Agribusiness – Rising to the Challenge

Agribusiness is a major growth area for Queensland, and
is enjoying an increased level of direct and indirect investment by domestic
and overseas parties. Recent years have seen an expanding number of affluent
overseas consumers demanding our agricultural output, many of whom live on our
doorstep, in Asia.
Agribusiness clients navigating their way through a
complex maze of commercial and tax issues have been turning to their professional
advisers for assistance. We spoke to Tom
Delany, CTA, Tax Partner Pty Ltd
, one of the members of the organising committee, about the upcoming ‘2016 Agribusiness – Rising to the Challenge’ event, and some of the key issues facing advisers and
their clients.
‘Besides being a growth industry for both Queensland and
Australia, agribusiness is critical to Queensland’s transition away from a
resources led economy’, Tom says. ‘The increased interest in the industry means
that many practitioners are dealing with agribusiness clients where they may
not have done so previously. Similarly, experienced practitioners who have been
dealing with the industry for years are seeing new types of investors (e.g.
institutional investors) and new types of transactions (e.g. the prevalence of
CSG compensation), and are seeing that up-skilling is now necessary’.

Tom sees a number of key issues facing professionals and
the wider industry; ‘From changes in the investor base and a greater interest
from institutional and cross-border investors, to financing issues and new commercial
and tax considerations, we’re also seeing a greater focus on generational
change and succession planning. Topical issues, be they income related -
including deriving, deferring, smoothing and distributing income, or deduction
related - capital allowances, special deductions, non-commercial losses, etc,
are also weighing on practitioners, as are indirect taxes, including GST, land
tax, payroll tax and stamp duty’.
The ‘2016 Agribusiness’ program has been developed in
response to these issues, and looks at the significant asset values and the number
of related issues to consider which add further complexity to business
structuring issues, including succession planning. Within this context
agribusinesses also has to contend with factors such as isolation, erratic
weather patterns, natural disasters, currency fluctuations, ‘lumpy’ cash flows
and shifting global demands.
When asked about significant issues covered by the event
impacting the industry, Tom highlighted the ongoing uncertainty around tax reform,
and proposed tax and other changes that could impact the sector, as well as the
application of Part IVA to an agribusiness restructuring, citing the Channel
Pastoral Holdings case.
The dedicated full day program of ‘2016 Agribusiness’ will
provide attendees with the opportunity to engage with specialists in the area,
and is especially relevant to any tax professional with an exposure to, or
interest in the agribusiness sector.
When asked about the type of professionals the event
should appeal to, Tom told us he saw the audience as ‘Professionals, particularly
from regional and small to medium firms, with deep industry expertise looking
forward to refreshing and enhancing their technical skills, as well as those advisers
working for large firms or in legal practice with potentially less direct prior
experience, or with clients looking to make investments in the sector. Finally
tax managers or accounting and finance professionals that work within the
sector who are looking forward to developing their tax technical knowledge would
benefit from attending’.
The program will appraise participants of the key
taxation issues and provide them with the tools to assist their clients embrace
the commercial opportunities and challenges in delivering the best Australian
produce to the dining tables of the world.
Tom describes the event as the “first and only tax
technical event focussing on the agribusiness industry in Queensland” and with its
mix of broad industry perspectives, updates and knowledge transfer on topical
technical issues and sessions designed to impart practical skills for both day
to day tax issues and more complicated structuring and re-structuring matters, it
is one not to be missed.
‘2016 Agribusiness – Rising to the Challenge’ takes place
20 April 2016 at Tattersall’s Club, Brisbane. 
Find out more about the event here


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