Oct 11 Tax Forum wrap up Tax specialist and Partner, Mark West, discusses the highlights and outcomes of the Federal Government’s Tax Forum, particularly the formation of the Business Tax Reform Working Group.
  46. 28 Sep 11 Increased GST under development lease arrangements for residential premises On 23 September 2011, Treasury released exposure draft legislation to clarify certain aspects of how GST applies to ‘new residential premises’ where a developer has been granted access, prior to transfer of ownership of land, to construct on and develop the land (development lease). Tax specialists Mark West, David Marschke and Lyndon Garbutt examine the draft legislation.
  47. 11 Aug 11 Company directors' personal liability to be expanded Mark West and David Marschke examine the impact of proposed changes to tax laws affecting company directors.
  48. 8 Jun 11 Trust action plan - 2011 year end Taxation law specialist Mark West, details the Federal Government’s changes to the law dealing with taxation of income from trusts. What you need to know and what you need to do before 31 August 2011.

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