Tax Liabilities in Family Law – Q&A with Wendy Miller

Wendy MillerIn an exclusive Q&A session with Legalwise Seminars, Wendy Miller, Special Counsel at Damien Greer Lawyers, addresses key questions regarding Tax Liabilities in Family Law. She will be presenting in March at the upcoming Family Law Conference in Queensland, on ‘Tax Liabilities: What to Watch out for When Considering the Financial Records and Structuring the Financial Settlement’


How long have you been in practice and what are your specialities?

I have been an Accredited Specialist in Family Law since 2001.


What are you speaking on Legalwise Seminars Family Law Conference on Wednesday, 22 March 2023 and why do you see this area important to cover?

I am speaking on the topic titled ‘Tax liabilities: what to watch out for when considering the financial records and structuring the financial settlement. These documents are important as they identify risks and potential opportunities in any financial settlement.


Regarding your presentation topic – please tell us what valuable insights can you get from reading the Financial Records?

This is an important area as financial records (being financial statements and tax returns) are an important source of information and evidence of trust distributions, dividends, and loans from and to companies and sources of taxable income of the parties.

In any settlement, we would not want our clients to be left with an income tax liability due to having received trust distributions on paper only, Div 7A deemed dividend tax liabilities and or miss the opportunity to require repayment of a loan to an entity identified in the financial statements.


What future tax liabilities are often not considered?

This issue is generally avoided by including in any proposed orders, for one of the parties to be liable for taxation of any kind.  In a situation where a party has received trust distributions on paper, care needs to be taken to ensure that the either the other party pays their income tax for that financial year, or it is paid from joint resources.

What is more inclined to not be considered is whether there might be opportunities for both parties to take advantage of their property settlement as an opportunity to derive some tax advantage from it.


Wendy Miller has been an accredited specialist in family law since 2001. She has practised solely in family law since 1996. Wendy has had experience across the whole spectrum of family law but her main practice now is in financial matters. One of her goals is to develop a practice in family law that specializes in tax and estate and business succession planning issues. Specialties include: taxation issues arising in family law situations. Connect with Wendy via LinkedIn.