HWL Ebsworth's national Taxation Group provides unsurpassed advice to its clients by combining a common sense and commercial application of technical legal expertise and excellent professional relationships with the Australian Taxation Office and the various State Revenue Offices.
The Group provides advice directly, or as part of a co-ordinated approach with other areas of the firm, on property, construction, finance, commercial or corporate matters arising in both domestic and cross border transactions, and structuring and documentation.
Through our well established tax controversy practice, we assist our clients with audits, investigations and disputes and achieve the most appropriate outcomes, whether that involves entering into settlement or negotiated arrangements or litigation.
Our clients represent the broad spectrum of public and private companies, property developers, accountancy firms and enterprises seeking expert advice in all areas of taxation.
We are able to advise on all forms of direct and indirect taxation including: income tax, Capital Gains Tax, Goods & Services Tax (GST), stamp duty and land tax, specialist taxation advice on the acquisition and disposal of businesses, assets and properties, and taxation planning and structuring.
Our Taxation Group has a strong private client base, and our Partners are considered to be the "trusted advisor" to clients acting as a member of various business advisory boards and family governing committees.
We work collaboratively with our clients, and other groups within HWL Ebsworth, to assist them in achieving their commercial goals while optimising their tax position.
Our relevant experience includes acting on the following matters.
- Cross Border Aircraft Leasing Structuring: Cross border aircraft leasing transactions between offshore aircraft Lessor’s and Virgin Blue, Qantas, Singapore Cargo, Silk Air, China eastern, EVA Air, British Airways and Emirates, including establishing a section 128F debt programme for funding into aircraft leasing transactions and obtaining a tax ruling from the ATO as to its application, including compliance with the "public offer" test.
- Funds Management: Advising a Hong Kong based investment bank on the establishment of a tax efficient structure for Australian superannuation funds and other non-Australia investors to invest in real estate in Hong Kong and China.
- ATO Disputes: Successfully assisted a client in claiming compensation for defective action or maladministration under the ATO's Compensation for Detriment caused by Defective Administration Scheme ("CDAA"). This resulted in a compensation amount at mediation which was well above the usual compensation amounts provided under the CDAA. Assisted clients in managing responses to the ATO during the investigation and audit of their tax affairs, and dealing with voluntary disclosure to the ATO.
- Business Succession and Estate Planning: Advising high net worth individuals and family groups in contentious and non-contentious succession matters, often involving very complex tax and trust issues, and relationships between the executors and the beneficiaries, and between executors. These matters often involve cross border issues as well as issues relating to executors and trustee duties, conflicts of interest, accounting for assets in various jurisdictions, and asset protection arrangements.
- Transaction Structuring: Providing advice to a major property joint venture in relation to creating special purpose unit trust with specially designed units to create rights between the land owner and property developer for income and capital distributions and entitlements in a revenue (including stamp duty) efficient manner with appropriate security measures to protect the parties' commercial interests in a long term property venture.