William Thompson

Managing Partner of the firm's Brisbane office, Bill is Minter Ellison's Regional Markets Leader, responsible for the management and strategy of the firm's regional offices.

He is recognised nationally and internationally as one of Australia's leading corporate tax advisors and tax disputes lawyers and heads the firm's Tax Division. In his broad tax practice, Bill works with publicly listed and unlisted corporations, industry associations, government departments and government owned corporations, large not for profit organisations including universities and scientific research organisations, and large industry and retail superannuation funds, as well as high-wealth private clients.

He primarily advises on the tax implications of business and corporate acquisitions, corporate structures and restructures, and financing arrangements and regularly advises on corporate taxation, international tax relating to inbound investments, capital gains tax, goods and services tax (GST), stamp duty, customs duty, land tax, and employment taxes.

Bill has extensive project experience in the Property, Infrastructure, Energy & Resources and Financial Services (Superannuation) industries Australia-wide. He advises peak bodies in the Australian Energy & Resources industries.

Bill is experienced in negotiating major disputes with Federal and State revenue authorities and handling audits by them. He has acted in many taxation disputes, including litigation to appellate level in a number of landmark tax cases.

In addition, Bill leads our Private Client Wealth practice. His clients have included some of Australia's wealthiest families.

Bill is a frequent speaker and author on taxation issues and has presented papers at conferences of the International Bar Association Taxation Committee, the American Bar Association Taxation Committee (foreign lawyers subcommittee), and the Taxation Academy of Singapore.

7 October 2015

On 5 October 2015, the OECD issued its final papers for each action item in the Base Erosion and Profit Shifting (BEPS) project.
The OECD's recommendations will lead to international action as well as domestic tax law changes. For effective tax risk governance, it is important for multinational Boards to be aware of and to proactively respond to the OECD's recommendations.

Updated 5 October 2015

Minter Ellison has created a simple resource to help organisations keep track of the major developments in the OECD's Action Plan on Base Erosion and Profit Shifting.

25 September 2015

New tax avoidance and transparency laws have been introduced, and are proposed to be effective from 1 January 2016. These new will laws impact upon multinational groups, requiring multinationals to consider their tax risk profile and their risk governance policies.

17 September 2015

The immediate deduction for the cost of acquiring mining rights and mining information first used for exploration was removed for M&A acquisitions after 14 May 2013 by the Tax and Superannuation Laws Amendment (2014 Measures No.3) Act 2014 (2014 amendments). The 2014 amendments limited the availability of immediate deductions to those taxpayers carrying out mining exploration themselves, and otherwise provided that the costs of acquiring these rights would be depreciable over the shorter of its effective life or 15 years, assuming the 'first use' test was met. This had the anomalous and unintended effect of producing taxation consequences for farm-in farm-out (farm-out arrangements) and interest realignment arrangements which were previously tax neutral. On 16 September 2015, the Government effectively reinstated the tax neutral status of these arrangements with the enactment of the Tax and Superannuation Laws Amendment (2015 Measures No. 2) Act 2015 (No. 130 of 2015) ('the new law').

25 August 2015

The interim report on corporate tax avoidance, released on 17 August 2015, made 17 recommendations in relation to evidence of tax avoidance, multilateral efforts to combat avoidance, the potential for unilateral action by Australia and the capacity of Australian Government agencies to collect corporate tax. The final report, which is due on 30 November 2015 will focus on transfer pricing with a secondary focus on excessive debt loading, P.E.s, exemptions from general purpose accounting requirements and the role of private accounting firms in tax avoidance.