Antony Barrier has been practising in tax, estate planning, superannuation and commercial law for over 10 years and provides advice in most areas of Australian Federal and State taxation, with a particular interest in international tax.
We had the pleasure of sitting down with Antony recently to discuss key challenges and opportunities facing the industry today. You can read the full Q&A below.
Can you tell us a little bit about yourselves?
We are specialist “private client” lawyers, with taxation, superannuation and migration divisions. The founding Partners are very experienced tax and super lawyers, well-known in Perth. My own experience is in general Revenue law, which would include some elements of superannuation, commercial law (property, largely), estate planning and tax disputes.
What is one of the main non-resident issues challenge practitioners now for family trusts in Australia ?
Probably the removal of concessions for non-residents. Things that a resident would take for granted – such as the CGT discount and main residence exemption, for instance – have been removed for non-residents in recent years. The way in which Div 855 broadly exempts non-resident capital gains arising from non-land related CGT assets, and how that interacts with concepts of present and specific entitlement in trusts, is also an interesting one, with some divergent views.
What are some of the common mistakes practitioners usually make in this area?
It depends on the practitioner…! But broadly, I suppose assuming that conditions are similar for non-residents as they are for residents might be one area where people make mistakes. Laypersons are often surprised by the reach of Australian revenue law, as well.
What are the most important legislative developments in this area recently?
Though not recent, many are still interested in how the post-Bamford “streaming” changes work regarding non-residents. Also, as everyone will know, more generally the “family” trust is under ongoing review at present.
What are some of the big trends and developments you see ahead in this area?
The taxation of trusts per se, and the use of the standard discretionary trust as a business vehicle. I don’t know when, but with all the reviews and talk of structural change, this is bound to be broached at some point. In the non-resident context, the continued removal of available concessions and tightening of so-called “integrity” measures.
Your topic will be focusing on ‘Being Tax Ready: Non-Resident Issues for Family Trusts’. What do you see are some of the key takeaways and benefits for practitioners for their practice from attending your session?
A better understanding of how the non-resident tax rules interact with Division 6, which will aid with their planning. An awareness of the ATO’s views in this area.
In addition to his work at Munro Doig, Antony has spent time in the Taxation group of a large Australian law firm and an international boutique firm in London specialising in international tax planning. Antony has a Master's degree in Law and is a fellow of the Tax Institute.
You can hear more from Antony at the Tax Intensive for SME Advisers seminar, being held on Wednesday 20 June at the Crown Perth, Great Eastern Highway, Perth.