Taxation

ECOVIS Clark Jacobs’ tax division provides a very comprehensive range of advice to individual and corporate clients. We have very clear skills in providing tax advice for expatriates, international taxation and tax planning for individuals and companies.

Our taxation specialists are multi skilled in many areas of taxation including GST, income tax, capital gains tax and fringe benefits tax. We are therefore well qualified to provide comprehensive integrated taxation advice covering all tax areas which may affect a particular transaction.

We also specialise in assisting to develop business, investment and superannuation structures for asset protection and other purposes.

Corporate & Trust Taxation

Corporate & Trust Taxation

The taxation landscape of corporations and trusts has undergone significant change over the past few years so it is vital to have advisers with an in-depth knowledge of the changes and who can understand how these impact your company or trust.

At ECOVIS Clark Jacobs, we work with you to ensure we have a comprehensive understanding of your organisation and the key taxation issues which impact it. We provide support and advice to our clients to assist them successfully manage their taxation obligations and minimise taxation risk.

Talk to us about:

  • Managing the BAS/IAS process and filings;
  • Identify transactions and their potential taxation impacts and exposures;
  • Fringe Benefits Tax implications of transactions;
  • Taxation implications of employee share scheme arrangements;
  • Research and development incentives;
  • Tax consolidations;
  • Managing Division 7A loan accounts and deemed dividends;
  • Trust minutes and their timing.

Small & Medium Enterprise Taxation

Small and Medium Enterprises often have unique taxation needs where small decisions can have large ramifications down the track. Getting these decisions right and implementing the right structures for your business can make a huge difference both to your business's performance and to the ultimate outcome of a sale in the future.

At ECOVIS Clark Jacobs, our tax professionals have the qualifications and experience to guide you in making the right tax decision for your business and investments. We not only look at the impact of current tax law on your business, but apply our experience to look at what could potentially happen in future to threaten the security of your business and its operating environment. Our advisers also actively engage with our business clients to conduct annual tax planning and forecasting so there are no tax surprises come June 30. This is especially important for planning cash flow and in the budgeting process.

  • Talk to us about:
  • Managing the BAS/IAS process and filings;
  • Identifying transactions and their potential taxation impacts and exposures;
  • Fringe Benefits Tax implications of transactions;
  • Capital Gains Tax implications of transactions;
  • Tax planning and budgeting;
  • Research and development incentives;
  • Monthly or quarterly reporting and budgeting.

Fringe Benefits Tax

The taxation of Fringe Benefits is one of the most complex areas of taxation law and can present a large administrative burden for some businesses (not to mention a large taxation impost)! With extensive experience and a focus on providing commercially realistic and pragmatics advice, talk to ECOVIS Clark Jacobs about:

  • The FBT treatment of specific transactions;
  • FBT offsets, exemptions and reductions;
  • FBT compliance and reporting obligations;
  • Tax effective salary packaging and employee contributions to FBT.

GST Advice

We advise businesses on all aspects of GST and have significant experience on GST matters relating to:

  • Property investment, development and construction, acquisitions and sales;
  • The purchase and sale of businesses;
  • Cross border transactions;
  • Legislative interpretation and advice;
  • ATO communications and where required audit planning and audit management;
  • BAS amendments and refund claims.

We particularly recommend that those engaged in, or contemplating, complex, unusual, or high value transactions should seek expert GST guidance well in advance to ensure their GST-related options and obligations are well understood and that their rights are protected. Full advice should be obtained at the time transactions are being contemplated and before final negotiations occur. It is very important that this is not left to the time when liabilities may have already arisen, as unexpected consequences can be significantly disruptive and costly to your business.

Examples of transactions or situations where expert GST advice is highly recommended include:

  • Property transactions (including sales and leases of commercial and residential premises – early advice is particularly important where the “margin scheme” is or may be involved)
  • Sales or purchases of businesses or business interests
  • International transactions
  • Financial transactions and related acquisitions
  • Court and out of court settlements
  • Any transaction or situation where the GST treatment is not absolutely certain to those involved.

Research & Development (R&D)

The bills to establish the new R&D Tax Incentive received royal assent on 8 September 2011.

The R&D tax incentive regime will replace the existing R&D tax concession, R&D tax offset, 175% premium concession and the 175% international concession.

While the new regime was originally intended to apply from 1 July 2010, delays in passage of the legislation have resulted in it applying from 1 July 2011.

R&D tax incentive for companies with turnover less than $20 million

Companies in groups with annual turnover of less than $20 million will be eligible for a 45% refundable offset, with no limit on the level of expenditure claimable. If a company’s tax liability is reduced to zero, it may be entitled to a refund of any unused offset amount.

There is no limit on the level of expenditure claimable.

This is in contrast to the previous program which was limited to group turnover of $5 million and aggregate R&D expenditure of only $1 million.

Based on a corporate tax rate of 30%, this 45% offset represents a 15c per $1 additional benefit as compared to the 7.5c per $1 offered by the previous program. So, the benefit has effectively doubled!

R&D tax incentive for companies with turnover greater than $20 million

Companies in groups with annual turnover in excess of $20 million will be eligible for a 40% non-refundable offset, with no limit on the level of expenditure claimable. If a company’s tax liability is reduced to zero, any excess offsets may be carried forward to future income years.

Based on a corporate tax rate of 30%, this 40% offset represents a 10c per $1 additional benefit as compared to the 7.5c per $1 offered by the previous program. So, the benefit has effectively increased by a third.

Companies that are part of an international group

Where a company is part of an international group, and undertakes R&D in Australia while the relevant intellectual property rights are held offshore, it will have access to the new regime.

Transitional provisions for the existing R&D tax offset

Companies claiming the existing R&D tax offset in the 2010 and 2011 years will enjoy an increase in the aggregate R&D expenditure limit from $1 million to $2 million, but with the $5 million group turnover limit remaining.

How Can We Help?
We provide consulting services ranging from general advice on the Research and Development (R&D) tax incentive, through to full preparation and lodgement of applications and their underlying assessment and documentation.

Our services include “hands-on” assistance, or simply advice, in relation to:

  • R&D project identification
  • R&D strategy and management
  • R&D plans
  • R&D application, documentation and lodgement
  • R&D cost identification and tracking
  • Liaison with the ATO and AusIndustry
  • Audit assistance

If you are uncertain about whether or not your activities and expenditure will qualify, we would welcome the opportunity to discuss your circumstances with you.

International Tax

Notwithstanding the existence of double tax agreements between Australia and most major countries, which act to avoid double taxation, there are still many complexities that can affect the tax obligations of foreign residents doing business in Australia, as well as Australians doing businesses overseas. Our international taxation experts provide specialist advice to both companies and individuals, including:

  • The complex question of tax residency and domicile;
  • The impact of different visa classes on your tax status;
  • Whether or not income earned on offshore employment and/or income generated by offshore assets, will be captured in the Australian tax net.
  • The impact of Australian capital gains tax on assets you hold in offshore jurisdictions as well as in Australia.

Expatriate Tax

ECOVIS Clark Jacobs provides tailored tax services for expatriates in accordance with both Australian and foreign tax legislation. As well as preparing the Australian income tax return of foreign residents, our team can advise on numerous issues including tax planning strategies, tax liabilities and compliance, to establish the best possible financial solutions for our clients.