Australia

Sheltons Australia

We are a very focused accounting firm – working exclusively with internationally operating clients.

Our primary focus is on foreign investors dealing with Australia, whether it be direct investment (FDI), employing just one person in Australia, or exporting or selling on-line to Australia.

These scenarios involve an array of tax, legal and other challenges that most professional advisers do not deal with.

To this niche client base we offer a comprehensive range of services from high-level tax consulting to basic bookkeeping, to setting up entities and assisting expats sent to Australia.

Our team comprises of a mix of Australian, British and other nationalities, with different professional backgrounds. Between us we speak a number of languages.

 

Accounting and related

Providing the full range of accounting services to foreign-based businesses’ Australian units is our daily bread and butter. Our language skills, knowledge of non-Australian (and Australian) accounting software, familiarity with relevant aspects in many head office countries, familiarity with what foreigners find odd about Australian accounting and related areas equips us extremely well in serving our clients.

Our systems and procedures ensure that the matter at hand is not dependent on the availability of a particular person – we work as a team.

We also work in a way that enables us to easily avail of the resources in any of the other Sheltons Group offices should the need arises.

Bookkeeping

We prepare accounts from source documents, or on the basis of preliminary work from the client, taking Australian rules and the foreign client’s wishes into account.

We use a variety of Australian and non-Australian accounting software packages.

Accounting

We prepare statutory (legally required) accounts – as well as regular management accounts, with or without reports, analyses, etc.

We also prepare special-purpose accounts (such as pro forma accounts) and consolidated accounts.

Our services include reviewing client-prepared accounts and supporting the client’s internal accounting team, as appropriate.

We are ‘fluent’ in Australian GAAP and IFRS, and have a good knowledge of the GAAP of a number of countries.

Audit assistance

Many of our client do not need to be audited, but where an audit is done voluntarily or because the law requires, an important role is to liaise with the Australian auditors of the client’s Australian company. We have clear systems for preparing material to facilitate efficient audits in Australia.

We can often satisfy all questions from the auditors or at least significantly reduce the time demands on the client.

We very regularly liaise with the auditors of other parts of the group.

As a completely independent firm, we are not a member of any accounting network, resulting in an comfortable relationship with the auditors of the non-Australian parts of the group who will usually be in such a network.

GST (VAT) services

Australia introduced GST in 2000; it closely resembles European VAT.

Much of the accounting work we do is driven by GST compliance needs. Naturally the GST compliance is an important part of our accounting work.

We assist with all aspects of GST compliance, from registration to setting up routines with our clients to the preparation and filing of GST returns, ensuring that filing deadlines are met.

See also under GST (VAT) advice

Salary administration

Apart from advising employers and employees on the Australian and international tax aspects of the employment (see under Local tax advice and compliance) we provide efficient payroll administration services.

Many of our client cases involve employers based in other countries, directly employing staff in Australia.

The employees may well be Australian residents or non-residents in Australia for shorter or longer assignments, and may be in Australia under temporary work visas. Different circumstances have different consequences in terms of the employees tax on the salary income.

Providing payroll administration services for foreign businesses, or Australian units thereof, often involves extensive interaction with the foreign part of the group. We pride ourselves in our ability to understand the needs of the foreign parts of the group and in our flexibility in providing the services.

Our broad range of services includes matters such as

  • Employer registration
  • Drafting and review of employment contracts
  • Visa assistance
  • Generation of payslips
  • Filing regular PAYE returns
  • Assistance with payment (net salaries, tax, etc)
  • Annual administration (reports to the tax authorities, the employer and the employees)
  • Etc.

Apart from providing advice on employer obligations, we also provide comprehensive tax advice and expat relocation services.

 

Local tax advice and compliance

We are widely recognised as a being leading firm in the area of Australian / international tax advice. Our origins in this regard goes back the early 1980’s where Ned Shelton worked in this field with HLB Mann Judd and then Arthur Andersens in Sydney.

Although Sheltons commenced (in 1994) as an international tax consulting firm, we have branched out, in all our offices, and are now a specialist accounting firm (working only with internationally operating businesses), tax is still a strong string to our bow.

See also SITTI and International tax advice

 

Tax compliance
Our compliance services covers areas such as personal and company tax return preparation and reviewing assessment notices; obtaining tax residence certificates, obtaining tax clearance certificates, Fringe Beneftis Tax (FBT) return preparation, administration of (the state-based) payroll tax including preparation of returns, stamp duty administration, including GST return preparation, procedures for paying reduced withholding taxes in Australia and abroad and for requesting refunds thereof, application for Australian Business Numbers (ABNs).

Corporate tax

Our services on corporate tax covers a wide range. Some key areas on which we commonly advise are as follows:

  •  Australian Business Number (ABN) – eligibility
  • Corporate tax generally
  • Deductibility of interest
  • Determination of residency
  • Obtaining tax rulings
  • PAYG matters
  • Payroll taxes (state-based)
  • Public officer – advice on when needed
  • Initial assistance re selection of legal form
  • Investing in Australian real estate
  • Tax consolidation
  • Tax efficient financing
  • Tax returns preparation
  • Tax planning
  • The application of anti-avoidance rules
  • Thin capitalisation rules
  • Transfer pricing
  • Treatment of foreign exchange gains and losses

See also under Tax compliance, Australian international tax and International tax

Personal tax – including Australian international tax

Our services here cover a wide range. Some key areas on which we commonly provide advice are as follows.

  •  Inheritance and gift taxes
  • Residency issues
  • Salary packaging and Fringe Benefits Tax (FBT)
  • Structuring local investments
  • Tax issues connected with pensions (and superannuation)
  • Tax planning
  • Taxation of Australian-sourced investment income
  • Taxation of foreign-sourced Investment income
  • Taxation of expats coming to Australia
  • Taxation on departing Australia
  • Taxation on working abroad
  • Tax file numbers (TFN) – eligibility and procedures
  • Trusts – Australian and foreign

See also under Corporate tax, Australian international tax – corporate and International tax

Australian international tax – corporate

Our services in the area of Australian international corporate tax cover a wide range. Some key areas on which we commonly provide advice are as follows:

  •  Beneficial ownership under treaties
  • Controlled foreign company (CFC) matters
  • Determination of the profits attributable to a permanent establishment – in Australia and abroad
  • Existence – or not – of a permanent establishment in Australia
  • Existence of permanent establishment abroad
  • Management and control
  • Planning for foreign investment income
  • Reducing Australian and foreign withholding taxes
  • Residency under tax treaties
  • Structuring investments abroad
  • Tax planning
  • Tax treaty application
  • Tax treaty interpretation
  • Taxation of foreign real estate owned by Australian taxpayers
  • Thin capitalisation rules
  • Transfer of residency to and from Australia
  • Transfer pricing
  • Treatment of foreign exchange gains and losses
  • Withholding tax issues on payments from Australia
  • Withholding tax refunds
  • See also under GST (VAT) services and  International tax

See also under Corporate tax, Personal tax – including Australian international tax and International tax

GST (VAT) advice

  • Deferred GST on import
  • Disputes with the tax authorities
  • Eligibility for registration
  • GST groups
  • GST issues generally
  • GST on import
  • Non-residents liability to GST
  • On-line sales into Australia

See also under GST (VAT) services and International tax

 

Entity set-up and management

Working exclusively with internationally operating businesses over more than two decades has resulted in us played a leading role in the formation of several hundred entities – companies, general and limited partnership, trust and other entities – in many countries throughout the world.

During our many years’ of experience in establishing Australian companies and partnerships for foreign-based businesses, we have developed and fine-tuned our systems and procedures, enabling us to provide efficient and reliable services in this regard.

We only establish Australian entities where the entity is conducting real business in Australia and has actual economic activity in Australia.

Our extensive international experience built up over the past two decades means we are often quite familiar with the shareholders’ jurisdictions and the shareholding entity – whether it be a Delaware LLC, a German GmbH, an Indian Pvt Ltd, a Brazilian Limitada, a UK LLP, a Dutch closed CV, etc. etc.

Before setting up the company or other entity we are almost always consulted as regard the selection of the right legal form as well as on the relevant business tax conservations of each legal form.

When we set up a company or other entity for a client are almost always asked to attend to all necessary (regular) registrations as well as the setting up of a bank account, obtaining credit cards, etc. Often we also assist with obtaining merchant facilities for the company in order to receive credit card payments.

Apart from our expertise in establishing new entities we are also very experienced in the field of liquidations and winding up. We regularly assist in this in cases where the entity is solvent and a registered liquidator is not legally required to be involved.

Pty Ltd

Currently being updated.

Liquidations / winding up

Liquidations / winding up

The process of ending the existence of an Australian company is relatively simple where there are no unpaid creditors. In such cases there is generally no requirement that a registered liquidator be involved.

 

Domiciliation (director, registered office, public officer, etc)

When a foreign-based business establishes a Australian company, there will always be period until the new company has its own premises and own senior staff in Australia.

We provide not only the registered office but if the client wishes we can arrange for the appointment of a local director.

Even when the entity has its own premises in Australia the client often prefers that we continue to provide the registered office in order to ensure that important mail, often of legal importance, is handled professionally and with the appropriate degree of confidentiality.

 

Company Secretarial

Australia, being a civil law rather than a common law jurisdiction, does not have the concept of a ‘company secretary’, but nonetheless Australian law requires that a company complies with a range of obligations of a company secretarial nature.

Our services cover attending to all shareholder and directors meeting and resolutions without a meeting, keeping of registers such as the shareholder registers and filing all required forms and documents with the Australian companies register (the DBA).

 

We have well-developed systems and procedures for this and wherever legally possible we ensure that everything in English (or both in English and Australian), for the benefit of our foreign-based shareholders / clients.

Our two decades of experience in forming and administering Australian entities has resulted in the develop of extensive knowledge, systems, models and routines in this regard.

 

Relocation of expats

Relocation of expats

As a consequence of our focus on internationally operating businesses, and especially those based abroad doing business in Australia, and as a result of our close involvement with the incoming employees (with regard to tax matters, visas, registrations with the authorities and the like), it was not a major step to formally offer relocation services.

To make the decision even more obvious, not only has Ned Shelton been an expat (moving from Australia to Denmark, Denmark to the Netherlands, the Netherlands to Denmark, Denmark to Australia) but currently we have senior staff in the offices of Sheltons Australia who are themselves expats.

So since early 2016 we have offered expat relocation services. We formed a separate company to provide these services but it is very much part of Sheltons Australia – the offices are shared, the team is shared and facilities are shared.

The services we deliver include assistance in each of the following areas.

Accommodation

Arranging for a temporary, furnished apartment

Bank account opening

Connecting utilities

Culture familiarisation

Financial planning

Finding a job for the partner or ‘trailing spouse’

Importing a (used) car

Insurance matters

Language courses – recommending, arranging

Moving-out services

Obtaining an Australian driver’s licence

Other registrations

Payroll administration

Preparing a move-in report

Public transport

Removals – transport

Schools

Shopping

Socialising

Subscriptions for telephone, internet, TV, Netflix, etc

Tax advice – employer

Tax advice – expat

Tax registration

Visas

 

International tax services

Please click to learn more about our International Tax Services

 

Other services

In addition to the above, we also provide a variety of other services, such as:

Applications for finance

Banking matters

Business advice

Domain name registration and advice

Foreign Investment Review Board (FIRB) applications

Importing goods

Introductions to reliable suppliers

Premises – finding offices, warehouses, etc

Trade mark registrations

 

Doing Business in Australia Guide

Sheltons are proud to be a co- sponsor of the the guide ‘Doing Business in Australia Guide‘.