The tax structuring for a family’s business and investment portfolio needs careful consideration. In effect, the tax structuring of a family should consider the income tax considerations, capital gains tax impacts, estate + succession planning positions, asset protection opportunities and also the cost of administration.
At Westcourt, we understand that these five competing interests need to be considered together when undertaking the tax structuring of a business or investment portfolio. So our detailed, documented tax structuring advice for each entity created, changed or closed will go over the most relevant issues for the family so that the best tax structure is chosen for a family looking at their current and future needs.
Further, our engaged tax compliance team always considers the possible need to change the tax structure for a family each year with the advent of new tax legislation as it applies to the family, their business, and the family’s investment assets. This approach, which is documented and presented with the tax returns, will ensure that the tax structure will change and evolve with current and changing tax law. It also allows for a family to scale up (and scale down) the tax structuring for the family’s needs as the business and investments wax and wane.
At the Westcourt tax structuring advice team, we are also focused on keeping tax structures as flexible as possible to reduce costs. We often find new clients come to our position with an overly complex, costly tax structure that achieves little but has high administration costs to the former accountants and lawyers. We deliberately attempt to keep systems simple and easy to manage until there is a clear and distinct benefit to a family to change into another more costly structure.
Our patient approach to tax structuring strategy is also backed up by law. One example is where we consider the ability to access capital gains tax concessions with tax structuring – including the small business CGT concessions and the small business restructure options. These options allow many small businesses to commence “simple” and scale up to a complex decision.
The creation of a tax structure also has more options than are readily available. The “off the shelf” tax structures (like a company, discretionary trust or SMSF) can be produced quickly and are suited for many types of ventures. However, other situations like succession planning, special share classes, unit trusts, hybrid trusts and SMSF combinations can create unique tax structuring opportunities that are not immediately obvious. And this is where the Westcourt tax structuring advice can significantly value.
And we understand that tax structuring is done for many reasons other than tax. So, our focused approach on advice for family businesses requires that we engage with insurance brokers, investment advisors, banks and lawyers about the business. This allows us to consider wider issues like employment, liability or transfer duty implications of changing tax structures now or delaying a complex system until later on. This “eyes wide open” approach will allow families in business starting to choose a tax structure that suits them from the start – from a company that will most likely be focused on lifestyle to a start-up with global plans for expansion.
At Westcourt, we are ideally placed for tax structuring advice for families and the family business and family investment portfolio they own. Our single focus, deep and proven technical tax expertise, strong global network through GGI Global and collaborative approach mean that we will create and maintain an ideal tax structure best suited to the family – so why not give us a call.