Cairns and the Convention – a focus on our program for accountants

2017 was a year of significant upheaval for tax and accounting

2018 will be no different, with new rules, new ATO
initiatives, and the always-accelerating rate of technological change creating new
opportunities (and new headaches) for most of us.
Against this backdrop, The Tax Institute's  2018
National Convention
 will feature a wide-ranging program that will cover the latest technical
matters, with a strong focus on the international issues shaping Australian business
and a close look at the ways the ATO has been  – and will be  – interacting with organisations.
Designed to be broad in nature, the program will feature the
technical tax content that our National Convention has become synonymous with. It will also cover the latest developments that accountants, lawyers and other advisers to business need
to know about.

Angela Wood CTA (KPMG)

Helping set the scene for the Convention – which will take place this
year in Cairns – we ask how, in a period of near-constant change, you can ensure you’re asking the right questions in your decision-making process?

In his session ‘ Harnessing the revolution: what does this
?’, Dr Baden U’Ren (Bond University) will look at the rapid rate of change
across business and the profession, discussing the strategies and tactics that professionals
can explore to not only keep pace with them but harness their potential. Dr U'Ren will offer a framework to guide strategic decision-making.
The program will then feature a number of sessions that will examine the realities of the modern business, ranging from practical issues to what-if
scenarios, and those issues that may not be on your radar just yet but that are
sure to make waves as 2018 progresses.
In the session ‘ Corporate governance and directors duties’, Angela
Wood CTA (KPMG) and Duncan McCarthy (ATO) will look at the ATO’s increasing focuses
on governance processes as a touchstone for determining risk when selecting entities
for audit. Examining how businesses can ensure their governance framework meets
the ATO’s expectations, Angela and Duncan will cover the duties of public and
company officers and the board in a tax context, including the definition of a 'director' in the tax context, what needs to be considered when briefing the board, and

Andrew Mills CTA-Life (ATO)

Adele Townsend, CTA (BDO) will present one of a number of sessions that will dig into recent rulings and guidance from the ATO, in ‘Deductibility of
employee travel expenses – The ATO’s guidance
’. Following the ruling released
last year by the ATO which considers when such expenses will be tax deductible,
Adele will look at the ruling’s detail, helping delegates to ensure their businesses’
obligations with regards to income tax, PAYG withholding and FBT are correctly managed.

With so much in flux, the potential for error or even
disputes increases. The program will therefore feature ‘ An hour with Deborah Hastings, Deputy
Commissioner RDR, on audits and disputes
’. Deborah leads the Review and Dispute
Resolution (RDR) group within the ATO and will, alongside Pitcher Partners’ Scott
Treatt, CTA, look at the group’s latest initiatives in resolving tax disputes, including
innovations such as the 'fast intensive triage' program and how the ATO may
seek to settle or compromise issues and/or debts, with particular focus on the individual
and SME markets.
Day one of the three-day program will also feature the return of
the ‘ ATO Roundtable’, our popular Q&A-style session, with the ATO’s Andrew Mills CTA-Life and Kirsten Fish CTA offering the regulator’s views on an array
of current technical issues.

Mardi Heinrich (KPMG)

With more and more Australian companies doing business
overseas, three key sessions will look at the practicalities involved in doing so.

Professor Michael Dirkis CTA, (University of Sydney) will present ‘ Recent developments in Australia’s international tax rules’, covering issues
like transparency reporting for public and private groups, transfer pricing
changes, double tax treaties and potential changes on the horizon.
In her session ‘ Managing the Australian tax obligations of a
globally mobile workforce
’, Mardi Heinrich (KPMG) will discuss the key elements of
the international tax and social security framework that employers need to
consider when sending employees from Australia to work temporarily overseas or
vice versa, including  residency, source
of income, double tax agreements, bilateral social security agreements, PAYG
withholding, and much more.
Finally, in his session on conducting business
internationally, Mathew Chamberlain (EY) will ask: ‘ Have you understood the
practical Australian taxation consequence correctly
?’ From structuring considerations
to residency issues, Mathew will look at recent developments, the impact of tax
treaties, and the issues involved in the two most common structures.
The program will also feature a wide range of highly practical,
technical tax content covering the CGT small business concessions, trusts, the
income tax consolidation regime, indirect taxes, issues affecting primary
producers, superannuation, and much more.
This is your unique opportunity to
hear from some of Australia’s leading experts, while enjoying the best of what North
Queensland has to offer.
The 33rd National Convention took place on 14-16
March 2018. The materials from our event are available on our website.


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