This paper was presented by Rigby Cooke Lawyers Tax Partner, Dr Keith Kendall at the Tax Institute Tasmania State Convention, 19 & 20 October 2017.
In this paper, Dr Kendall canvasses some of the tax issues that may arise when selling a business. In particular, a number of options are available that may meet the commercial (non-tax) goals of the parties involved. However, the tax treatment of those options may produce outcomes that are unexpected, with the potential for unintended liabilities to arise. Consequently, the tax treatment of any proposal should be properly considered before implementation in all cases.
The material presented is in two clear components: what may be regarded as relatively basic issues, in that they tend to arise in many cases, especially when the structures adopted are not designed for any particular outcome (aside from the transfer of the business); and more intermediate or advanced issues that are the subject of specific provisions.
Rather than providing an overview of how the provisions operate, particularly for the basic issues, the paper focuses on issues that Dr Kendall has seen arise in practice on a number of occasions. Whether these are common mistakes or matters on which advice is sought on frequently, they represent points to bear in mind when advising on the sale of a business.
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