RSM Australia

Our People

Craig Cooper
Consultant - Melbourne


Office : Melbourne
Service : Tax services
Biography

Craig is a consultant of the Tax Services divison in Melbourne and has over 30 years of specialised tax practice experience, covering all aspects of tax advisory and tax compliance.

His focus is on advising outbound Australian business, and inbound non-resident business, particularly in the software industry and digital economy.

Solutions Craig provides

  • Businesses in the entrepreneurial digital economy require tax-related advice in the initial structuring
  • Accessing development finance
  • Merger and acquisition support
  • Acquisition/disposal tax due diligence reviews
  • International tax advice
  • Software payment characterisation
  • Optimal structuring for profit repatriation
  • Transfer pricing support
  • R&D tax incentive opportunities

Significant projects

  • Advising on intellectual property relocations and international financing arrangements for Australian businesses
  • Participation in an RSM International team advising on the Australian tax aspects of implementing a global business model restructure for a European MNE
  • Defending an ATO investigation of an international 'services' PE
  • Characterisation of software payments as not subject to royalty withholding tax
  • Representing RSM International at the OECD Public Consultation on transfer pricing documentation and country by country reporting
  • Active commentator on BEPs developments

Professional associations

  • Member, Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand
  • Fellow, Taxation Institute of Australia

Qualifications

  • Bachelor of Commerce (University of Melbourne)
  • Bachelor of Laws (University of Melbourne)

Registrations

  • Registered tax agent

Media

  • 'Does Apple pay enough tax?' Ross Greenwood speaks to Craig Cooper from RSM about Apple’s profit and taxes', 2GB, Wednesday, 28 January 2015. 
Publications

Satyam Computer Services v ATO: international tax war intensifies

25 October 2018
Satyam Computer Services has returned to the Australian Courts to again contest Australia’s taxing rights over fees paid by Australian customers for IT/technical services performed by Satyam employees based in India. Generally, service fee income is taxed in the state where the work is performed, but a provision in the Australia/India double tax ...

Australia takes the next step to taxing the digital economy

11 October 2018
The Australian Treasury released a discussion paper in early October 2018 to inform a consultation about whether, and if so, how Australia could introduce an ‘interim measure’ to tax sectors of the digital economy.  This initiative was first announced in the Treasurer’s 2018-2019 Federal Budget speech. No design details are included i...

New requirements for Significant Global Entities

18 October 2017
There are new requirements for Significant Global Entities to prepare General Purpose Financial Statements. Recent guidance from the ATO has clarified the effect of changes made last year to Section 3CA of the Tax Administration Act 1953.  The legislation introduced additional reporting requirements for some Australian entities, and for...

Signing the Multilateral Instrument

6 June 2017
What happens if you threw a party and the guest of honour did not turn up? The international aspects of the G20/OECD’s Base Erosion and Profit Shifting (BEPS) project will become a reality at a treaty signing ceremony to be held in Paris, on 7 June 2017.  Reports suggest that some 60 to 70 nations will attend the event and sign the Mul...

Chevron Australia’s transfer pricing fight to go (at least) another round

22 May 2017
Chevron Australia has lodged the necessary paperwork with the Australian High Court registry, to apply for special leave to appeal against the Full Federal Court’s decision, in the long running and ground breaking transfer pricing litigation. The special leave application was lodged on Friday 19 May 2017, the last day possible. &#...

ATO releases draft transfer pricing guidance on international related party financing arrangements

17 May 2017
On 16 May 2017, the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) issued in draft form a Practical Compliance Guideline (PCG 2017/D4) outlining its proposed compliance approach to the transfer pricing implications arising from cross border ‘related party financing arrangements’ (RPFAs).  The timing of the PCG release is interesting – there are onl...

Australian GST: low value threshold (LVT) changes a step closer

12 May 2017
With a low value threshold (LVT) set at AUD$1,000, Australia has been very much at the ‘generous’ end of the global spectrum of GST-free imported goods, to the benefit of Australian consumers and the chagrin of Australian retailers. After numerous reviews and investigations, the government introduced a bill in mid-February 2017 to change t...

Small business tax cuts pass Parliament, but no relief for larger corporates

3 April 2017
On Friday 31 March 2017, following an extended sitting of the Australian Senate, the Government achieved another political victory in the face of the brinksmanship which passes for the current Parliamentary process; a deal was struck with the Senate crossbench to pass a watered down version of the Government’s key economic policy initiative –th...

Australia’s Diverted Profits Tax now a reality

28 March 2017
The Bill introducing Australia’s version of the Diverted Profits Tax (DPT) completed its passage through the Parliamentary process on Monday, 27 March 2017, and now awaits Royal Assent before becoming law. The DPT will commence to operate from 1 July 2017, and will apply to both new and continuing ‘schemes’, i.e. there is no ‘grandfather...

Australia broadens the tax ‘resident’ test for foreign incorporated companies

20 March 2017
ATO gets a powerful new weapon, as Australia broadens the tax ‘resident’ test for foreign incorporated companies. ATO issues draft ruling on central management and control (CM&C) of foreign incorporated companies. Broader test adopted; more foreign incorporated companies likely to be caught as Australian tax residents. Foreign m...

Bywater Investments Case Study - Australian tax resident or not?

20 March 2017
Bywater Investments - the case in short  The Bywater Investments litigation involved a number of different overseas companies which made large profits from share trading on the ASX over an extended period. (This note limits its focus to Bywater; the circumstances of the other companies were broadly similar.) The case came ou...

Australian Diverted Profits Tax - exposure draft released

30 November 2016
On 29 November 2016, the Australian Treasury released an exposure draft of the proposed Australian version of the Diverted Profits Tax (DPT), together with an explanatory memorandum.  The consultation period for the draft legislation closes on 23 December 2016. The DPT will apply from 1 July 2017, at the rate of 40%, and will complement the...

International tax reform: Implementation a (large) step closer.

28 November 2016
The ‘how’ and the ‘when’ of international tax reform took a large step forward with the 24 November 2016 release by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) of the text, and accompanying explanatory statement to the “Multilateral Convention to Implement Tax Treaty Related Measures to Prevent Base Erosion and Profi...

Australian GST: Compliance savings for non-residents

12 October 2016
Australia has been hastening slowly to reduce the GST compliance burden on non-residents, and after 6 years of ‘deliberation’, the measures finally came into effect on 1 October 2016. Broadly, the changes transfer the GST obligations from some non-resident suppliers to the Australian GST-registered recipients (reverse charge provision), whilst ...

Tax Insight: Tech Mahindra Ltd - An Equine Trilogy

3 October 2016
When you are on a good thing, stick to it – never look a gift horse in the mouth and never change horses in mid-stream. The Full Federal Court has affirmed the first instance decision that fees paid by Australian customers to an Indian company for the provision of certain ‘technical services’ constituted royalties. The appellate court also...

Global Business Reaction to BEPS

15 June 2016
Survey reveals impact of BEPS on the middle market. Some have drawn a similarity between OECD’s BEPS (Base Erosion and Project Shifting) project and The Hobbit trilogy, but what exactly is BEPS? Tax Services Director Craig Cooper reveals the results from RSM’s BEPS survey and why the threat of global tax changes may have far reaching cons...

BEPS: the reality of implementation moves a step closer

6 June 2016
The reality of BEPS as the new ‘global tax standard’ took a step forward when the OECD released a Public Discussion Draft (PDD) on 31 May 2016, inviting comment on certain technical issues relating to the forthcoming Multilateral Instrument (MLI). The MLI will facilitate the early and efficient upgrade of the network of existing double tax ...

Corporate interest deductions to be reduced?

19 April 2016
Issue: News leaks that the Government will further reduce interest deductions for multinational groups. Action: Prepare for the worst, but perhaps with a reduced company tax rate to soften the blow? With the stage now set for an early (July 2016) Australian Federal election, leaks about the Government’s forthcoming Budget have acc...

Australian GST extended to tax foreign B2C digital supplies

22 February 2016
The Government recently introduced a Bill which has significant GST implications for non-Australian businesses interacting with the Australian economy.  The changes are grouped in two categories.  First, the GST tax base will be broadened so that remotely delivered digital supplies (‘inbound intangible consumer supplies’) will ...

Significant Global Entities: Country-by-Country Reporting obligations now law

21 December 2015
Royal Assent was given on 11 December 2015 to the ‘Combating Multinational Tax Avoidance’ Act.  The new law: defines a new entity concept: Significant Global Entity (‘SGEs’); and subjects SGEs to new tax obligations. This Tax Insight focuses on the new Country-by-Country Reporting (CbCR) obligations, which are also the sub...

Australia's MNC anti-avoidance law to pass; watch out for the stings in the tail

4 December 2015
In a last minute political deal between the Coalition Government and minority parties, the Senate has agreed amendments and passed the Government’s Multinational Anti-Avoidance Law (MAAL). The legislation will return to the House, which continues to sit, and will become law ahead of its 1 January 2016 start date.(Read: Multinational anti-avoi...

BEPS: New Australian Developments

24 November 2015
BEPS Action 2: Board of Tax releases anti-hybrid discussion paper The Board of Tax has responded to the Government’s request to review the OECD’s recommendations for addressing tax loss through the use of hybrid instruments, entities and arrangements through a discussion paper (DP) released on 20 November 2015. The OECD’s anti-hybrid r...

BEPS: final global sign-off

24 November 2015
G20 Leaders endorsement At the G20 Leaders Summit held at Antalya on 15-16 November 2105, immediately following the Paris bombings, the Leaders ‘endorsed’ the OECD’s BEPS package of measures. This was not merely a rubber stamping of a done deal; rather it demonstrates the Leaders continuing commitment to achieving a globally fair and m...

BEPS project final reports released: OECD calls ‘paradigm shift’

6 October 2015
Pascal Saint-Amans, Director of the Centre for Tax Policy and Administration at the OECD, released the 2015 BEPS reports during a global webcast on Monday 5 October 2015.  Consisting of 13 Final Reports and an explanatory statement, the package of measures has been adopted by the OECD Ministerial Council, and must now be adopted by the G20 fin...

Company taxpayers: are you ready for the public disclosure of your tax data?

4 October 2015
Since tax was first collected, a fundamental feature of tax law has been the unconditional secrecy surrounding taxpayer data. In Australia that position changed in June 2013 when Australia’s tax secrecy laws were amended, directing the ATO to publicly report certain large company tax data. Start date and implications The fir...

Multinational anti-avoidance law for real: Australian legislation introduced

21 September 2015
In introducing the ‘Combating multinational tax avoidance’ bill to the Australian Parliament on 16 September 2015, the government has taken another unilateral step in its fight against international base erosion and profit shifting (BEPS).  The new bill contains three changes, all of which have been the subject of earlier exposure draft le...

Tax reform 2016: what’s it all about?

13 August 2015
Some in the political media would have us believe Tax Reform 2016 is dead before it starts, and that because Australia currently faces a failure of political leadership – meaningful tax reform is difficult at the best of times, but at present, there simply is not the depth of character, or belief, in Canberra or the state capitals to push through...

Australia increases the pressure on multi-national tax avoidance

6 August 2015
On 6 August 2015 several further steps were taken in Australia in the move to generate additional tax from multinational corporations. 1.  CbC reporting Exposure draft legislation was released by treasury which will require affected entities to prepare and lodge CbC reports. The proposed amendments will implement the OECD BEPS Action 13 ...

Base erosion & profit shifting (BEPS) - Action 7: OECD releases Revised Discussion Draft

18 May 2015
Action 7 of the G20/OECD BEPS Project addresses the artificial avoidance of permanent establishment status.  A Revised Discussion Draft (RDD) was released on 15 May 2015, and will be open for public comment until 12 June 2015.  There will be no further public consultations, and the working party will be asked to finalise its recommendatio...

Australia introduces a 'Google tax' after all

13 May 2015
Snapshot The proposed multinational anti-avoidance tax integrity measure (Australia’s version of the ‘Google tax’) will: apply only to foreign multinational groups with global turnover exceeding A$1bn require a group connection with a low or no corporate tax jurisdiction focus on Australian sales revenue artificially ‘diverted...

New major integrity measures announced ahead of 2015-16 Federal Budget

10 May 2015
You call that a diverted profits tax? This is a diverted profits tax… Australia’s Federal Treasurer Joe (‘Crocodile Dundee’) Hockey announced on Monday 11 May 2015 that the Federal Budget will contain two new major integrity measures. The first measure aims to restore Australian taxing rights over 'stateless' income which or...

Australia changes horses: drops the ‘Google tax’ option but chases the ‘Starbucks effect’

7 May 2015
It is ‘silly season’ in Australia at present – that twilight period ahead of the release of the annual Federal Budget, scheduled this year for Tuesday, 12 May 2015. The media is, as usual, awash with speculation regarding what is ‘hot’ and what is ‘not’ in the world of tax. The most recent media speculation about potential changes ...

New tax rules for earnout arrangements

24 April 2015
On 23 April 2015, the government released exposure draft legislation to implement the long awaited changes to the treatment of ‘earnout arrangements’ connected with the sale of a CGT asset (typically shares/units in a company/trust, or the sale of business assets). The draft rules implement the ‘look through’ approach as previously fores...

International tax update - Australia

9 April 2015
Australia is making plenty of noise on the international tax scene at the moment, which is notable given the current state of global tax turmoil. Of present note: the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) is advancing its audits of global e-commerce businesses, and is challenging their existing business models the ATO is targeting business re...

Tax reform 2015 – a background

30 March 2015
The Abbott Federal Liberal-National Party Coalition Government was elected in September 2013 on a platform of 'economic repair' which included promises to conduct two related white paper processes leading into the next federal election: a white paper on tax reform, and a white paper on the reform of Australia’s Federation. Whilst the topics of th...

'Stopping multinational tax avoidance': ALP policy launch

16 March 2015
The Australian Labor Party (ALP) has outlined proposed measures to combat multinational tax avoidance in a 2 March 2015 policy launch.  The proposed measures expect to raise $1.9bn over three years, and comprise: impose a ‘worldwide gearing ratio’ to limit Australian interest deductibility adopt anti-hybrid mismatch rules early a...

OECD to hold public consultation on several transfer pricing related BEPS action points

5 March 2015
On March 19 and 20 the OECD will hold its public consultation on action points 8, 9 and 10 of the base erosion and profit splitting (BEPS) project. Topics on the agenda include: recharacterisation of risk allocations for transfer pricing purposes, considering the contractual allocation of risk between group companies and the func...

Countdown to tax reform - 2015 Intergenerational Report

5 March 2015
Joe Hockey, Australia’s treasurer, released the 2015 Intergenerational Report (IGR) on Thursday 5 March 2015, and in so doing has taken a step closer to kicking off the stalled tax reform process. The IGR is produced by Federal Treasury on a periodic basis, at intervals of no greater than five years. Its purpose is to assess the long-term sust...

Base erosion & profit shifting (BEPS) - OECD webcast 12 February 2015

12 February 2015
The OECD’s senior tax leadership delivered a rapid-fire 1 hour webinar from Paris on 12 February, 2015.  The presentation provided an update on BEPS development since late 2014, and outlined the (very heavy) 2015 work program as the BEPS project enters its second and final year. The webinar followed directly on the heels of the G20 Financ...

G20 / OECD BEPS project - the end of the beginning ushers in the beginning of the end game

29 November 2014
On 5 October 2015, the OECD has announced it will release the final package of measures for a co-ordinated international approach to the reform of the global tax system under the G20/OECD Base Erosion and Profit Shifting (BEPS) Project.   Following its public release, the package will be presented to the G20 Finance Ministers meeting o...