2019 The Year in Review

Written by: Evan Lowenstein
As we turn our attention to the summer holidays and 2019 swiftly flows away into the pages of history, it is perhaps useful to reflect on the business year just gone. Lowensteins has always been very much appreciative of the constant growth in client numbers and our ability to service their various requirements. Proof of this was our success in achieving a very high quality standard, as warranted by CPA Australia, when they successfully concluded their Quality Review of Lowensteins’ standards and procedures in November. We have continued to focus on the arts of tomorrow by visiting tertiary institutions all over Australia to lecture on business and tax aspects of the arts. This information has enabled graduating art students to gain some appreciation of the business and taxation implications of their practice once they leave school and enter the real world. In addition, we have continued to deliver on our scholarship program that rewards final year visual art school graduates on their achievements. Through this program we believe we have a very strong positive impact on the tertiary education sector across Australia. (See also ‘Lowensteins Announces Prize winners for 2019′). In August I had the great pleasure of being invited to address the Tax Institute on the subject of Arts and Taxation which involved a lengthy paper and presentation on various tax treatments of the collecting and disposal of art and collectables. This was followed up by a similar presentation to the Tax Discussion Group based out of Ernst & Young. I was assisted in this project by Alana Kushnir, Solicitor, who heads up a very progressive law firm that specialises in the arts, Guest Work Agency. We plan to collaborate on some projects over the next year with Alana and have already recommended her to several of our clients to seek advice. Another development this year has been the expansion of our bookkeeping services: our clients can now call upon three in-house book keepers to assist in the compliance aspects of all their tax obligations. Lowensteins is continuing to embrace new technologies by allowing our clients to set up an online tax portal that enables a swift and secure way of transmitting and lodging tax returns. This service will be expanded and rolled out to all of our clients in the 2020 year. Please contact me if you would like to avail yourself of any of these additional services.


News is that the Federal Government is seeking to amalgamate The Arts Ministry, currently headed by Paul Fletcher, into a mega Government Department that includes Infrastructure and Regional Development. This is a retrograde step and one that will result in the further downgrading of arts as a priority for the Government. We note that criticism of this move has been levelled at the Government for this by NAVA, and Live Performance Australia. We echo these sentiments.

We would like to send our best wishes to all our clients, staff and friends for a prosperous and peaceful New Year and we look forward to catching up with you all in 2020.