Diving into Digital at the 31st National Convention

The rise of digital technology has challenged every aspect of the way we think and work. Digital disruption isn't a new issue – it’s a new reality. In an age where digital technology holds the power to change the status quo and turn upside down industries that were once held to be conservative and resistant to change, the key to survival is to ride the tide and catch the digital wave of opportunity to maximise profitability and future growth. Join us in Melbourne this year at the Tax Institute’s 31st National Convention to hear from some of the profession's most well-regarded thought leaders on a future that is already here.

The National Convention is Australia’s premier event for tax professionals. We are proud to showcase an impressive line-up of keynote speakers, including Chris Jordan, AO, CTA, Peter Williams, Michael Andrew, Ken Spence, CTA-Life, and many more well-regarded thought leaders. We look also to the future and are excited to host the Tax Adviser of the Year Awards gala dinner to celebrate the best and brightest tax professionals – individuals who represent the pinnacle achievement for the best tax practitioners and are making their mark in tax.

With tax reform and innovation high on the country's agenda and this year’s Federal Budget touted as the Government’s "tax platform", tax has never been so hot a topic. This year’s Convention captures the essence of these changes through its technical sessions – from disruption to BEPs to superannuation – the program has broad appeal and relevant for delegates with small practices through to those working in mid-tier or large accounting firms.

Practitioners of the Round Table!

For the very first time, we are hosting the inaugural ATO Round Table where delegates are invited to hear from senior ATO representatives as they hash out issues and communicate directly with you in a discussion-based format! The Round Table will involve a series of Q&A’s covering an array of current technical issues of importance to tax practitioners. The Q&As will be published, with the aim of providing practical guidance on the ATO's position on these topics. If you would like to put a question to the panel for consideration, tweet using the hashtag #31NatCon.

Disruption isn't a dirty word

Rewind only a few years back and the word "disruption" almost always carried with it negative connotations. Cut to the present and the word has taken on a whole different persona. Disruption is no longer just a corporate-speak buzzword. No longer something to be feared, it now carries with it positive connotations of technological advancement, innovation, change and agility.

As Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull said in his first statement as Liberal leader:

We have to recognise that the disruption that we see driven by technology, the volatility in change is our friend if we are agile and smart enough to take advantage of it.”

Making friends with change is all well and good, but what does it have to do with tax? More specifically, what does digital disruption have to do with your firm and your client? Where will future competition come from?

Failure to recognise disruptors may have a negative impact on your profits as well as adversely impact your interaction with your clients. Is your business prepared for this explosion of new technologies?

Let’s get digital, digital!

Recognised thought leader and digital innovation guru Peter Williams (Deloitte) addresses these questions in his session, as well as highlights the potential digital disruptors affecting your firm and the tax industry as a whole. Some topics Peter will discuss include:

  • Emerging technologies and platforms
  • The use of mobile technology and digital interaction with clients
  • Cognitive computing.

Day one of the Convention will also showcase Joanne Dunne, CTA, as she considers the issues arising for digital businesses and businesses transitioning to have a digital presence, first in Australia and then globally. Her session will consider these issues that impact upon digital businesses of all sizes:

  • Hosting arrangements, customer terms and conditions, record retention and the deductibility of costs against website establishment and maintenance
  • In-house software development, depreciation and R&D
  • Residence and taxable presence – where a digital business is resident, how a PE arises (including OECD’s BEPS project on PEs)
  • Source issues – how the source of income is determined, when a contract is concluded, the use of digital signatures and GST source issues.

Stay up to date on recent case law on royalties, treaties and residence as Joanne takes you through the Seven Network case and Bywater Investments. Lots to take in!

Not just for the big players…

SMSF, MIT, GST, FBT, TP… do these acronyms get you excited? Concerned?

It’s an interesting time to practise within the SME sector. With tax reform high on the Government’s agenda, new legislation and case law are constantly rearing their heads with big impact on your clients’ business. The Convention boasts a wide range of topics for the SME and corporate streams, with each speaker unpacking technical tax issues on topics such as superannuation, trusts, Div 7A, Part IVA and CGT small business concessions. Arm yourself with real life case studies and understand the tax implications that these issues might have on your client.

We invite you to come along and to this premier tax event. Get armed and ready for the digital age. See you there!

The 31st National Convention takes place 2-4 March 2016 at the Grand Hyatt Melbourne. Incorporating more than 30 sessions, and the 2016 Tax Adviser of the Year Awards, it's an ideal opportunity to hear the latest thinking on tax, network and mingle with your peers, and celebrate the best of the profession. Find out more.


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