Friday, October 30, 2020

Taxation in the evolving post-COVID world: Jeremy Hirschhorn

4.45pm to 5.20pm: Tax Practitioners Board: Current Focus

  • Code of Conduct
  • Compliance focus
  • New developments

Presented by Michael O’Neill, Secretary and CEO, Tax Practitioners Board

The Australian Tax Office has warned companies not to use loopholes to exploit more than $30bn of business tax concessions including instant expensing and loss carryback provisions.

In a speech on Thursday the ATO’s second commissioner for client engagement, Jeremy Hirschhorn, scolded companies for using jobkeeper wage subsidies to pay dividends and urged them not to use “artificial mechanisms” to exploit the measures contained in the 2020 budget.

Hirschhorn told a Chief Financial Officer Live event businesses should use concessions to invest rather than buy assets “not actually used in your business”, raising the alarm about practices like purchasing a company car in fact used as a personal vehicle.

ATO warns businesses not to use loopholes to exploit $30bn Covid tax concessions


"Your alarm bells should ring loudest when the 'clever' adviser tells you that your tax manager is too conservative or (particularly dangerous) they bring a tax-driven transaction to you supported by a suite of potential commercial rationales for the transaction."

He also warns companies to come forward for a non-binding ruling when they are in doubt over a tax arrangement.

"It still surprises me how many large companies rely on an adviser’s 'more likely than not', 'reasonably arguable' or 'should' opinion ... on their tax infrastructure (which at most only provides penalty protection if it all goes wrong)," he will say. 

JobKeeper should not be funding executive bonuses: ATO 

Simon Steward was the first graduate of his Melbourne University law class to become a senior or queen's counsel. He will now be the first to join the High Court.

He's the smartest lawyer I've ever met'

The Australian Taxation Office has sent out 350,000 emails, creating a nightmare tax crunch for cryptocurrency users with oustanding taxes from 2017. CryptoTaxCalculator, an Australian made crypto tax software company, has recently partnered with one of Australia's leading cryptocurrency exchanges, CoinSpot, to make it easier for users to organise their taxes. CryptoTaxCalculator has seen exponential growth in new users since the ATO emails


On Oct. 26, the Washington Free Beacon published a hard-hitting investigative article exposing a truly appalling and destructive example of communist China’s long-term war on free societies, in this case using influence and information as weapons.


The Free Beacon’s bottom-line accusation: Chinese money bought advantageous (euphemized) treatment, if not favorable news coverage and a positive editorial attitude in a news and business journal long regarded as one of the world’s most influential — influential in terms of its editorial acumen, erudite reporting and savvy story selection. The Economist’s international subscriber base is well educated, wealthy and connected.

It appears the CCP managed to influence The Economist’s purveyors of influence and did so not in one or two instances but for eight critical years. The CCP wasn’t simply targeting The Economist. Huawei has tried to coopt media everywhere. But The Economist allegedly influences the influencers in capital cities around the planet, which gives it unique leverage.

An even bigger bottom line:

From the Chinese perspective, Hunter Biden’s alleged business deals in China would classify as an effort to influence an individual leader.

 THEY’RE IN EVERYTHING:  Communist China Runs Your Bookstore and WorldCon too.

Department emails tried to discourage evidence from staffer who shredded documents