Behind the scenes look at a leading conference program

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Have you ever wondered how The Tax Institute manages to deliver such topical, relevant conference programs year on year? Behind the scenes, our program committees put in mammoth amounts of effort to ensure that programs address not only the current issues of contention in each field of tax, but also areas of emerging interest.

The Annual States Taxation Conference is the only national conference covering all state and territory taxes in one technical program, and one of our biggest professional development opportunities of the year. It's coming up this 3-4 November, so we took the chance to ask the people behind its stellar program for their insights.

We spoke co-chairs of the 21st Annual States’ Taxation Organising Committee, Jodie Fogale, CTA of EY and Paul Broderick, CEO and Commissioner, State Revenue of Victoria as well as Greg Kent, CTA of PwC and Harry Lakis, CTA, Barrister, who also sit on the committee.

We wanted to know more about their thoughts on this years program, and what makes this such an important event in the State Taxes community.

Meet the Committee members in the video below.


What types of practitioners has this year’s program looked to cater for?

jodie-fogale"This year’s program caters for practitioners of all types and levels, and as always, will be particularly useful for those that have practices and clients that operate throughout Australia. I think a more general practitioner will find that it provides them with a good understanding of the current issues arising across state taxes and a more specialized practitioner will appreciate the deep dive into some of the more challenging issues we face.

The types of transactions being contemplated in the market are evolving and becoming more and more complex. This is why I've always found the conference and the materials to be such a valuable reference point."

Jodie Fogale, CTA, EY

Why does the conference hold such value for those working for large corporate firms?

greg-kent"A lot of thought has gone into the topics that will be most of interest, designed by both the regulators and the advisors. The committee goes to a lot of effort to design the topics specifically with the attendees in mind.

The program is of particular value to those working in industry and within large corporates because It looks at all ranges of current and emerging issues and topics that are creating the most difficulty for those in industry, as much as for advisers and regulators alike.

Some examples of the topics we're covering this year are remediation of wage and superannuation underpayments, which is incredibly topical and, and causing a lot of concern as to how to best comply.

This is a chance to attend a conference which will showcase key insights into how the revenue offices are using analytics and machine learning, looking at examples, both domestically and globally. So I think that'll be of great interest to everyone, to be aware of what you need to look at, because that's what the regulators are going to be looking at as well.

With respect to specific industries, we've got a topic this year on mortgage broking and the implications around payroll tax on that industry, which has generated a lot of interest in the last 12 months in particular. So if you're from that industry, I think that would be a topic well worth attending and listening to as well. Plus as always we give the updates on all the recent legislative, case and tribunal hearing updates and developments.

It's also always a fantastic opportunity to network with your peers and with the regulators, including the commissioners. I'd encourage everyone to take the opportunity to attend."

Greg Kent, CTA, PwC

Can you tell us more about the speakers at this years conference?

harry-lakis"The quality of speakers at this year's conference as usual, are of the very highest caliber. I'm particularly looking forward to Duncan Bedford's presentation on contemporary issues and identifying consideration for transactions. I have to disclose a personal bias. Duncan and I worked together in the resolute case and I think we surprised ourselves as to how many nuances we identified in cases that we thought were already very familiar to us.

I'll also be attending Rob Parker's session on Easter eggs in my duties act. I'm often informing interstate practitioners about the surprise of the tricks and traps that exist in my local duties act. And I think we all need to be aware of equivalent surprises when we venture into the legislation in other jurisdictions. Rob's just the guy to explain all that to us."

Harry Lakis, CTA, Barrister

Why is this such an important development opportunity?

paul-brodrickAs CEO and Commissioner at the State Revenue Office of Victoria, Paul explained why this is such an important conference for State Revenue Officers and those working closely with them, in 4 key reasons.

  1. "Delegates get to meet revenue office staff who they've probably been dealing with on the phone, or through committees, and actually meet them in person which I think is really important.
  2. Delegates also get to meet practitioners from all different forms of taxation. I think that's important as well because they get to hear their views, meet them in person and exchange those views in a fairly informal setting.
  3. The program has some really quite excellent presentations. They're really well prepared. We get to ask questions and get different views on different topics. Delegates also get to meet with practitioners in an informal way, and hear issues that they have. Maybe in relation to policy issues, maybe in relation to administration issues. We can then take those back with us and consider those views when we look at how we administer our taxes for, and on behalf of taxpayers.
  4. Finally, conferences are held in great locations. You get to view the city that you're located in. We have excellent dinners where we can mingle and enjoy each other's company. So, I mean, besides the actual tax benefit is also a social benefit. I think that's very important as well.

There's very few conferences around that are specifically designed around State Taxes and I’d encourage all revenue officers to attend."

Paul Broderick, CEO and Commissioner, State Revenue of Victoria



The 21st Annual States Taxation Conference will be held at the spectacular Adelaide Oval, this 3-4 November.

Bringing together the private and government sectors, the conference has always been a popular melting pot for those working with states taxes, particularly valuable for those with practices operating across multiple jurisdictions.

Explore the full program and get your tickets today.



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