Domenic Festa - PrincipalDomenic commenced his professional year career working eight years as a chartered accountant starting with Mann Judd in Melbourne, then moving to Brisbane to work with medium-sized accounting practices. In this part of his career he worked in the business services divisions of each accounting firm.

Following completion of a law degree through Queensland University of Technology, Domenic made a career switch and started practising as a tax lawyer.

He commenced practice with a recognised boutique tax and asset protection firm, becoming the recognised specialist in issues relating to CGT, various other taxes (income tax, GST, stamp duty, other state taxes) and investment rules relating to self-managed superannuation funds, and the resource utilised by all practice principals and senior lawyers in identifying solutions.

Domenic focuses on assisting private businesses and investors achieve their commercial objectives by overcoming taxation and risk hurdles, providing assistance to accountants in public practice to service these clients.

He has particular expertise in the following areas:

  • Structures and restructures of client businesses which are CGT and stamp duty effective;
  • The application of CGT;
  • The application of the small business CGT concessions (which allow most private businesses to sell a business without tax), with specialist knowledge on the difficult areas of their application;
  • Alternatives for addressing Division 7A issues;
  • Advice on tax issues including the value shifting provisions, the commercial debt forgiveness provisions, trust losses, personal services income, whether a receipt is capital or income;
  • Assistance with working through the $6 million net asset value test;
  • Assistance in dealing with contrary ATO positions, including preparing objections and responses to position papers;
  • Stamp duty, land tax and payroll tax;
  • Various alternatives for achieving Asset Protection (not limited to asset restructures);
  • SMSF issues including restructuring of assets, limited recourse borrowing arrangements and particular emphasis on the investment rules;
  • Estate Planning particularly estates that include assets owned in companies and trusts.

Domenic regularly conducts training and presentations on specialist taxation matters for accounting firms as well as for professional and industry bodies.
Domenic is an accredited specialist in taxation law with the Queensland Law Society, a Chartered Tax Advisor (The Tax Institute), a member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants and a solicitor of both the Supreme Court and the High Court.

Recent Work

  • Advising commercial lawyers on taxation issues arising from drafting of contracts of sale of businesses and shares for substantial consideration
  • Advising on assets to be included or excluded from the $6 million net asset value test for the small business CGT concessions
  • Restructure of assets from an existing trust to a newly created trust without stamp duty (processed through Office of State Revenue)
  • Obtaining a tax exemption for a sum received on termination of an income protection policy
  • Advice on the non-application of the commercial debt forgiveness provisions in circumstances involving the release of debts between related parties
  • Accessing rollovers for restructures of depreciable assets and trading stock (not limited to CGT rollovers)
  • Restructure of assets from a trust to a superannuation fund without stamp duty (processed through Office of State revenue)
  • Advising on alternatives to limited recourse borrowing arrangements for gearing acquisition of assets by self-managed superannuation funds
  • Advising on alternatives for improving property owned, or to be acquired, by a self-managed superannuation fund
  • Obtaining an exemption from land tax for property owned in a trust that was partly used for residential purposes and partly used as a serviced office complex
  • Preparing objections to assessments including seeking access to the small business CGT concessions two years after lodgement of the income tax return
  • Restructuring company owned intellectual property into a separate entity in a manner that did not trigger tax or stamp duty
  • Advising on the use of the consolidations regime for company-owned structures