Double Tax Treaties, Residency, Financing and more – a look at the Corporate Stream at Queensland Tax Forum

The Queensland Tax Forum is just around the corner. 

We take a look at some key sessions in the Forum's Corporate Stream and get to know presenters Rhiain Garrihy, CTA, Julian Lian and Paul Mills.

Meet Rhiain Garrihy, CTA 

Rhiain has been a member of The Tax Institute for approximately 6 years and will be presenting on the changing nature of double tax treaties at the Queensland Tax Forum.

“I am the Executive Manager – Income Tax at Suncorp,” she says.

“I have a Big 4 background and have previously been a Senior Manager at both EY and KPMG.

“From my session, attendees can gain an understanding of recent interpretations of international tax principles and tax treaty changes.”

Double tax treaties are key to understanding the tax consequences of international transactions.

They have been used to determine withholding tax obligations, withholding tax rates, and whether a permanent establishment exists.

The session will consider recent case law developments and the interaction between double tax treaties and the Multilateral Instrument.

Rhiain says her session will help attendees identify and manage cross border issues.

She is also looking forward to Residency, source and PE’s, as well as capital/revenue sessions.

Meet Julian Lian

Julian Lian is a consultant at Gilbert + Tobin.

Julian presents ‘Beware the potholes on the road to successful corporate and financing transactions’ alongside colleague Muhunthan Kanagaratnam, CTA.

Often the rubber hits the road in corporate M&A, restructuring and financing transactions.

Yet, the tax road is rarely smooth, creating a rough ride for those who are not prepared for the potholes littering the path. Julian and Muhunthan will look at some of these obstacles and cover some practical tips on getting to the other end.

“I have been practising tax for 13 years,” Julian says.

“My career started in Adelaide and I have spent the last 5 and a half years in Sydney.

“I enjoy working closely with clients to solve problems and find it rewarding to develop relationships and friendships with clients and colleagues.”

A member of The Tax Institute for approximately eight years, Julian’s session at the Queensland Tax Forum will highlight some technical landmines in corporate transactions.

“The two focal points of the presentation are the ‘nothing else’ requirement in the demerger provisions and the ‘single arrangement’ requirement in the scrip for scrip roll-over,” he says.

“We have observed significant changes in the way the ATO applies the nothing else requirement and welcome the recent draft ruling.

“We will consider the impact this draft ruling may have on demerger transactions going forward.”

Julian says the presentation will also delve into the application of the 45-day rule in the context of takeovers by way of scheme of arrangement. 

“We will share some recent experiences in attempting to satisfy the section 128F public offer test,” he continues.

“I will provide an up to date analysis of topical issues that have been influencing M&A transactions.

“Having an awareness of trends and the ATO's approach will allow delegates to provide practical advice on M&A transactions.”

Julian is also interested in attending the following sessions at the Forum:

1. Session 3B: The changing nature of double tax treaties – he says the combination of globalisation, Australia's reliance on foreign capital and recent changes (e.g. Satyam, MLI, etc) makes this session highly topical.

2. Session 4A: ATO: navigating the landmines – Julian says being able to advise clients requires an understanding of the latest viewpoint of the regulator.

3. Session 11B: Financing - his work is primarily M&A focused which requires financing so this session is highly relevant.

And when he’s not working in tax?

“Fishing and golf were my first two loves, but with a young family now I enjoy spending time with my two-year-old son,” he says.

Meet Paul Mills

Paul began his tax career with PwC in Melbourne, before moving to Brisbane for a 12-month secondment that extended out to 15 years.

“Whilst client facing, my focus was energy and mining, and for my last 7 years at PwC, I ran the firm's national tax education program,” he says.

“I spent a year working in the Hunter Valley, when Rio Tinto's NSW coal operations had their corporate offices on site.

“Since leaving PwC last year, I've been running my own consulting and education business.”

At the Queensland Tax Forum, Paul will be presenting on residency, source, permanent establishments and defining Australia's tax base.

“Attendees should expect to gain a better understanding of when a foreign incorporated company will be considered an Australian resident for tax purposes, but further, should gain a better understanding of what implications that residency status has on various tax matters,” he explains.

“In addition to the foreign incorporated company matters stemming from the Bywater Investments judgement, attendees should also gain a better understanding of broader matters when dealing internationally.

“Many delegates will have Australian clients with foreign operations, as well as non-resident clients with Australian investments.

“Understanding the potential issues those clients have when a foreign company is an Australian resident for tax purposes is critically important when advising those clients,” he adds.

Paul is also looking forward to attending Session 3B on the changing nature of double tax treaties, the great tax panel discussion, and Session 5A on updating outdated structures.

When he’s not knee-deep in tax, he enjoys the odd chance to go to local AFL games, and any opportunity to watch an Australian movie. 

The Queensland Tax Forum takes place 30-31 May, in Brisbane. Find out more on our website.


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