Our Expertise

Taxation and superannuation laws are complex and constantly changing. At Waterhouse Lawyers we keep up to date with all the latest changes in taxation law and are able to give you clear straightforward advice about what to do next.

We have the expertise to assist our clients with all taxation matters, including the following services:

We can help you with the following tax concerns

  1. International Tax

    We possess extensive experience in foreign residence status, international taxation and cross-border transactions.

    We are also experienced in US tax law, particularly the world-wide obligation of US citizens to pay US tax, regardless of their permanent residence.

    In relation to UK tax law, we have a wealth of knowledge of UK inheritance laws.

    We frequently liaise with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and HM Revenue and Customs Service (HMRS) on behalf of our clients.

    Tania Waterhouse was a Director in the International Branch of the ATO.  As a result she was involved in treaty negotiations, CRCs, tax havens, complex corporate structures involving offshore entities and the use of offshore trusts.

    Since leaving the ATO Tania has provided advice to clients on these complex areas.

     


  2. Objection to Taxation Decision

    If you have received an unfavourable taxation decision and you think the decision is wrong, either on the facts, or legal reasoning, we can help by preparing and lodging an objection decision.

    There is generally a 60 day time period in which to seek a review of an adverse decision by the ATO.  However, the Commissioner of Taxation has a discretion to extend this time period where extenuating circumstances exist, such as you being advised by your tax agent or lawyer that you cannot seek a review.

    We have an outstanding success rate in achieving a favourable outcome for our clients.

    Please contact us if you would like more information on our recent successes against the ATO.


  3. Tax Litigation

    We have the knowledge and expertise to represent you at all levels in your taxation dispute – AAT, Federal Court and High Court.

    Tania Waterhouse has over five years experience as a litigator at a senior level for the Commonwealth and the ATO so she leads the field in legal representation.

    If you have been unsuccessful in obtaining a favourable outcome to a taxation objection decision, the next legal avenue available to you is to seek an administrative review at the AAT.

    Waterhouse Lawyers has the necessary experience to represent you in court.

     


  4. ATO prosecutions – Failure to lodge tax return

    We regularly represent clients at the District Court who are being prosecuted by the ATO for failing to lodge their tax returns.

    A prosecution for failure to lodge a tax return is a strict liability offence.  This means that the only course of action is to plead guilty.

    However, in appropriate circumstances, we have been very successful in obtaining a section 19B order i.e no conviction recorded.

    Moreover, we have been very successful in obtaining reduced fines for our clients.  The maximum fine for each count is $3,000 for the first offence, and $5,000 for every other offence.  We have obtained fines as low as $500 for our clients.


  5. Superannuation – SMSFs

    Waterhouse Lawyers are experts in providing advice to SMSF trustees.

    Tania Waterhouse was a director in the Superannuation business line at the ATO.

    As a result she is very familiar with trustee duties, early access to superannuation benefits, in-house assets, loans to member.

    If you have any concerns that you have breached a superannuation law, you should contact us immediately so that your SMSF is not at risk of being made non-complying.


  6. Tax Audit

    Waterhouse Lawyers is uniquely placed to help our clients through a tax audit by the ATO.

    An intensive tax audit by the ATO can take 2-3 years and cost the taxpayer significant amounts in lost revenue, particular SMEs, due to attending to the time consuming requirements of the audit. Not to mention the high level of stress and anxiety caused by the audit.

    We have high level contacts in the ATO and are therefore able to assist in ensuring the audit runs smoothly, with the best result achieved in the shortest amount of time possible for our client.

    We generally resolve a taxation audit within 8-12 weeks with minimal involvement from our client.  We therefore take away the stress of the audit.

    Call now, you will so pleased you did!

     


  7. Australian Residency

    Don’t get caught by Australian residency rules.

    An Australian resident living overseas remains liable for Australian income tax unless they are treated as a non-resident under complex residency laws.

    There are a number of characteristics which determine if you are a foreign resident for Australian tax purposes.  No two cases are alike.

    To determine whether you are a foreign resident, and thus not liable for Australian tax, you should seek legal confirmation of your residency status.

    If we are satisfied that you are a foreign resident, our written advice will always assist if the ATO queries your status and can prevent penalties from arising.


  8. R&D Research and Development tax offset

    We have extensive Research and Development (R&D) experience.   Tania Waterhouse is a former Principal Lawyer with Ausindustry.  In this role she provided legal advice on the application of the former section 73B grant.  Tania has maintained her interest and updated her technical understanding the R&D tax incentive scheme.

    We can assist with R&D applications and ATO R&D audits.

    R&D aggressive tax planning is currently subject to close scrutiny by the ATO.  If you think you may have unwittingly become involved in such a scheme, you should contact us now


  9. ATO Formal Interview

    If you have been requested to attend a formal interview you must attend or besubject to criminal sanctions.  You are under oath at the interview which means if you do not tell the complete truth you can be charged with a criminal offence.

    A formal interview can be a very intimidating experience.  We recommend engaging legal representation to attend the interview with you.

    Waterhouse Lawyers has the necessary experience to guide and help you through the process.

     


  10. Garnishee

    The ATO is dramatically increasing its use of tax garnishee notices.  Under a garnishee notice the ATO can recover monies from third parties such as banks and employers.

    Where the ATO has issued a garnishee notice we can assist by ensuring the notice has been validly issued and, if so, negotiating the best possible outcome with the ATO.

     


  11. CGT Main residence exemption

    Homeowners are entitled CGT main residence exemption.  However there are several limits on the exercise of the main residence exemption which relate to:

    • selling a main residence you inherited
    • you renting out your home,
    • being unable to live in your home
    • purchasing land with the intention of erect your home on it, but selling the land before you have built and commenced living in your home.

    Waterhouse Lawyers has significant experience in this are and can provide advice to ensure that you do not lose the exemption.


  12. Payroll Tax

    Don’t get caught by State Payroll taxes.  If you are unsure of your potential exposure, please contact us so that we can assist you in determining your obligations before the Office of State Revenue issues an assessment


  13. 23AG – Exempt foreign employment income

    Section 23AG is a beneficial provision which exempts liability to pay Australian tax to Australians employed overseas on aid projects or deployed as members of the Australian Defence Force (ADF) or Australian Federal Police (AFP).

    Section 23AG has recently been amended.  Make sure that you are still covered by section 23AG by contacting us now.


  14. Yachting crew

    We frequently receive inquiries from yachties who have been crewing offshore for a number of years and are worried about their residency status for tax purposes in Australia.  As a result we have built up particular expertise in this often-grey area.

    Every case is different.  However we have a wealth of experience in this particular area and can provide a good indication as to how the ATO is likely to view your particular circumstances.  Where certainty is required, we can prepare an application for a private binding ruling.


  15. Sharia Law – Commercial contracts

    Under sharia law, Muslims are prohibited entering into loan arrangements, particularly a loan which requires security and regular payment of interest.    The ATO has treated such loans as not being on commercial terms.  However we have successfully argued that such a loan was on arm’s length terms even though it reflected Sharia law rather than Western commercial loans.

     


  16. Transfer pricing

    If you have international transactions with a related party – eg a loan from your foreign subsidiary – your Australian tax will be affected if the amounts for the transaction don’t comply with the arm’s length principle under the transfer pricing rules.

    Transfer pricing rules are becoming increasingly complex.  Ensure that your group of companies comply with Australian tax law.

    We can help your group with its transfer pricing arrangements by:

    • Assisting in responding to an ATO risk review/audit including strategy advice, drafting letters and meeting with the ATO.
    • Obtaining an Advance Pricing Agreement (APA) either just with the ATO or the ATO and a foreign jurisdiction.
    • Preparing transfer pricing documents which comply with the new Australian self-assessment regime
    • Getting ready to meet the Diverted Profits Tax (“DPT”) regime.
    • Assisting with preparation and review of International Dealing Schedule (IDS) disclosures.
    • Work with you to understand the future strategy of your business and to design an optimal transfer pricing structure based on their value chain and the location of key operational personnel/assets/risks in the business.
    • Helping groups with A$1 billion to prepare to comply with new BEPS rules applying to accounting periods commencing after 1 January 2016.
    • Explain the impact of BEPS on internal transfer pricing risks and how these may be addressed.
    • We can also assist with BEPS compliance in preparing a country by country report, master file and Australian local file.

  17. Tax Advice

    Waterhouse lawyers are skilled tax lawyers who provide advice on the most complex tax issues.

     


  18. Tax restructuring

    We can help you minimise your company’s tax by providing advice and arranging the restructure itself


  19. CFCs Controlled Foreign Companies

    Worried that your company structure may breach the CFC rules?  Want to restructure without breaching the CFC rules?

    We are the experts in this field.  Call us now


  20. Stamp Duty

    Disputing the amount of stamp duty you must pay?  we can help

     


  21. Land Tax

    Disputing state land tax?  call us now


  22. State Taxes

    Whether it be state land tax, payroll tax, stamp duty disputes – we can help


  • Tax Dispute

    Involved in a dispute with the Tax Commissioner?
    Being audited by the Tax Office?