Services Provided

Robert Richards & Associates is a specialist law firm providing revenue, trust and corporate law advice and assistance to high net worth individuals, corporations, superannuation funds, accounting practices, other solicitors and the bar.

Robert Richards & Associates regularly provides second opinions on advice provided by the bar, other solicitors and the accounting profession. Advice will attract legal profession privilege. Advice is provided in respect of revenue, trust, and corporation law generally but in particular the firm provides services in respect of:

Building and development industries

Advice in respect of the structuring of projects and the recognition of income, capital gains tax, land tax and stamp duties advice.

Capital gains tax

Advice in respect of the application of the capital gains tax generally including advice as to the minimisation of the capital gains tax.

Charities and not for profit organisations

Advice in respect of the establishment and operation of charities and not for profit organisations. Preparation of deeds establishing charitable trusts and private ancillary funds (former prescribed private funds). Preparation of applications for endorsement as deductible gift recipients and tax exempt charities. Robert Richards was a founding director of the Australian Charities Fund which helped establish work place giving in Australia.

Corporate law

Payment of dividends, share buy backs, shareholder resolutions and meetings, and directors’ duties. Structuring advice.

Estate and succession planning

Advice and implementation of estate and succession planning. Preparation of complex wills for high net worth individuals or individuals with assets in more than one jurisdiction including preparation of testamentary trusts.

Family settlements

Assistance is regularly provided to other solicitors in family law matters including the tax consequences of inter-spouse settlements.

High net worth individuals

Robert Richards & Associates provides advice to high net worth individuals. Such individuals are liable to have complex tax affairs and are regularly subject to Taxation Office audit.

State taxes

New South Wales stamp duties, land tax, and pay-roll tax advice. Appearances at the Administrative Decisions Tribunal.

Structures

Design and implementation of tax effective business structures including the preparation of trust and partnership deeds and shareholder’s agreements.

Superannuation

Advice in respect of the establishment and management of superannuation funds including self managed superannuation funds. Assistance in disputes with the Australian Taxation Office.

Robert Richards is the author of the Strategist Self Management Superannuation Fund Deed which may be obtained from Reckon Limited (www.reckon.com.au). Robert Richards & Associates can assist in the implementation of complex limited recourse loan arrangements.

Tax controversies

A particular specialty of Robert Richards & Associates is representing clients in tax controversies whether they involve income tax, capital gains tax, goods and services tax, superannuation, stamp duties, land tax or payroll tax.

This involves all of assisting in tax audits and review of position papers, preparation of objections, assisting clients in negotiations with the Taxation Office, attendance with clients at tax examinations, and the carriage of tax litigation. Counsel is normally retained for court appearances whilst Robert Richards might appear personally at Tribunal hearings.

Robert Richards & Associates has experience in matters involving all of the Administrative Decisions Tribunal, the Administrative Appeals Tribunal, the Supreme Court of New South Wales, the New South Wales Court of Appeal, the Australian Federal Court, the Full Federal Court, and the High Court.

Examples of matters which Robert Richards & Associates have had responsibility for include:

  • Bamford v Federal Commissioner of Taxation (2010). This matter commenced in the Administrative Appeals Tribunal, then went to the Full Federal Court and was finally determined by the High Court. It involved determining how a beneficiary of a trust should be assessed on income of a trust. The case is widely regarded as a leading tax case being the most important tax case for some years;
  • 1 Rocky Point Pty Limited v Chief Commissioner of State Revenue (2010). Whilst the taxpayer was unsuccessful in this matter the case illustrates the interaction of the principal place of residence, land tax exception and bare trust;
  • Vidler v F C of T (2010). The matter was finally determined by the Full Federal Court. It involved whether goods and services tax was chargeable on deposals of vacant land but which was intended to be used for residential purposes;
  • H v F C of T (2010). This is a landmark decision. This matter involved the meaning of the phrase “distributable surplus” as used in section 109Y of Division 7A of the Income Tax Assessment Act 1936. The taxpayer was successful before the Full Federal Court;
  • Campbells Cash and Carry Pty Limited v Fostif Pty Limited v F C of T (2006). This case was not a revenue case as such. It concerned an attempt by a litigation funder to claim refunds of petroleum licensing fees and tobacco licensing fees from a number of major petroleum and tobacco manufacturers. These manufacturers argued that the funder should not be allowed as a matter of public policy to fund the litigation. The matter was heard by the High Court which allowed funding arrangements but not in the present instance;
  • Ryan v F C of T (2004). Whilst this case was decided some years ago it establishes that private companies can make tax deductible contributions to superannuation funds on behalf of employees even though the amount of the contribution exceeds what is commercially payable for those services rendered by the employee.

Trusts

Advice as to the establishment and maintenance of trusts including the preparation of discretionary trusts and unit trust deeds. Specialist advice as to the stamp duty consequences of establishing, managing, varying, and the termination of a trust. Trust law advice generally. Robert Richards & Associates represented the taxpayer in Bamford v F C of T (High Court, 2010) which is the leading case as to the application of the tax law to trust beneficiaries and the drafting of trust deeds.

What we do not do

Robert Richards & Associates is a specialist tax practice. It does not provide legal services generally. Rather if need be it works with other solicitors and if a matter requires it will refer aspects of the matter to other solicitors.