TAX ADVICE & STRATEGY

The Australian tax system is one of the most complex in the world.  Generally, you only get one chance to get it right.

Hayes Knight’s tax advice team can help you get it right.

The right tax advice when you need it
Our tax advisers are skilled in not just what the legislation says but the commercial impact on your business

Typically, our clients seek our advice when they are:

  • Contemplating a major transaction
  • Looking to restructure their business to maximise their commercial and tax position
  • Operating across borders
  • In a taxation dispute or needing advice to avoid a dispute
  • Selling a business, or
  • Involved in succession or estate planning

Capital Gains Tax (CGT), transfer pricing, Goods and Services Tax (GST), international taxation – there are thousands of pages of legislation and a myriad of traps that you can get caught in if you don’t get it right the first time.

You might need specific advice or simply want to talk to someone about the tax strategies available. Our team can help you better understand your position, identify the options available, and deliver the best possible outcome.

Structuring & Restructuring

A commercial decision or pathway you take today can have a myriad of tax consequences in the future. The difficulty is knowing how to align the commercial needs of your business with its tax requirements in a way that produces the best possible result.

Working with you, we can help you identify potential problems before they occur and give you a secure way of ‘test checking’ your thinking with independent and commercially astute advice.

We can help you find the right solution not just for tax purposes but for the future of your business, regardless of whether you are:

  • Establishing a new structure;
  • Restructuring; or
  • Unwinding an existing structure and don’t want to trigger any unintended tax consequences

And if you need it, we can also help you resolve existing tax problems.

Buying & Selling Assets

Hayes Knight has a specialist team to guide you through the purchase or sale of assets.

If you are selling an asset and make a gain you expect to pay tax on it but the amount of that tax liability can vary significantly. Planning before acting, or simply asking one of our tax specialists to talk you through your options, can make all the difference.

The events that trigger tax implications are not necessarily obvious. For example:

  • Issuing shares in a company at less than their value;
  • Reorganising or restructuring a business;
  • Death, divorce or dispute; or
  • Sale of business or succession.

Hayes Knight has specialist expertise in this area to assist. We have helped many businesses and individuals manage their tax position and avoid unexpected tax bills.

Beyond tax we can assist with business valuations, the sale process, due diligence, staged succession planning, and preparing an asset for sale.

R&D Tax Incentives

Research & Development (R&D) incentives offer an opportunity to offset the cost of innovation.

The R&D tax incentive currently provides either:

  • A 45% refundable tax offset for eligible entities with an aggregated annual turnover of less than $20 million, and which are not controlled by income-tax exempt entities. This represents a 150% deduction for qualifying expenditure; or
  • A 40% non-refundable tax offset for all other eligible entities. This represents a 133% deduction for qualifying expenditure. While excess offsets cannot be refunded, they can potentially be carried forward to later income years.

The complexity of the eligibility criteria and stringent substantiation requirements often mean that operators are often uncertain whether they qualify for the incentive or whether the cost of compliance is worth the rewards.

This is where experience helps. The Hayes Knight tax team has extensive experience in assessing, advising, and managing the R&D tax incentive application process for clients. We can help you access the tax incentives by:

  • Identifying eligible R&D activities
  • Reviewing technical project documentation to ensure the most robust R&D application
  • Analysing and calculating eligible R&D expenditure
  • Advising on appropriate internal processes and systems to capture R&D expenditure
  • Advising on the documentation requirements to substantiate your R&D tax claim
  • Guiding you through the entire process to maximise your entitlement

 

International Tax
Managing or developing a business across national borders is always complex. Working across multiple tax jurisdictions adds to the complexity and the risk of making mistakes.

Experience and knowledge are essential when it comes to international tax issues as often there are very few warning signs that you have a problem.  Hayes Knight’s tax team can help.

If you are:

  • A foreign business establishing in Australia

  • Looking to expand offshore

  • Managing projects and teams across borders

  • Managing investments across borders

  • Assessing the viability of an international business proposal

Then, we can help.

Australian tax rules are particularly complex in their treatment of business and investors likely to move money across borders. We work with you to align your commercial needs with the regulatory requirements here and overseas. A few of the more common problem areas include:

  • Transfer pricing – The transfer pricing rules require that commercial dealings between related entities in different countries are at arm’s length. This is more than getting it right; you need to have the documentation to prove it.
  • Thin capitalisation – The thin capitalisation rules look at how debt is managed between onshore and offshore entities. The rules are designed to ensure that entities in Australia do not claim excessive interest deductions.
  • Controlled Foreign Company (CFC) – The CFC rules can tax Australian shareholders on profits made by a foreign company, even before any dividends have been paid.

While these rules seek to address very specific issues, they can often have consequences for the normal commercial operation of a business working across borders. You need to be across the rules and know how to avoid paying more tax than you need to. Equally, you need to ensure that you are not exposed to unnecessary risk.

Because we know that strong local knowledge is important and can overcome many potential problems before they arise, we are an independent member of Morison KSi, a  global association of leading professional service firms, established to meet the cross-border accounting, auditing, tax and business consulting needs of clients.

Transfer Pricing

Safely manage related party pricing across borders

How related businesses deal with each other across borders is an increasing focus for regulators around the world.

In Australia, increasingly prescriptive rules targeting profit shifting and multinationals place a greater burden than ever on your business to demonstrate that your related party pricing is at arm’s length and is supported by adequate documentation.

Failure to get the details right can result in prohibitive tax penalties.

Hayes Knight’s tax specialists are experienced in:

  • Identifying transfer pricing risks;
  • Developing transfer pricing policies, and
  • Preparing transfer pricing documentation to ensure that you comply with the transfer pricing rules.

Need assistance?  Contact Linda Jing on +61 2 9221 6666