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Latest Case

Advising on market-changing divestments September 25, 2018

Maddocks  acted for the founder of Australia’s largest private pilot training school, Soar Aviation, on the group’s 50 percent sale to Australian private equity investor The Growth Fund. Soar Aviation was started in 2012 by … Continued

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Making a difference: Maddocks senior associate wins Australian Young Lawyer of the Year October 22, 2018

Monday 22 October 2018 Maddocks senior associate Tamsin Webster has been awarded the 2018 Australian Young Lawyer of the Year by the Law Council of Australia. Tamsin, a member of the firm’s Employment, Safety and … Continued

Latest Article

Government Procurement (Judicial Review) Act 2018 (Cth) expands scope for challenges to Commonwealth procurement decisions October 18, 2018

On 18 October 2018, the Senate passed the Government Procurement (Judicial Review) Bill 2017 (Cth) (the Bill) without amendment. The Bill received Royal Assent on 19 October 2018. The Government Procurement (Judicial Review) Act 2018 (Cth) … Continued

Chairs and boards come under greater pressure to understand tax liabilities

22 August 2011: The chairs and boards of big businesses have been put on notice that they could face serious consequences if they fail to fully understand their company’s tax liabilities with the introduction of the ATO’s new Reportable Tax Position Schedule.

Following the controversial Centro Federal Court ruling earlier this year it is now clear board directors must fully understand all the decisions they make even if the issue is outside their area of expertise

Chris Kinsella, a partner in Maddocks Tax Controversy group, says there has never been greater scrutiny by the ATO, shareholders and the courts on Board decisions and their oversight role.

“With the introduction of RTP schedules from July this year, board members will now be under greater pressure to be fully aware of the impact of their organisation’s tax risks and liabilities on share prices and tax obligations.

“Failure by board members to understand this detail and allow RTP schedules to be returned to the ATO  without proper  disclosure could  see their businesses exposed to potentially severe  sanctions and the directors potentially exposed  to personal litigation,” Mr Kinsella said.

The new RTP schedule requires  businesses to disclose  forensic detail on a company’s potential tax exposures to the ATO and will accelerate the need for boards and senior management to ascertain the risks associated with uncertain tax positions.

The ATO has indicated that the RTP schedule will initially only be directed to taxpayers seen by the ATO  as ‘higher risk’ or as ‘key taxpayers’.

Mr Kinsella said the ATO’s focus on corporate tax risk and tax risk governance will force companies and their directors to identify soft spots in tax positions.

“The Commissioner’s move toward a more imposing approach to compliance and the introduction of the RTP Schedule is a red flag on the landscape of Australian tax law.

“From now on businesses and their Boards need to be prepared to address and justify an uncertain tax position at an early stage.”

22 August 2011: The chairs and boards of big businesses have been put on notice that they could face serious consequences if they fail to fully understand their company’s tax liabilities with the introduction of the ATO’s new Reportable Tax Position Schedule.

Following the controversial Centro Federal Court ruling earlier this year it is now clear board directors must fully understand all the decisions they make even if the issue is outside their area of expertise

Chris Kinsella, a partner in Maddocks Tax Controversy group, says there has never been greater scrutiny by the ATO, shareholders and the courts on Board decisions and their oversight role.

“With the introduction of RTP schedules from July this year, board members will now be under greater pressure to be fully aware of the impact of their organisation’s tax risks and liabilities on share prices and tax obligations.

“Failure by board members to understand this detail and allow RTP schedules to be returned to the ATO  without proper  disclosure could  see their businesses exposed to potentially severe  sanctions and the directors potentially exposed  to personal litigation,” Mr Kinsella said.

The new RTP schedule requires  businesses to disclose  forensic detail on a company’s potential tax exposures to the ATO and will accelerate the need for boards and senior management to ascertain the risks associated with uncertain tax positions.

The ATO has indicated that the RTP schedule will initially only be directed to taxpayers seen by the ATO  as ‘higher risk’ or as ‘key taxpayers’.

Mr Kinsella said the ATO’s focus on corporate tax risk and tax risk governance will force companies and their directors to identify soft spots in tax positions.

“The Commissioner’s move toward a more imposing approach to compliance and the introduction of the RTP Schedule is a red flag on the landscape of Australian tax law.

“From now on businesses and their Boards need to be prepared to address and justify an uncertain tax position at an early stage.”