Publications and News

Options and hidden tax stings

5 July 2017


  • Options are always tricky.
  • What applies to GST does not necessarily apply to CGT.
  • Assumptions can be very dangerous.
Options and hidden tax stings

 Tony comes to see you about a 'too good to refuse' offer he has received from a developer – $5 million GST inclusive for a property he bought for $5,000 in 1970. Continue Reading..

Take care if you declare

7 June 2017

It is first thing on Tuesday morning when you receive a call from your client Lachlan who wants you to review an auction contract for a farm that has come up for sale next to his. The auction is scheduled for that afternoon so Lachlan, as he always does, has really left things until the last minute. You had a terrible night’s sleep after a big blue with your husband about his spendthrift ways, and aren’t feeling all that sharp, but you have the time to review the contract. Lachlan also wants you to attend the auction with him.  Continue Reading..

Succession planning and hidden tax stings

5 May 2017

You knew it was professionally unwise, but you just couldn't say no to your old mate Peter when he asked you to help fix up his family succession plan. You tried to explain, but when he said “Maaate, come on, school mates and footie mates and you can’t help? Come on…what are mates for?”.  Continue Reading..

Take care when amending the vesting date of a pre 84 deed

13 April 2017

You’ve just come back to work after being on medical leave and are excited to receive a call from a longstanding client, Molly, who wants you to act for her regarding a purchase of an investment property for $3 million. Molly tells you the purchaser will be Edlly Pty Ltd as trustee for the Moed Family Trust. The Moed Family Trust was established in 1967.You phone the vendor’s solicitor to give her the purchaser details.  Continue Reading..

Tax stings and GST tales of woe

10 March 2017

This article was published in this month's edition of the Law Society Journal of NSW. Three lawyers walk into a bar. Allan, Barry and Charlie. It’s Friday, they’re good mates, they’ve all had a bad week, and they want to share the pain.Allan goes first.  Continue Reading..

Transferring Dutiable Land - Order of Operations

17 February 2017

You act for Robert who is the executor of his late wife Maggie’s estate, along with Maggie’s three children. Robert brings in the original will which was prepared by another solicitor in 1998.You are surprised when reviewing the will that Robert was not left anything, instead all of Maggie’s estate went to her three children. However Robert explains that Maggie had been married previously and the three children were to her first husband, and that although they had been married for twenty years, they had always kept their finances separate.Maggie and Robert owned a half share each in a unit and a house as tenants in common.  Continue Reading..

Super fund property sale anguish

8 December 2016

This article was published in this month's edition of the Law Society Journal of NSW. Your clients Betty and Bruce recently called to say that their self managed superannuation fund was selling a residential property and to request that you prepare a contract for them. They told you that their superannuation fund bought some vacant land a couple of years ago on which it built a house to be rented out as a long-term income earning investment. However, after the house was completed, but before it was rented, they received an offer that was too good to refuse and have therefore agreed to sell. Continue Reading..

GST free supply of farmland

9 November 2016

GST Free Supply of Farmland Your brother Harry and his wife Zoe contact you about arranging a contract for the sale of a 15 acre block. The block is part of their larger rural property on which they conduct a farming business. It is on a separate title and close to town. A good friend of theirs has been looking for a small acreage on the edge of town to purchase and has offered them very good money to buy the block. It comes at the perfect time as Harry and Zoe are struggling financially and really need the extra funds to help keep the farm operating.  Continue Reading..

GST stings

6 October 2016

This article was published in this month's edition of the Law Society Journal of NSW. In the course of your busy conveyancing practice you come across many different situations. You are only too well aware of the importance of taking GST into account. But some situations are more common than others. For example, Example 1 You recently acted for Peter on the sale of a commercial property inherited from his father. But when Peter gave you instructions he had a problem. The handshake deal at $2 million did not include GST. And the potential buyer was absolutely refusing to add GST. So, you suggested to Peter that he apply the margin scheme. You explained that this would mean GST only on the difference between the price his father paid for the property and the sale price now. Peter is happy about this because, his father having bought the property for $1 million in 2005 his GST bill would be halved. Continue Reading..

Not all farmland is GST free

8 September 2016

Land values have taken off in your local area and clients of yours are considering selling part of their property to help fund their retirement and repay debt. Your clients owned the land before Capital Gains Tax was introduced so you know the significant capital gain your client stands to make will not be a problem. Husband and wife own the land jointly and operate their farm business in partnership. As its turnover is greater than $75,000 they are registered for GST. Continue Reading..