AU-UKFTA Utilisation Series – SMEs Professional Services | 6th September

Courtney Gleeson, Principal Lawyer of Sheltons Group Legal, joined the panel on Wednesday 06 September at the Australia-United Kingdom Free Trade Agreement (A-UKFTA) Utilisation Series focused on SMEs-Professional Services, organised by Australia-United Kingdom Chamber of Commerce.

The event was an opportunity for insightful discussions, valuable networking and the exploration of key provisions for the benefit of Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs).

Thank you to Australia-United Kingdom Chamber of Commerce for inviting Sheltons to be a part of such an insightful event.


Sheltons Group Legal – an Australian law firm based in London

Entering the Australian market is a different ballgame – when you compare the corporate requirements of your head office or company location to that of Australia, there are likely to be considerable differences in how a company is required to operate!

Australian company law is an area our clients often have difficulty navigating, usually because they simply don’t have time to become well versed in it when their time is dedicated to running a business. However, corporate compliance is a really important area for company directors and businesses to be aware of. A lack of awareness can lead to liabilities, including personal liabilities, penalties, and generally compromising situations for businesses in the Australian marketplace.

What is corporate compliance?

The Corporations Act 2001 (Cth) (‘the Act’) is the primary Australian legislation that regulates compliance obligations and standards for both Australian companies and foreign companies that are trading in Australia. Among many matters, the Act prescribes the ongoing legal obligations required of all companies registered under it. Some key obligations include: maintenance of corporate registers; documenting various company decisions, and ensuring shareholder approval is obtained; annual declarations of solvency; filing financial reports; and notifying the public record keeper of particular changes to a company.

Many clients don’t realise that company directors have a duty to ensure that the company they are involved with complies with statutory requirements. Sheltons Group has been working with clients to ensure their company compliance for decades now. We’ve developed streamlined operations to help Australian companies easily meet company law requirements, every day. Sheltons Group Legal can take care of your corporate compliance, allowing you to maximise time concentrating on business activities.

Is your Australian company legally compliant?

If you have any questions about how to ensure your Australian company and business operations maintain good standing in Australia – we welcome you to contact us! We are glad to discuss matters which relate to your company specifically, or in general, and will work with you to ensure your company is legally compliant.

Courtney Gleeson
Sheltons Group Legal (London and Sydney)

Sheltons Group Legal – an Australian law firm based in London

Under recently introduced legislation, ‘casual’ employees in Australia have been granted a right to request the conversion of their employment to an ‘ongoing’ or permanent position – subject to certain criteria. This enables employees to take advantage of more extensive entitlements that have previously only been provided to ‘ongoing’ or permanent employees.

The difference between ‘casual’ & ‘ongoing’ employment

For the first time, casual employment has been specifically defined in Australian employment legislation as: an employee whose employer makes “no firm advance commitment to continuing and indefinite work according to an agreed pattern”.

In Australia, employment on a ‘casual’ basis carries different legal rights for the employee as compared to ‘ongoing’ employment: a term describing both part-time and full-time workers, i.e. those employed on a permanent basis.

A common example of a ‘casual’ employee might be a warehouse worker whose hours are not consistent or defined by a continued ongoing rota or roster. Conversely, an ‘ongoing’ employee might be administration or payroll staff who work the same agreed pattern of hours or days each week, with an expectation of continued work.

Distinguishing whether someone is a casual or ongoing employee can be blurry in some cases and will often depend on the factual circumstances of the arrangements.

Employers are now legally obliged to offer casual employees conversion to an ongoing position.

The measures introduced essentially focus on job security for employees. Where a casual employee has worked a certain period of time for the same employer, the employer must offer a conversion of their employment from casual to ongoing.

Why is the distinction of employees important?

Failure to classify an employee appropriately can leave employers vulnerable to ‘double-dipping’ claims. For example, where an employee who has already been paid casual loading under an agreement for casual employment later seeks compensation for unpaid leave and other entitlements owed to them as if they were a part-time or full-time employee on the basis that their employer had made an incorrect classification.

Incorrect employee classifications can also lead Australian Government regulators to impose penalties against the employer, and fines to backpay unpaid wages can easily bankrupt small businesses. So, if in doubt, now is a good time to assess the classification of employees in your business.

Sheltons Group Legal can assist you in ensuring your business has the ‘casual’ v ‘ongoing’ employment distinction correct and we would be glad to hear from you!

Courtney Gleeson
Sheltons Group Legal (London and Sydney)

Sheltons Group Legal – an Australian law firm based in London

The Australian Fair Work Commission has determined there will be Australia-wide increases to the national minimum wage as well as to Modern Award minimum wages. The increases take effect from 1 July 2023.

Each year, the Fair Work Commission (‘FWC’) makes an order that covers subjects including the national minimum wage after considering factors relevant to the economy, employers and employees.

In the face of persistent high inflation, the Government’s federal budget earlier this year urged the FWC to ensure the Australian workforce to which the minimum wage applies does not suffer a wage-price spiral backwards.

Accordingly, the FWC’s Annual Wage Review 2022-23 announced that the national minimum wage would be increased by 8.6% and Modern Award minimum wages increased by 5.75%.

As a result, the national minimum wage has increased from AUD 812.60 to AUD 882.80 per week for full time employees (i.e. employees who work an average of 38 hours each week) – meaning the hourly minimum wage is now AUD 23.23. The Modern Award minimum wage increase means that pay rates above AUD 882.80 per week will increase by 5.75% per week.

Modern Awards are industry or occupation specific and apply to those performing work covered by the Award. As such, it is important to be aware that different minimum wage rates apply across different Modern Awards. 

Approximately 2.6 million employees across Australia are expected to receive the minimum wage increases. It is therefore essential that all employers take note of the increases to ensure each employee is being paid at or above the new minimum rates. Annualised salaries must be sufficient to absorb all statutory entitlements. 

If you would like further information about the Australian wage increases, or assistance in determining which Modern Award applies to your employees – please contact us.

Courtney Gleeson
Sheltons Group Legal (London and Sydney)

Sheltons Group Legal – an Australian law firm based in London

Is your business about to enter into an agreement or contract governed by Australian law?

It is really imperative that you are aware of the key terms and obligations that you’re committing to – and that you understand if what you are agreeing to is standard practice.

It is often the case that laws governing certain commercial arrangements in Australia are significantly different from those ordinary in the jurisdiction you are familiar with. Standard agreements that you may regularly adapt and use for business in other countries may not be suitable or enforceable in Australia.

Australian shareholder agreements, business acquisition or sale documentation, commercial property leases and agreements relating to the supply of products or services with others may be governed by national legislation, or by state-based laws and regulations depending on where the contracting parties might physically be located or where services are generated.

Sheltons Group Legal can review and advise on agreement terms before you proceed with any commitments.

Typically, most commercial contracts and agreements are favourable to the party that has prepared the governing document. It is important not to simply assume the terms and obligations have been included in a fair and equal manner.

Businesses caught in a litigious event usually find themselves in such situations by failing to record the terms of an agreement correctly or because of a laid back approach to entering into an agreement. Having a clear and concise written agreement in place should not just be a business consideration – it’s a must!

Sheltons Group Legal is able to assist with the preparation or review of any commercial agreements or contracts that your business might require. Having a written agreement in place documents the arrangements between the parties and ensures clarity for all. Clear articulation of the terms and obligations is crucial to avoid ambiguity and disagreements at a later date.

Courtney Gleeson
Sheltons Group Legal (London and Sydney)

Sheltons Group Legal – an Australian law firm based in London

Until recent legislative changes to the Corporations Act 2001 (Cth), a director’s resignation was taken to be effective from the date confirmed in a relevant resolution, or simply when the director provided written notice of their resignation.

The ‘date of effect’ might not be what the individual director OR company understands it to be

Previously, the date included on a notice of resignation automatically meant the end of liability, the end of director duties being owed to the company by that individual, and the end of that individual having authority to represent the company. However, a change in the legislation means that carrying out the correct steps with respect to a resignation are now more important than ever. Not following the necessary steps can cause burdensome complications for both the company and the individual seeking to resign from their director post.

Where notification of a director resignation is not received by ASIC (Australia’s corporate regulator) within 28 days from the date that the resignation is proposed to have effect from, the legal and actual date of effect will be the date on which ASIC is notified and NOT the date specified in a notice of resignation or company resolution.

Significance of the ‘date of effect’

What is the date of effect? The date of effect refers to the date on which an individual is legally ceased from their role as director.

If ASIC is not correctly notified within the prescribed timeframe, the individual who purports to have resigned from the position of director will legally still be a director of the company until such time as ASIC is notified. Any attempt to significantly back date the date of effect recorded with ASIC is terribly complicated and can also require a Court Order, which will only be granted in exceptional circumstances.

The importance of correct director resignations

If a company is of the view that a director has resigned, or the company has removed a director, but ASIC has not been duly informed within the 28 day time period – that individual is legally still a company director until ASIC is notified. At all times when an individual is a company director, they are not only bound to directors’ duties and may in instances be held personally liable, but they have authority to represent the company, enter into contracts/agreements and make other important decisions representing the company. As you might imagine, this can cause concern and confusion for many parties and doesn’t serve your business’ reputation well from a customer’s perspective.

To avoid unnecessary stress and expense in rectifying a failed director resignation or removal, please contact us to assist whenever there is a change in your company’s directorship.

Courtney Gleeson
Sheltons Group Legal (London and Sydney)

Are you moving to Australia and renting out your UK property? If so, you will be classified as a ‘non-resident landlord’ by HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC).

Below we have covered some of the popular UK tax issues and questions that arise when becoming a non-resident landlord:

How do I stop my estate agent or tenant from deducting UK tax at source?

If you have been determined as a non-resident landlord of the UK, your letting agent or tenant will deduct basic rate tax (20%) from your rent. Once the tax year is complete, your estate agent or tenant will provide you with a certificate certifying how much tax they have deducted in the relevant tax year.

As a landlord, cash flow is important, therefore it’s likely you would prefer to receive your rent in full and pay any tax due through your UK self-assessment tax return.

The way in which you can receive your rent in full, prior to any taxation, is to file a non-resident landlord form (NRL1). Once the form has been approved, HMRC will inform your letting agent or tenant to stop deducting tax from your rent. From there on, you will receive your rent in full without UK taxation. Any tax deducted earlier in the year will be refunded on your next rental statement.

However, it is worth noting that HMRC will only approve your NRL1 application if your taxes are up to date. For example, you have no outstanding tax or tax returns due.

What expenses can I claim on my UK property income?

If this is your first experience of being a landlord, you may be unsure about what expenses are tax deductible. HMRC iterate that for an expense to be allowable for tax purposes, it should be incurred wholly and exclusively as a result of renting out your property. Typical expenses include buildings insurance, estate agent fees and utility bills (only if not reimbursed by tenants).

In some instances, what you assume are revenue expenses may in fact be ‘capital expenses’ for example, improving or upgrading something that was existing. Capital expenses are not allowable and cannot be claimed against rental income, however you might be able to set them against capital gains tax if you sell the property in the future. You should seek professional advice if you’re unsure on the tax treatment of your property expense.

Since April 2020, you have no longer been able to deduct any mortgage expenses from taxable rental income. Instead, mortgage interest is used as a tax reducer, where you receive a tax credit based on 20% of mortgage interest payments. For example, if you make mortgage interest payments of £5,000 per year, you will receive a tax credit of £1,000 to deduct from the liability incurred on your property income.

Will I be taxed on my UK rental income in Australia?

Whether you’re taxed on your UK rental income in Australia will depend on the type of tax resident you are. There are three main types of residents in Australia: Australian resident, foreign resident and temporary resident.

If you’re classified as a ‘foreign resident’ or ‘temporary resident’ working in Australia, you generally don’t need to declare income you receive from outside Australia in your Australian tax return. Therefore, as long as you remain a ‘foreign resident’ or ‘temporary resident’, you will not be taxed on your UK rental income in Australia.

However, in the event that you’re an ‘Australian resident’ for tax purposes, you must declare all income you earned both in Australia and overseas. In this instance, UK property income must be added to your Australian tax return. If you’ve paid tax in the UK on your UK property income, you may be entitled to an Australian foreign income tax offset.

Where an ‘Australian resident’ has property income from the UK, the Australia-UK double tax treaty becomes relevant.

Will I receive my UK personal allowance as resident of Australia?

When non-resident of the UK, it’s only in certain circumstances that you will get a personal allowance of tax free UK income each year. These include the following:

• you hold a British passport
• you’re a citizen of a European Economic Area (EEA) country, or
• you’ve worked for the UK government at any time during that tax year.

However, under the double tax treaty between the UK and Australia, it’s likely as a resident of Australia that you will be entitled to the UK personal allowance. Thus, only the rental income over the UK personal allowance will be taxable in the UK.

How do I file my UK self-assessment tax return from Australia?

Regardless of whether you’re a resident of Australia, renting out a UK property automatically enters you into the UK self-assessment regime. The return will be used to calculate any tax liability arising from your UK property income and any additional UK taxable income.

The same Tax Return deadlines apply to non-residents as they do to UK residents – 31st January following the tax year end (31st October for paper returns). Automatic late filing penalties will apply after the deadlines have passed.

As a non-resident you are unable to use HMRC’s online services to file your return. Instead, you need to:

• Send your tax return by post
• Use commercial software
• Get help from a professional

Contact Us

If you need advice or assistance with your UK or Australian tax obligations, we are here to help. Simply send us an email at the address below to arrange a free initial consultation.

For enquiries please contact:
Manny Singh
Senior Manager
Sheltons Accountants

Click here to read our blog where we compare the UK and Australian Tax systems

Are you considering expanding your business to Australia? Join our free webinar on Tuesday 31 July at 10am for a review of the questions you should be asking yourself.

Your expert speakers

Richard Harper, now the owner of Keyway Trade Services in Sydney, shares his decades of experience in Australia with UKTI/Department for International Trade working with UK businesses entering Australia.

Ned Shelton, Managing Partner of the independent specialist firm Sheltons Accountants, makes available his many years of experience with working with UK businesses exporting to and setting up in Australia.

Who is the webinar for?

The webinar has been designed for any business that has been considering expanding from the UK to Australia. Ned Shelton and Richard Harper will discuss the key issues to consider before your business expansion.

What does the webinar cover?

The webinar will provide guidance on everything from Australian tax rules on exporting and on running a business in Australia to selling on-line, and from special considerations on selling in Australia to understanding Australia, Australians – and the Australian market.

Ned Shelton touches on

  • Company law – differences (to the UK)
  • Company tax
  • Fringe Benefits Tax (FBT
  • Superannuation
  • State taxes
  • When you need to register with ASIC (as a branch)
  • When you might have to pay company tax (the ‘permanent establishment’ issue)
  • ABNs, domain names and trademarks,
  • And especially: GST on sales (export) to Australia

Richard Harper addresses

  • Australia – the country in context
  • Agents and distributors and ways to market
  • Registration – prohibitions and restrictions
  • Resonating with Australians
  • Specifics on food and drink
  • The supermarket dominance
  • Key elements for success
  • The importance of market visits
  • Dealing with Aussies

Why join the webinar?

  • Explore the benefits of setting up a physical presence in Australia vs exporting to Australia
  • Learn about the various tax rates and rules
  • Find the most tax efficient ways to expand into the Australian market
  • Learn about the special features of Australia
  • Find out about the key actions prior to market entry
  • Hear about the traps and opportunities of selling to the Australia market
  • Put your questions to an expert panel

Reserve your place in seconds – for free

The webinar takes place on Tuesday 31 July at 10am. You can reserve your place in seconds here. It’s free! Can’t make it? No problem. We will send you a link to the full recording of the webinar so you can learn from the experts’ views at a more convenient time. Don’t miss out.

Bloomberg Tax Honours Sheltons Group Partner, Ivan Zammit, with International Tax Contributing Author of the Year Award

7 December 2020

Sheltons Group partner, Ivan Zammit, has been awarded International Tax Contributing Author of the Year Award from Bloomberg Tax & Accounting in recognition of the contributions made by him and our colleagues at Sheltons Malta to Bloomberg Tax & Accounting.

“We at Sheltons are firm believers that knowledge, gained through experience and practice, be shared with fellow practitioners. We are proud to be associated with such an outstanding organisation, which shares the same values.” – Ivan Zammit

The official press release can be found here:

Ivan Zammit joined Sheltons in 2006 and is the partner in charge of the Sheltons offices in Malta, as well as being heavily involved in the Sheltons office in Denmark.

Ivan advises both corporate and individual clients. His experience includes advising on expat relocation as well as a wide variety of European cross-border activities, re-domiciliation and investment within the European Union.

Originally from Malta, Ivan moved to Copenhagen in 2006, where he joined Sheltons working directly with Ned Shelton on international clients, primarily with Danish company law, IFRS and Danish accounting as well as Maltese, Danish and international tax and VAT law.

After receiving his Adv. LLM in international tax law, Ivan accepted a position as a teaching assistant at the International Tax Centre (ITC Leiden) at Leiden University (The Netherlands). He continues to lecture on a regular basis on courses organised by ITC Leiden in particular in the area of Transfer Pricing.

In 2018, Ivan co-authored a book published by Thomson Reuters, entitled ‘Transfer Pricing in Ibero America, USA and UK’, where he wrote the chapter on UK transfer pricing.

During 2019 and 2020, Ivan authored (with the help of colleagues in our Malta office) the Bloomberg country tax guide for Malta, a publication available to subscribers of Bloomberg Tax, which is continuously updated with the latest developments.

Apart from his native English and Maltese, Ivan speaks fluent Danish and Italian and reads Spanish and French.

For more information about the award winners, please visit:

About Bloomberg Tax & Accounting

Bloomberg Tax & Accounting provides comprehensive global research, news and technology services enabling tax and accounting professionals to get the timely, accurate, and in-depth information they need to plan and comply with confidence. Our flagship Bloomberg Tax platform combines the proven expertise and perspectives of leading practitioners in our renowned Tax Management Portfolios™ with integrated news from the industry-leading Daily Tax Report®, authoritative analysis and insights, primary sources, and time-saving practice tools. Bloomberg Tax technology solutions help practitioners simplify complex processes to better mitigate risk and maximize profitability. For more information, visit

Doing Business with Australia guide

Doing Business with Australia

The ‘Doing Business with Australia Guide’ website is now live and the hard-copy brochures are currently being distributed.

12th November 2020 – The ‘Doing Business with Australia Guide’ is now officially live and can be accessed via:

The main objective of this Doing Business with Australia Guide is to provide you with basic knowledge about Australia; an overview of its economy, business culture, potential opportunities and to identify the main issues associated with initial research, market entry, risk management and cultural and language issues. We do not pretend to provide all the answers in the guide, but novice exporters in particular will find it a useful starting point. Further assistance is available from the Department for International Trade (DIT) team in Australia. Full contact details are available in the guide.

To help your business succeed in Australia we have carefully selected a variety of essential service providers as ‘Market Experts’; Commonwealth Bank of Australia, Dentons Australia Ltd, Informed Solutions, Quest Apartment Hotels, Radisson Blu Plaza Hotel and Sheltons Accountants Australia.

The guide has been produced by International Market Advisor, in partnership with the Institute of Export & International Trade, and with support from the British High Commission Canberra and the Australian British Chamber of Commerce.

Five things to know about exporting to Australia:

  • The UK and Australia are very similar. Therefore, if your product or service is successful in the UK, there is a high chance that it will be successful in Australia.
  • The UK is Australia’s tenth-largest source of goods imports and second-largest in terms of services, showing that trade and investment between the two countries remains strong.
  • Australia has avoided recession for 28 years, making it, in recent decades, one of the most resilient and best performing advanced economies worldwide.
  • There are numerous opportunities for UK companies wishing to do business with Australia, such as in the education, energy, healthcare, creative industries, ICT, professional and financial services, and transport and infrastructure sectors.
  • Australia ranks 14th out of 190 countries in the World Bank’s 2020 Ease of Doing Business Index.


Source: Institute of Export & International Trade

Institute of Export & International Trade