ATO Interpretative Decision – SMSFs & Buy/Sell Life Insurance

Written by rouse_admin on June 17, 2015

The Australian Taxation Office has issued an Interpretative Decision (ATO ID 2015/10, the ID) regarding life insurance held within a self managed super fund (SMSF) as part of a buy-sell agreement.

The ID relates to whether an SMSF contravenes section 62 and paragraph 65(1)(b) of the Superannuation Industry (Supervision) Act 1993 (SISA) by purchasing a life insurance policy over the life of a member of the SMSF, where the purchase is a condition and consequence of a buy-sell agreement members have

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Employee Share Scheme changes for Start-Ups: an opportunity for SMEs?

Written by rouse_admin on May 8, 2015

A growing business will often identify one or more key employees as instrumental in driving the business.  These key employees will be a minority in number.  In order to retain and provide incentives to these key employees, the founder may wish to provide an equity interest in the business.  In doing so, a significant issue can be providing this equity in a tax effective manner.

Employee Share Scheme provisions – Current Law

When faced with this issue, the usual starting point is

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Asset Protection for Employees

Written by rouse_admin on April 20, 2015

A common misimpression is that an employee cannot be liable for work performed on behalf of his or her employer. It is certainly true that an employer does not have any claim against an employee for defects in the employee’s work, however, what about claims made by third parties for defects in work performed by an employee?

Case Study

The best way to answer this question is by way of an example encountered in our practice.

An employee worked as a quantity surveyor for

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Metadata Retention

Written by rouse_admin on March 19, 2015

The metadata retention debate continues, with the Telecommunications (Interception and Access) Amendment (Data Retention) Bill 2014 (the Bill) again tabled for discussion by Minister for Communications, the Hon. Malcolm Turnbull MP.

If passed, telecommunications providers will be required to retain customer records and “metadata” for a minimum of two years. Metadata includes the time, date and location of calls and emails, including the source IP address.  As part of the retention, the Bill proposes that the metadata is to be encrypted

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Tax Litigation and Waiver of Privilege – Disclosure of the “Gist” of advice

Written by rouse_admin on March 11, 2015

In Krok v Federal Commissioner of Taxation [2015] FCA 151, the Federal Court decided an interlocutory dispute regarding implied waiver of legal professional privilege (LPP).
On 6 February 2015, the Court handed down a decision finding that legal advice mentioned in affidavit material filed by Mr Krok amounted to an implied waiver of LPP and was required discover the documents.

The proceedings are a result of a dispute between the Commissioner and Mr Krok concerning income and capital gains resulting from transactions

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Property Co-ownership – Tips and Traps

Written by rouse_admin on February 10, 2015

Do you co-own property with another person or are you considering such a purchase?

There are many things to consider when determining whether you should purchase property with another person but one of the most important, and often overlooked, considerations is what should occur when one party wishes to sell the property and the other does not.

Section 38 of the Property Law Act 1974 (Qld)anticipates such a dispute and provides that a co-owner may make an application to the court seeking

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BCIPA Amendment ACT: Key changes to BCIPA

Written by rouse_admin on February 9, 2015

In April 2014, Queensland’s Department for Housing and Public Works released details of fundamental amendments to the Building and Construction Industry Payments Act 2004 (Qld) (BCIPA).

The Building and Construction Industry Payments Amendment Act 2014 (Qld) (Amending Act) was passed by parliament on 11 September 2014, and the amendments came into force on 15 December 2014.

Key amendments to BCIPA
There are four key areas impacted by the Amending Act:

Division between complex claims and standard claims
Change to timeframes
New notice requirements before commencing court

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Decision in Altnot highlights quirks and shortcomings in the small business CGT concessions

Written by rouse_admin on January 19, 2015

The small business CGT concessions provide a significant tax advantage to eligible taxpayers. Their focus is to allow the concessions for capital gains made on business assets that are owned by a small business. This is achieved through two principal basic conditions:

the Active Asset Test, which limits entitlement to the concessions to assets used in the business of an entity within the taxpayer’s group; and
a size test – either a $2 million turnover test or a maximum net asset value

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The New Franchising Code and How It Will Impact You

Written by rouse_admin on January 7, 2015

In November 2014, the Australian Government released the new Franchising Code of Conduct (New Code) to take effect from 1 January 2015. The New Code will apply to all franchise agreements, subject to some transitional exceptions.

It is crucial for both franchisors and franchisees to understand the ramifications of the New Code on franchise agreements.

A summary of the key changes are set out below:

Duty to act in good faith
This obligation will apply the common law duty of good faith to all

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High Court Overrules Finding of Duty of “Trust and Confidence” in Employment Contracts

Written by rouse_admin on November 21, 2014

The High Court has overruled a decision of the Full Court of the Federal Court in relation to whether a mutual duty of trust and confidence is implied in employment contracts.

In 2012, the Federal Court in Barker v Commonwealth Bank of Australia (CBA), awarded damages to an employee in relation to a breach by the employer of an implied term of “mutual trust and confidence” arising from an employment contract.

In overruling the Federal Court’s decision, the High Court found that,

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