RSM Australia appoints four new partners and nine new principals

RSM LogoRSM Australia, one of the largest mid-tier accounting firms in Australia, has appointed four new partners, and nine new principals, bringing the total count of partners to 94, and principals to 42.

Jamie O’Rourke, newly-appointed national chairman, RSM Australia, said, “By hiring and promoting the right people, RSM is providing clients with the knowledge and expertise they need to help them reach their goals. For example, three of the new appointees are located in Ballarat to bolster its audit division, reflecting a growing need in that region. Research and development is also a key focus area for many of our clients. RSM has and will continue to expand according to our clients’ needs so we can help them do business better.”

New partners

John Findlay, Ballarat

John joined RSM Australia in 2016, and works in assurance & advisory. He has more than 25 years’ audit experience and works closely with both for-profit and not-for-profit clients from the private and public sectors. His clients include companies in the agribusiness, medical, pharmaceutical, construction, finance and investment, manufacturing, and retail industries, among others. John is based in Ballarat.

Matthew Gordge, Adelaide

Matthew joined RSM Australia in 2003, and works in business advisory. He provides business, taxation and superannuation services to small to medium enterprises and high wealth individuals. Matthew’s industries of expertise include transport, construction, hospitality, vehicle dealerships and seafood. Matthew is based in Adelaide.

Jayesh Kapitan, Melbourne

Jayesh joined RSM Australia in 2003, and works in risk advisory. He has more than 19 years’ local and international experience in providing advisory services to a range of clients from the corporate, public and not-for-profit sectors. He has provided a broad range of services to his clients including internal audit, risk management, assurance and compliance services. His clients are in the health, aged-care, transport, regulatory and public sector industries. Jayesh is based in Melbourne.

Paul Rogan, Ballarat

Paul joined RSM Australia in 2002, and works in business advisory. Paul has more than 14 years’ experience in agriculture, and continues to maintain strong ties within this industry. Paul specialises in the areas of business services and taxation, with extensive experience in the field of superannuation. Paul is based in Ballarat.

New principals

James Campbell, Canberra

James joined RSM Australia in 2014, and works in business advisory. He specialises in providing financial and business advice to health professionals and property developers. James advises clients on how to retire in a financially secure matter, by transitioning their business from ‘personal’ to ‘organisational’ goodwill. James is based in Canberra.

Andrew Clifford, Melbourne

Andrew joined RSM Australia in 2014, and works in corporate finance. Andrew has more than 20 years’ experience within professional practice, and has extensive experience in financial modelling and corporate consultancy. He helped establishing RSM’s financial modelling framework and dedicated financial modelling team. Andrew is based in Melbourne.

Adam Crowley, Sydney

Adam joined RSM Australia in 2014, and works in business advisory. He has more than 10 years’ experience in accounting and business advisory, and provides accounting, business advisory, tax consulting and compliance services to his clients, both local and international. Adam is based in Sydney.

Travis Kukura, Perth

Travis joined RSM Australia in 2014, and works in restructuring and recovery. Travis is a liquidator with more than 20 years’ experience in dealing with directors and corporations as well as individuals who suffer financial hardship. He has worked on numerous formal corporate and personal insolvency appointments across a range of industry sectors. Travis is based in Perth.

Andrew Manuel, Wagga Wagga

Andrew joined RSM Australia in 2009, and works in business advisory. He has more than 10 years’ experience working with international contractors and share traders, as well as businesses across a wide-range of sectors. Andrew helps his clients develop strategies and select the right tools to help with them with their business growth and wealth management. Andrew is based in Wagga Wagga.

Ralph Martin, Perth

Ralph joined RSM Australia in 2016, and works in assurance and advisory. He will be taking on the role of National Technical Director. Ralph has more than 15 years’ experience in providing external audit services. He provides specialist advice and consulting to ASX listed entities, with a focus on mining and mining services, family businesses and other large proprietary entities. Ralph is based in Perth.

Jarrad Turnbull, Ballarat

Jarrad joined RSM Australia in 2008, and works in business advisory. His experience and knowledge have seen him work closely with a diverse range of clients in the primary production and small business sectors. Jarrad delivers welcome, and unexpected, outcomes for his clients and provides solutions that reduce the stress of running a farm or small business. Jarrad is based in Ballarat.

Jade Wade, Wagga Wagga

Jade joined RSM Australia in 2008, and works in business advisory. Jade works with clients from a variety of backgrounds and offers management and accounting advice for small- to medium-sized enterprises from the business and rural sectors. He helps his clients improve their profit results and capitalise on their business for years. Jade is based in Wagga Wagga.

Richard Wraith, Melbourne

Richard joined RSM Australia in 2016, and works in tax services, R&D. Richard has more than seven years’ experience providing specialist R&D tax incentive compliance and innovation consulting services. He has provided advice across Australia to a diverse range of industries, from start-up innovators to large multi-national corporations. Richard is based in Melbourne.

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About RSM

RSM is a full service national accounting and advisory firm delivering expert corporate financial and advisory accounting services to clients across diverse industry sectors.

Its unique one-firm structure means clients can more readily connect to its extensive national and international networks, expertise and industry experience.

Nationally RSM has 29 offices, combined with over 90 years’ experience. Its network spans across 120 countries and comprises 730 offices.

Directors shouldn’t second-guess asset values: RSM Australia warns

RSM Logo
Regardless of their size, past acquisitions are coming back to haunt the financial statements of a growing number of ASX-listed companies. This is one of the major conclusions within the latest annual Business Acquisition and Impairment Review (2016) by national accounting firm RSM Australia (RSM) which has been assessing the financial reporting impact of recent acquisitions on the financial statements of ASX-300 and non-ASX 300 companies since 2013.

While median acquisition size for all classes of ASX-listed companies has increased in line with the All Ordinaries index, the 2016 review reaffirms the need to reassess future business plans and profitability forecasts in light of post-acquisition financial performance of acquired businesses.

Impact on reported earnings
What’s driving the need to reassess future business plans and profitability forecasts, advises Glyn Yates, Director and National Head of Corporate Finance at RSM, are rising impairment charges that significantly impact an entity’s reported result and net asset position.

Due largely to Australia’s economic recovery, and increased transaction multiples, the 2016 review also reveals a notable uptrend in the percentage of total consideration paid for intangible assets, from 74.1% in 2013 to 82.2% in 2015.

“Given that the bulk of purchase consideration relates to the acquisition of intangible assets – ie non-monetary assets, like goodwill, brands, trademarks, patents, customer contracts and software – the accounting treatment of these assets can and does have a profound impact on reported earnings,” says Yates.

Appropriately recognise impairment
Given that indefinite life assets, like goodwill and brands – which consistently comprise over 80 percent of intangible assets – are not amortised, but instead assessed for impairment annually, the 2016 review identifies a greater requirement to identify intangible assets before acquisitions are made.

This is of particular relevance, adds Yates when companies negotiate banking covenants and the impact on an acquiring entity’s earnings per share (EPS).

“With listed entitles unable to justify asset carrying values, impairment charges continue to be recognised in relation to acquired intangible assets,” says Yates. “It’s important to consider the potential financial reporting impact of these charges and consider downside sensitivity analysis before acquisitions are made to ensure there are no nasty surprises.”

Impairment write-offs
Impairment charges can have a significant impact on an entity’s reported position, and net asset position. Based on three years of review data, the percentage of impairments being recognised has increased from 24.2 percent in financial year 2013 to 30.0 percent in financial year 2015 for ASX-300 companies; and from 16.4 percent to 22.0 percent for non-ASX 300 companies respectively.

Having been an area of focus over the last three years, Yates expects impairment of goodwill and other non-current assets to again come up on ASIC’s radar for the June 2016 reporting period.

Challenge assumptions
Like ASIC, Yates urges directors to exercise professional scepticism and challenge the appropriateness of asset values and assumptions underlying impairment calculations, especially where prior period forecasts haven’t been met.

“The key to getting this right is accurately estimating future cash flows that will be generated by the cash generating unit and then discounting those cash flows at a discount rate that reflects the returns that an investor would require from cash generated unit, based on the related risk of that cash generating unit,” advises Yates.

“While median impairment rates used across various industries don’t vary significantly from sector to sector, there is still a size premium evident in the discount rates applied to non-ASX 300 companies of around 1.6 percent.”

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RSM Australia appoints three new principals

RSM LogoFebruary 18, 2016RSM Australia, one of the largest mid-tier accounting firms in Australia, has appointed three new principals, bringing the total count of principals to 38 and partners to 95.

The three new principals are Nadine Marke and Dan Hutchens, who are both based in Perth, and Jessica Olivier, who has joined the Sydney office.

Nadine Marke, Perth
Nadine joined RSM Australia in 2007. She has more than 15 years’ experience in corporate advisory services, working in the UK and Australia. Nadine currently leads RSM’s litigation support services in Perth focusing on valuations and financial investigations. She is an accredited CA Business Valuation Specialist. Nadine is based in Perth.

Dan Hutchens, Perth
Dan joined RSM Australia in February 2016. He has extensive experience in providing co-sourced and outsourced internal audit services, risk management services and governance advice to the public and private sectors. His clients include state government agencies and private and listed companies. Dan is based in Perth.

Jessica Olivier, Sydney
Jessica joined RSM Australia in January 2016. Jessica has extensive experience in R&D Tax, including in assisting a diverse range of industries to identify R&D opportunities and access R&D tax benefits. Her clients range from start-up innovators to SMEs and large multi-national corporations. Jessica started her corporate tax career in the UK in 2000 and has worked in Australia since 2005. She is based in Sydney.

Kim Hutchinson, national chairman, RSM Australia, said, “RSM Australia continues to grow through the promotion of senior staff who provide quality expertise and advice. These appointments demonstrate the firm’s commitment to employee development, which results in outstanding service to clients.

“We are pleased to be able to further develop our support for clients on the East Coast in the area of R&D Tax advice. We are well aware that the avenue to growth for many Australian businesses is through innovation and this area of expertise is just one where we can support their ambitions.”

In addition to these principal appointments, Con Paoliello has been appointed as Managing Partner of the Perth office. His appointment was effective 1 January 2016. Con takes over the role from James Komninos. Con is also RSM’s National Head of Tax Services. He has more than 25 years’ experience at both a national and international level in providing tax advice and specialist tax consulting services to the public and private sector.

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About RSM 

RSM is a full service national accounting and advisory firm delivering expert corporate financial and advisory accounting services to clients across diverse industry sectors.

Its unique one-firm structure means clients can more readily connect to its extensive national and international networks, expertise and industry experience.

Nationally RSM has 29 offices, combined with over 90 years’ experience. Its network spans across 120 countries and comprises 730 offices.

Media contact
Lisa Meyvis
Recognition PR
02 9252 2266
lsm@recognition.com.au

RSM Bird Cameron becomes ‘RSM’ as RSM International network adopts a single global brand name for all member firms

RSM_Bird_Cameron_Logo@2xRSM Bird Cameron will be rebranding to ‘RSM’ following the global announcement by its international network, RSM International that it is adopting a single global brand. RSM International, the world’s seventh largest audit, tax and consulting network, is adopting ‘RSM’ as its global brand name across all of its member firms worldwide.

RSM Bird Cameron is the ninth largest provider with 28 offices and 1,000 staff in Australia and was a founding member of the RSM International network over 50 years ago.

Kim Hutchinson, National Chairman of RSM Bird Cameron, said, “The decision to move to a global unified brand was a natural extension of the firm’s increased international operations across the network. While the network has been operating together for more than 50 years, this decision provides clarity to the market and importantly, to our clients, about who they are dealing with in 114 countries around the world”.

The adoption of a unified brand reinforces the global network’s position as the adviser of choice to entrepreneurial, growth-focused organisations.

Jean Stephens, CEO of RSM International, said: “Our clients are becoming ever more global as they seize new opportunities for growth. Leaders of entrepreneurial, growing organisations want advisers that take the time to really understand and care about their business and its drivers, both locally and globally. They want the highest level of service, a trusted relationship and ideas and insight that will really add value to their business. This is what we have been providing to clients for more than 50 years and we see huge opportunity for the development of our client offering and cross-border growth through moving to RSM as our one global brand.”

As a part of RSM’s client-focused strategy to be the adviser of choice to entrepreneurial, growth-focused organisations, the network commissioned a leading independent research firm to conduct extensive study of member firms, clients and prospects internationally. Feedback was received from 18 countries and the research confirmed that RSM is a powerful global brand recognised for a passionate focus on collaboration, deep understanding of what matters most to clients, and insight sharing by senior partners. These values are captured in the network’s new global positioning: “The power of being understood”.

The changes will be effective from 26 October 2015, when all RSM member firms will adopt the unified global name, “The power of being understood” brand positioning, and a new logo, previewed today. The grey of the logo signifies a relationship based on a solid reliable foundation, the green a positive, ideas-driven, responsive approach and the blue symbolises forward movement and the attainment of future goals. The logo reinforces the global network’s dedication to helping clients feel understood and empowered to move forward with confidence.

RSM International is the world’s sixth largest provider of tax services, has the fifth largest firm in the US and the third largest in China. RSM International was the fastest growing top ten global network in 2014, posting an 18% increase in revenue, year-on-year, to US$4.4 billion for the year ending 31 December 2014.

RSM International’s cross-border referral work is continuing to see double digit growth. By uniting under one brand, the network will be able to better promote resources and expertise globally, and provide an enhanced, seamless service offering to clients all over the world.

All member firms will remain independent legal entities within the RSM international network, but will trade as RSM.

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About RSM Bird Cameron 

RSM Bird Cameron is the largest mid-tier accounting firm in Australia with national ownership and profit sharing and offers a full range of specialist advisory services, including business consulting and advisory, assurance and advisory, taxation consulting, corporate consulting and turnaround and insolvency. RSM Bird Cameron is a core member firm of RSM International, the seventh largest network of independent accounting and consulting firms in the world.

About RSM International

RSM International is the seventh largest network of independent audit, tax and advisory firms, encompassing over 110 countries, 730 offices and more than 37,500 people internationally. The network’s total fee income is US$4.4 billion.

In September 2014, RSM was awarded the prestigious Network of the Year 2014 award at the International Accounting Bulletin annual awards. The award recognises networks that have demonstrated strong growth and operational excellence over the past 12 months.

RSM International actively engages in promoting and celebrating the very best in entrepreneurship and business leadership, championing the role of the entrepreneur in today’s world economy. RSM International is the lead sponsor and corporate champion of the European Business Awards promoting commercial excellence and recognition of entrepreneurial brilliance.

RSM International is a member of the Forum of Firms. The objective of the Forum of Firms is to promote consistent and high quality standards of financial and auditing practices worldwide

RSM is the brand used by a network of independent accounting and advisory firms each of which practices in its own right. RSM International Limited does not itself provide any accounting and advisory services. Member firms are driven by a common vision of providing high quality professional services, both in their domestic markets and in serving the international professional service needs of their client base.

www.rsmi.com

Minimal change to corporate tax rates expected in spite of global tax infrastructure reform says RSM research

RSM_Bird_Cameron_Logo@2xSydney, 1 December, 2014 – The majority of tax advisers globally expect corporate tax rates to remain relatively unchanged over the next three years, according to research by RSM, the seventh largest global network of independent audit, tax and advisory firms. This is in spite of global tax reform led by the OECD aimed at targeting tax avoidance by multinational corporations.

RSM analysed the views of its tax partners from 54 countries in its report, The Evolution of Tax. The report was developed in light of the increasingly global economy, which necessitates cross-border business. An international view of tax is vital for organisations to thrive.

Transfer pricing, increased information sharing between countries and a revision of the tax treaty framework are just three of the main areas where major changes are likely, according to the report. And while the focus of international tax authorities is currently on multi-national corporations, businesses of all sizes will need to plan their strategies accordingly.

Rob Mander, Director of Tax Services for RSM Bird Cameron in Australia, anticipates that the corporate tax rate will remain approximately the same in Australia over the next three years, which is in line with the majority of international advisors. Only eight per cent forecast a tax increase while 20 per cent expect tax rates to decline.”

In Australia, total tax revenue increased gradually as a percentage of GDP in the 35 years to 2000 but has fallen significantly since.

Rob Mander said: “Tax revenues have fallen following the impact of the global financial crisis in the late 2000’s and the subsequent challenge for the Australian government has been to find new sources of tax revenue to fund its expenditure requirements. Consequently we expect the highest marginal tax rate for individuals to increase by up to 5 per cent as governments deal with this revenue challenge.”

OECD tax reform challenges

Tax experts recognise that there will be huge challenges in implementing the OECD’s tax proposals. There is concern about the practicalities that governments will face because tax policy is a key component of their economic management and the OECD’s proposals involve giving up some of that national control in favour of a more global policy outcome. Detailed negotiations between countries on double tax agreements is also expected to be difficult.

Companies will be burdened by issues such as the requirement to disclose their transfer pricing policies in far greater detail. They will also be challenged by proposals to neutralise the impact of hybrid tax mismatch arrangements, where double deductions are obtained for the same amount, for instance, which require detailed cross-border understanding and agreement between countries.

Jean Stephens, Chief Executive Officer of RSM International, said: “The global tax system was built for an industrial age dominated by western powers and is no longer fit for purpose in the increasingly globalised, internet-driven, economy. We applaud the OECD’s unprecedented reform objectives and its inclusion of developing economies in its proposals, but it is clear that agreement and implementation will be very tough for governments and companies across the world.”

Changes will be required to domestic Australian tax laws as well as the international tax rules. These international changes will not occur evenly across various countries, and this will significantly increase the risk of double taxation.

Craig Cooper, Director of Tax Services for RSM Bird Cameron in Australia said: “The scope of the OECD’s Base Erosion Profit Shifting (BEPS) project is nothing short of a complete re-creation of the international tax architecture. Internationally active organisations need to be planning for the forthcoming changes, or risk being caught out with superseded and ineffective tax structures and arrangements.”

Much of the global tax debate has been about how to tax the ever-pervasive digital economy appropriately. RSM’s tax partners fully anticipate changes to the taxation of the digital economy to be part of an overall package of reform. Nearly three quarters (70 per cent) of the tax partners agreed with this statement.

Craig Cooper said, “Given the ability for digital businesses to extract significant value from a source country’s economy, without the need for any, or any significant physical presence in that country, it is no longer acceptable to many countries to exclude the ‘market’ as a right to tax a foreign company interacting remotely with that jurisdiction’s economy.”

Rob Mander said, “Locally, we’d like to see a Tax Ombudsman established to take up the cause of taxpayers unable to get a fair hearing from tax authorities in relation to requests for the reduction of corporate tax instalments and invalid tax assessments driven by tax audit revenue-targets.

“Globally, international tax is in a process of evolution that will bring many changes over the next few years. At a practical level, countries, administrators, businesses and advisers will face the challenges of dealing with major tax changes that seek to manage the global economy and digitisation far more effectively. Tax has a key role in assisting economic growth, and it will be critical that, whilst working to shape a new global tax infrastructure, governments don’t remove incentives to innovate, invest and grow business.”

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About RSM International

RSM International is the seventh largest network of independent audit, tax and advisory firms, encompassing over 100 countries, 700 offices and 35,400 people internationally. The network’s total fee income is US$4.5 billion.

In September 2014, RSM was awarded the prestigious Network of the Year 2014 award at the International Accounting Bulletin annual awards. The award recognises networks that have demonstrated strong growth and operational excellence over the past 12 months. Last year, at the March 2013 International Accounting Bulletin annual awards, RSM was awarded the prestigious Editor’s Special Award for Global Initiative of the Year for its worldwide initiative – RSM World Day – which was praised for being a unique and powerful cross-network initiative that enhanced both employee and client engagement.

RSM International actively engages in promoting and celebrating the very best in entrepreneurship, championing the role of the entrepreneur in today’s world economy. RSM International is the lead sponsor and corporate champion of the European Business Awards promoting commercial excellence and recognition of entrepreneurial brilliance.

RSM International is a member of the Forum of Firms. The objective of the Forum of Firms is to promote consistent and high quality standards of financial and auditing practices worldwide

RSM is the brand used by a network of independent accounting and advisory firms each of which practices in its own right. RSM International Limited does not itself provide any accounting and advisory services. Member firms are driven by a common vision of providing high quality professional services, both in their domestic markets and in serving the international professional service needs of their client base.

2014 marks an exceptional year for RSM International as it celebrates its 50th anniversary.

www.rsmi.com

Australia lagging behind in business creation

RSM_Bird_Cameron_Logo@2xJuly 29, 2013 – Australia is lagging behind in business creation, according to figures from global research by RSM, the seventh largest global network of independent audit, tax and consulting firms. RSM studied data on business ‘births’ and ‘deaths’ over the last five years in 35 countries across its international network. Australia ranks 23rd on the list, trailing behind other Asian countries like Hong Kong, China, Singapore, India and New Zealand.

Over the last five years*, Australia has seen a net gain of 58,000 businesses, an annual compound growth rate of 0.7 per cent. This puts Australia on par with the UK (0.7 per cent growth rate) and ahead of the US, which had only a 0.3 growth rate.

According to RSM, whilst some governments around the world have been looking for ways to stimulate entrepreneurship in the wake of the financial crisis, others have been slower to respond. The research clearly shows that with businesses around the globe facing a variety of challenges including regulation and compliance changes, tighter financing requirements and rising commodity prices, more needs to be done to boost business creation and survival.

Of the 35 countries sampled, Hong Kong has exhibited the fastest rate of new business creation over the last five years – 9.9% on an annualised basis, from 655,000 to 956,000 – while South Africa has seen the steepest decline in the number of active enterprises, – 3.8% per annum, from 956,000 to 817,600.

Other Asian countries with rapid growth included China (6.9 %), Singapore (4.8%), India (4.7%) and New Zealand (4.4%).

Number of active enterprises (in 000s), 2007-11

 

2007

2008

2009

2010

2011

Compound annual growth rate

Hong Kong

655

711

772

864

956

9.9%

China

9,600

9,715

10,427

11,365

12,531

6.9%

Singapore

329

358

367

382

397

4.8%

India

750

789

803

847

902

4.7%

New Zealand

474

506

521

533

564

4.4%

Australia

2,074

2,071

2,051

2,125

2,132

0.7%

 

Jean Stephens, Chief Executive of RSM, comments: “While most countries have seen the number of active businesses increase over the last five years, for a significant number the annual growth rate is sub two per cent.”

“Business is vital to jobs and prosperity, but with many countries – particularly in the West – cutting public spending and raising taxes, creating and growing a business has become more challenging than ever before.”

She adds: “Governments can do more to encourage entrepreneurship and help businesses thrive. In many economies, lack of external finance is a major impediment to starting and growing a business. Since the financial crisis, banks have de-risked and come under pressure to hold more capital in reserve, which has hindered their ability to lend to businesses.”

Neil Cribb, Director of RSM Bird Cameron in Australia says: “Australia was relatively insulated from the global financial crisis, but with the mining sector slowing down, the outlook is a concern. Cuts to interest rates and a decline in the value of the Australian dollar are helping some businesses. However, the costs of doing business in Australia, including high income tax rates, high labour costs and low productivity and compliance costs are still major issues, in addition to the current uncertainty in the political environment. The corporate tax rate in Australia is 30 per cent, for example, whereas in Singapore it currently stands at 17 per cent and in Hong Kong it is 16.5 per cent. This remains one of a number of important factors when businesses are deciding whether to invest in Australia.”

* 2007-11 (most recent data available)

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About RSM
RSM is one of the world’s largest networks of independent audit, tax and advisory firms, encompassing over 100 countries, 700 offices and 32,500 people internationally. The network’s total fee income is US$3.9 billion.

RSM is the brand used by a network of independent accounting and advisory firms each of which practices in its own right. RSM International Limited does not itself provide any accounting and advisory services. Member firms are driven by a common vision of providing high quality professional services, both in their domestic markets and in serving the international professional service needs of their client base.

RSM actively engages in promoting and celebrating the very best in entrepreneurship, championing the role of the entrepreneur in today’s world economy and lobbying governmental and regulatory bodies to protect their interests.

RSM is a member of the Forum of Firms. The objective of the Forum of Firms is to promote consistent and high quality standards of financial and auditing practices worldwide.

www.rsmi.com

About RSM Bird Cameron
RSM Bird Cameron is the largest mid-tier accounting firm in Australia with national ownership and profit sharing and offers a full range of specialist advisory services, including business consulting and advisory, assurance and advisory, taxation consulting, corporate consulting and turnaround and insolvency. RSM Bird Cameron is a core member firm of the RSM network.

www.rsmi.com.au

Forfeited deposits – the tax consequences to the purchaser

Sydney, September 8, 2010 – In most circumstances when a purchaser enters into a contract to purchase property he is requested to pay a deposit. However, should the purchaser forfeit his deposit by deciding not to proceed with the contract there are some serious tax consequences.

In an ATO Tax Ruling the Commissioner clearly states that where the purchaser decides not to proceed with a contract and forfeits the deposit, the purchaser will generally not be entitled to claim a capital loss. On the other hand, the seller, would in most cases, include the deposit as a capital gain in his tax return.

For example, Mr. X purchases a rental property from Mr. Z for $1 million and pays a deposit of $50,000. Later Mr. X decides not to proceed with the purchase because he is concerned that interest rates may increase, or he decides the property is not suitable. As a result, Mr. X forfeits his deposit of $50,000. In these circumstances the ATO view is that Mr. X will not be entitled to a tax deduction or capital loss of $50,000. However, Mr. Z will have to return the forfeited deposit of $50,000 as a capital gain.

It should be noted that there are limited circumstances where a capital loss can be claimed and taxpayers should get professional advice before deciding to abandon or forfeit their deposits.

About RSM Bird Cameron
RSM Bird Cameron is the largest mid-tier accounting firm in Australia serving the middle market with technical and commercial expertise over the full range of specialist corporate and business advisory services including assurance and advisory, corporate finance, taxation consulting and turnaround and insolvency.

RSM Bird Cameron is a core member firm of RSM International, the sixth largest accounting and consulting organisation in the world.