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Corporate Tax Transparency Code Register

A message from the Chair

Implementation of anti-hybrid rules now available

Tax Transparency Code now available

Sounding Board

Ideas for better tax regulation

  • Personal Income Tax Return processing - time saver

    Recommend Private Health Insurance rebate percentages be adjusted, if necessary, as at 30 June each year rather than current onerous 31 March, to reduce the unnecessary volume of extra information processed in almost every personal income tax return! Recommend the Department of Health (or those responsible for the related legislation) be reminded of our financial year end date , being 30 June, so they can align their decision-making effective date to help simplify the entries in millions of Australian personal income tax returns every year! Thank you.

  • Unpaid SGL

    Unpaid SGL I have found attempting to assist a 22 year client be paid their SGL entitlement for two years work that often involved 50 hour weeks , 6 days a week has been futile. I have a chain of emails of 4 pages long to and from various ATO divisions, the appropriate Ombudsman and our local politician. Despite providing names of the directors and the company name, phone numbers of current business and the directors parents private addresses to the above named authorities over a 3 year period I have reluctantly given up. The excuse was there was no ABN or ACN provided which was the result of the employer never issuing a payment summary nor pay slips. The system has basically told me it does not care and employers area able to disregard their obligations. Our society and honest employees deserve better. I am prepared to share the chain of emails if this may assist an overhaul of the system

  • Absolute entitlement

    If a beneficiary is absolutely entitled to a trust asset, they, rather than the trustee, are required to return any capital gain, or claim any capital loss from a CGT event that happens to the asset. A common example that illustrates the significance of this concept is that of a nominee who holds shares on behalf of a principal. If the principal directs the nominee to sell the shares, the principal returns the capital gain, not the nominee. "Absolute entitlement" is therefore an important concept in the CGT rules. But recent Court decisions have created considerable uncertainty about when a beneficiary will be absolutely entitled to an asset, indeed, whether a beneficiary can ever be absolutely entitled to an asset. In Oswal v FCT [2013] FCA 745 the Federal Court held that if the trustee has a power of sale over a trust asset, a beneficiary cannot be absolutely entitled to the asset. If this decision is correct, it would mean that beneficiaries are almost never absolutely entitled to trust assets, because Trustee legislation in all Australian jurisdictions now gives trustees a power of sale, unless such power is expressly excluded. The Court also held that a beneficiary is not absolutely entitled to an asset if the trustee has properly incurred liabilities in connection with the administration of the trust. A further unresolved issue is whether beneficiaries who are jointly entitled to an asset can be absolutely entitled to an asset. The Commissioner of Taxation issued a draft ruling TR 2004/D25 regarding the meaning of "absolutely entitled to a CGT asset as against the trustee of a trust" many years ago. The preface to the ruling still states that the Tax Office is consulting with Treasury in relation to absolute entitlement and in particular the problem areas of joint and multiple beneficiaries and the trustee's indemnity. The draft ruling takes the view that multiple beneficiaries cannot be absolutely entitled to an asset, unless the asset is "fungible", that is, an asset that is one of many that are identical and exchangeable, such as shares of the same class in the same company. The Federal Court has held that beneficiaries cannot be absolutely entitled jointly to land (see Kafataris v DCT (2008) 172 FCR 242), but the position in relation to fungible assets is uncertain. The law should be amended to make it clear that a beneficiary can be absolutely entitled to an asset notwithstanding that the trustee has a power of sale or that the trustee has incurred liabilities in administering the trust. The position of multiple beneficiaries should also be clarified, preferably by allowing beneficiaries who have joint ownership of an asset to be jointly absolutely entitled to the asset as against the trustee.

Meetings & events

  • 7 Dec 2017 - Melbourne
  • 19 Oct 2017 - Perth
  • 14 Sep 2017 - Sydney