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Betsy-Ann Howe

Fax +61.2.9513.2399

Ms. Howe is a corporate and transactional tax partner with deep experience in taxation issues associated with mergers and acquisitions, inbound and outbound investment, asset financing (with a particular emphasis on aircraft leasing) corporate and international tax. With over 25 years' experience in taxation law, Ms. Howe's experience includes advising on structured finance transactions, cross border leasing, and domestic and international tax issues.

Ms. Howe's practice focusses on all areas of corporate finance tax, managed investment trusts, audits, disputes and litigation, and tax issues relevant to Australian and non resident investors.

In 2017, Chambers Asia-Pacific legal directory again named Ms. Howe as one of Australia’s leading tax lawyers.

Professional Background

Prior to joining the firm, Ms. Howe has been a partner in national law firms based in both Australia and New Zealand, and most recently led the tax team at a national Australian firm. Ms. Howe has also held the position as Head of Tax at an Australian listed public company.


  • Recognised as a notable practitioner in the area of tax by Chambers Asia-Pacific 2014 - 2017.
  • Chambers Global 2013, Tax.
  • Recognised in the 2013 Australian Financial Review's Best Lawyers in Australia.
  • 2013 Euromoney Australasian Business Women in Law Awards - Best in Tax. 

Professional/Civic Activities

Ms. Howe has been a member of the Tax Committee of the Law Council of Australia since 2002, and is involved in liaising with the Australian Tax Office (ATO) and Government in relation to tax policy and legislative reform. She has been involved in a number of Treasury Advisory Committees, including advising on: 
  • tax agent’s registration – Issues relating to the registration of tax agents and the scope of their advice, including the applicability of legal professional privilege, and the legal implications of the disregard by the ATO of decisions of the Courts.
  • international tax reforms, specifically: 
    • taxation of collective investment vehicles
    • implementing a conduit regime for Australia. 
    • changes to the permanent establishment rules to allow Australian branches of foreign non-bank financial institutions to access the limited separate entity treatment provided to foreign bank branches. 
    • aligning the tax treatment of dividends paid by Australian companies to permanent establishments on non-resident companies. 
    • changes to the controlled foreign company (CFC) and foreign investment fund (FIF) regimes. 
    • design of reforms to create an investment manager regime for foreign funds and fund managers.

Speaking Engagements

Ms. Howe is a regular presenter at taxation and industry conferences. Some recent examples are:
  • Doing Business in Australia – New Zealand Institute of Chartered Accountants, 2013
  • Tax Risk Governance – Australian Institute of Chartered Accountants, conferences in Sydney, Melbourne, Perth and Adelaide, 2013
  • Capital Allowances – Television Education Network, 2013
  • Australian Budget Breakfast Debrief – Australian Institute of Chartered Accountants, 2011, 2012, 2013
  • Women in Tax – Tax Institute of Australia, 2012
  • Trusts after Bamford – Current Issues – 2011
  • Doing Business in Australia – for the Malaysian Business Council, 2011

Additional Information

  • Company Director Course Diploma, Australian Institute Of Company Directors, 2010
  • The restructure of an Australian corporate group of companies, including issues in relation to rollover relief, capital gains tax, tax consolidation and stamp duty. 
  • Advising on the acquisition of the Queensland State forests, including advising on the most appropriate acquisition vehicle for offshore investors, including foreign pension funds and sovereign wealth funds based in Europe and the Middle East. 
  • Advised on a converting note issue for an Australian listed company, headquartered in the United Kingdom with its coal mining assets located in South Africa. 
  • Advised a U.S. insurer on the issues of a tax warranty and indemnity insurance product on various sale and purchase transactions in Australia. 
  • Advised a Hong Kong based investment bank on the establishment of a tax efficient structure for Australian superannuation funds to invest in real estate in Hong Kong and China. 
  • Advised an Irish leasing company on the purchase and lease of aircraft, and leases to a number of international airlines, including those based in the United States, the UAE, Asia, and Europe. 
  • Advised an Australian aircraft charter company on the lease of Embraer aircraft from lessors located in the United States. 
  • Advising on the establishment of an Australian property trust to acquire a U.S. Real estate investment trust (REIT) investing in U.S. residential real estate. 
  • Advising on the income tax and stamp duty issues associated with the development of a solar energy plant and the leasing of that plant and associated take or pay arrangements. 
  • Advising an Australian consulting business on establishing a structure for operating in Australia, the United States, the United Kingdom and Asia, including advising on the most appropriate legal structure, taxation treatment of payment flows from the relevant jurisdictions, location of intellectual property and cross border fee arrangements with a particular emphasis on transfer pricing. 
  • Advising an Australian manufacturing company on the most efficient structure for establishing a manufacturing base in China, with a distribution network throughout Asia and the United States. Integral to the advice was the location of the intellectual property of the company and the licencing arrangements to ensure compliance with transfer pricing requirements of a range of jurisdictions including the United States, Australia, China and Singapore. 
  • Advising an Australian listed financial services company with offices around the world on issues relating to the location of its intellectual property, including migrating that intellectual property from Australia. 
  • Advising an Australian owned aircraft leasing company on the establishment of an Irish leasing platform, including cross border management and services fee arrangements between Australia, the United Kingdom, Ireland and the United States.