Taxation

2015/16 Annual Report

The Taxation Committee sits as a joint Committee of the Law Society of Western Australia and the Law Council of Australia.

In 2016 the Committee welcomed new members to the Committee. Their willingness to join the Committee and contribute at the meeting is commendable.

The prestigious Forsyth-Pose Prize is awarded annually by the Law Council of Australia. This year the winner was Joel Emery for a learned discourse on the possible tax treatment of Bitcoin. The Committee also welcomed Joel as a new member of the Committee.

In 2015/16 the Committee made submissions on various State and Commonwealth taxation issues. This work involved considerable effort by members resulting in an improvement in the taxation laws.

The Committee made submissions regarding changes to the Foreign Resident Capital Gains Withholding Tax. From 1 July 2016 Australian residents selling real estate with a market value of $2million or more need to apply for a clearance certificate from the Australian Tax Office (ATO) to ensure that amounts are not withheld from the sale proceeds. If a valid Clearance Certificate is not provided by settlement, the purchaser is required to withhold 10% of the purchase price and pay this to the ATO.

In addition, a Law Society CPD seminar was organised on this topic that affects all sellers of properties of $2 million or more.

Committee members have been involved in serving on various committees of the Law Society, the Law Council of Australia and various advisory taxation committees involving the Australian Taxation Office and other representative organisations.

The Committee has continued to be represented on the Tax Round Table, a practitioner’s forum to assist practitioners’ access to the ATO.

The Committee have also contributed to the Continuing Professional Development programme for the Law Society.

Members of the Committee published articles of interest to the legal profession in the Law Society’s Brief journal and other journals.

The Committee would like to thank Humphrey Faas and Jonathon Ilbery for keeping the Committee informed of recent developments in taxation raised by the Taxation Committee of the Law Council of Australia. The Committee presents a monthly report at the meetings of the developments in taxation across Australia.

Thank you to all members of the Committee for their support during the year. In particular, thank you to the Deputy Convenor, Humphrey Faas and Grahame Young for their assistance and acting as Convenor when required.

The Committee had a very successful year.

For more information about this committee please email General Manager, Advocacy – Mary Woodford, advocacy@lawsocietywa.asn.au