2019 National Convention - Key Sessions Sneak Preview

Join us in Hobart, next March

Going back only a few short years, there aren’t many of us who could have accurately predicted the landscape of 2018.

Brexit. President Trump. The fallout from the Banking Royal Commission. A Liberal leadership spill, and a new Prime Minister.

The world is changing at an increasingly rapid rate, and often in unpredictable ways. If you’re not looking forward you’re going to be left behind.

Taxation administration and practice continues to evolve and many expect it to feature prominently in the 2019 election. With all this happening in the background, the 34th National Convention program has been designed with one eye on the horizon, and both feet planted firmly on the ground.

We take a look at some of the key sessions and speakers in this post.

Division 7A and UPEs – The Road Ahead

In October 2018, Treasury published a Consultation Paper outlining the elements of a proposed new regime for Division 7A.

Proposed amendments to Division 7A have a long history commencing with the Board of Taxation’s “Post Implementation Review of Division 7A” first announced in May 2012. The report was followed by announcements of targeted reforms in the Federal Budgets in 2016 and 2018 as part of the “Ten Year Enterprise Tax Plan”.

Chris Wookey, CTA, will consider the issues facing advisers in his session ‘Division 7A and UPEs – The Road Ahead’, looking at the 1 July 2019 proposed reforms, pre-Div 7A UPEs and loans, current best practice and current issues and threats.

A principal in the tax consulting division of Deloitte Private, Chris has over 30 years’ experience in the chartered accounting profession, centred on issues encountered by private groups. He was also involved in the early confidential consultations about the upcoming Div 7A reforms.


The concept of “residence” underpins much of the cross-border operation of Australia’s tax system, but recently long-standing ideas about corporate residence have been challenged.

In the ‘Residency’ panel session, Premila Roe, CTA, Denise Honey, CTA, and Dr Julianne Jaques, CTA, will discuss the current state of play on corporate residence from a large corporate and SME/private client perspective and look at how taxpayers and advisers are managing this crucial area.

Premila is the Vice President for APAC and EMEA for BHP Billiton. Denise is an International Tax Partner/ Executive Director with Pitcher Partners. Julianne is a barrister specialising in taxation law. 

Black Economy measures – they don’t affect your clients right…? 

Since responding to the Black Economy Taskforce’s report in May 2018, the Government has been extremely active with implementation of promised measures. The myriad of announcements, consultations, exposure drafts, Bills and new law has provided much to absorb.

In the effort to disrupt the Black Economy, these measures, along with others affecting management of tax compliance obligations, herald the most significant change in tax compliance in a generation. This tax evolution, or is it revolution, shines a light on our client’s operations in a different way.

In ‘Black Economy measures – they don’t affect your clients right…?’ Paul Banister, CTA, will look at what tax measures are already in place and what is yet to come, and how they impact much more than the black economy.

Paul’s session will also look at how other measures are impacting clients commercially, and how the black economy measures fit alongside other recent and proposed reforms to modernise the conduct of business and administration of the tax and transfer system.

A Partner at Grant Thornton, Paul leads their tax division in Brisbane, and has over 30 years’ experience. His expertise includes domestic and international tax planning, transaction advisory and support, superannuation structuring and advice, succession planning and estate planning.

US Tax Law Reform 

On 22 December 2017, the most significant reforms to the US tax code since the 1980s were enacted.

The legislative drafting process was fast-tracked and there was little consultation with commerce or professional bodies, which has created significant uncertainty in relation to this significant law change.

Scott Hes will look at the key legislative changes and the potential impact these changes represent for inbound and outbound investors, including traps and opportunities in his session ‘US Tax Law Reform’. He will also highlight the remaining key areas of uncertainty.

Scott is a director EY’s International Tax Services practice and part of the US Tax Desk for the Asia-Pacific region. Scott has experience providing broad-based tax planning advice to US and non-US based multinational corporations in a range of industries, and in planning and evaluating international tax strategies both in a US inbound and outbound context.

Sleeping Giants and Silent Killers – Changes to the Accounting Standards and the Omnipresence of Tax-Effect Accounting 

The changes to the Accounting Standards will significantly impact the way all accountants operate.

Tracey Rens, CTA, and Melanie Earl will explore the practical impacts of the changes to the Accounting Standards as well as common challenges and opportunities presented by tax-effect accounting in their session ‘Sleeping Giants and Silent Killers – Changes to the Accounting Standards and the Omnipresence of Tax-Effect Accounting’

Covering retrospective versus transitional applications of the revenue recognition standard (AASB/IFRS 15), Tracey and Melanie will also look at the implications of the leasing standard for lessees on financing, thin capitalisation and more.

With the increased focus on reconciliation of accounting results, a core pillar of justified trust and experiences with ATO streamlined assurance reviews, the session will cover the issues this presents for accountants and businesses, and look at the Voluntary Tax Transparency Code, highlighting some future trends and the increasing importance of a reliable effective tax rate.

They will also look at tax reporting in general purpose financial statements for SGEs, and finish by revisiting some old favourites, including recent “war stories” on the importance of accounting for frankable distributions, share capital tainting, debt forgiveness, TFAs and more.

Tracey is a Partner in Deloitte Sydney’s Business Tax Advisory practice and served as the 2018 President of The Tax Institute. She has more than 20 years’ experience in providing advice on all major areas of Australian tax, including capital gains tax issues, capital allowance provisions, repatriation matters, tax consolidation and IFRS.

Melanie Earl, is a Director in the Business Tax Advisory team at Deloitte. Melanie has worked for Deloitte Sydney and Deloitte London in corporate and international tax with a focus on M&A and large multinational groups.

Hear direct from the ATO and the professions leaders

As always, the National Convention sets the scene for many of the upcoming years biggest themes in tax, and 2019 will be no different.

Chris Jordan, AO, CTA, Commissioner of Taxation, will provide a unique insight into the areas of focus for the regulator in the Commissioner’s Address, and Second Commissioner Andrew Mills, CTA (Life), will engage in an interview-style Q&A session with Professor Dale Pinto on some of the key issues relevant to all tax professionals.

Finally, in the annual Justice Graham Hill Memorial Lecture, Challis Professor Richard Vann, CTA, will provide a defence of Income Tax.

Richard’s session will cover what the real strengths and weaknesses of the income tax are and how it compares to other taxes, with applications in the areas of individuals, legal entities, and small and large businesses.

Challis Professor of Law at the University of Sydney, Richard has taught at Harvard and NYU Law Schools and the Universities of Amsterdam, London and Oxford. He has worked in the past at the IMF and OECD, and has been a consultant for specialist tax firm Greenwoods & Herbert Smith Freehills since 1985.

This is just a small selection form the next year’s Convention program, taking place in Hobart.

Offering a contrasting blend of heritage, scenery and culture, Hobart boats world class activities and attractions nearby. We have included a number of suggested social options and accompanying person activities for your consideration so that you can make the most of our host destination. We encourage you to stay a few extra days with the family and explore Tasmania and all that it has to offer.

Join us for the 34th National Convention from 13-15 March, in Hobart. Register before 7 December 2018 to take advantage of our Advanced Pricing offer.


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