One of the certainties in life is taxes.
Most people think of tax they think of the ATO and income tax, and possibly also capital gains tax. When considering your optimal structure, other forms of tax also have an impact such as stamp duty, payroll tax, land tax, GST. Other laws that may have an impact on a structure, such as bankruptcy laws and Family Law, must also be taken into account.
There are often a range of options that can be utilised in order to achieve your commercial objectives. For some of those options, taxation or other effects may cause the venture to be uncommercial. Our tax team is known for being innovative in developing solutions to achieve your commercial objectives.
Taxation is dynamic, continually changing. Our taxation team keeps abreast of all the changes with a particular focus on how it affects client structuring.
Structuring is not limited to whether you use a company, a certain form of trust or a partnership. It also includes the form of agreements that are implemented.
Our team can assist in the following areas:
- structuring and restructuring client businesses in a manner that is CGT and stamp duty effective;
- implementation of estate plans comprising assets in various private entity structures;
- assistance in dealing with contrary ATO positions, including preparing objections and responses to position papers;
- assessing the impact of capital gains tax on a particular transaction;
- assistance with mergers or acquisitions, and assistance leading up to a business sale to provide the best results for the client;
- users of joint ventures and other commercial arrangements in structuring transactions;
- various forms of rollovers;
- assistance in dealing with issues relating to personal services income;
- assistance with access to the small business CGT concessions, and in particular difficult applications of those concessions;
- alternatives for addressing Division 7A;
- various alternatives for achieving Asset Protection; and
- tax issues generally.
At Rouse Lawyers we aim to provide you with the optimum structure for the operation of your business or the holding of investments.
During your lifetime, at some stage will be necessary to make changes to your structure for one or more of the following reasons:
- growth in your business creating new objectives (for example, the need to protect valuable business assets against claims, the desire to introduce equity participants such as key employees);
- changes in the law;
- changes in your circumstances (for example, approaching retirement and wish to restructure ownership of the business to the next generation; and
- inappropriate structuring by another adviser.
The ATO is quite active, in the modern day, in reviewing client taxation arrangements.
In certain situations, the taxation office may take a position overly favourable to the ATO or based on a misunderstanding of the law or the facts resulting in a tax liability to the client.
Very positive results can be obtained by engaging our tax team early who can put forward a well drafted legal analysis of the client’s position, usually in response to an ATO position paper or objection to an amended assessment.
Our recent work in this area includes:
- advice on the pre-CGT tax status of bonus shares in a very old deceased estate;
- advice on whether dividends received by a self-managed superannuation fund from a private company constituted non-arm’s-length income (which would be taxed at the top marginal rate);
- restructure of a pre-CGT business from a single trust into several trusts in a manner that was not liable for stamp duty to accommodate succession of the business;
- preparation of submissions and objections to assessments relating to the small business CGT concessions in circumstances where the ATO included assets of children who had worked in the business (successful outcome);
- successful submission to the ATO for the amendment of the tax return lodged two years previously to claim the small business CGT concessions (overlooked by a previous adviser); and
- assistance with assessing whether a client satisfied $6 million net asset value test.