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level 16, 324 queen st,
brisbane qld 4000
+61 7 3235 0400


40-42 scott st,
dandenong vic 3175
+61 3 9794 2600


level 7, 600 bourke st,
melbourne vic 3000
+61 3 8615 9900


level 21, 20 bond st,
sydney nsw 2000
+61 2 8298 9533

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Kathleen Jess

senior associate, commercial

meet Kathleen

about Kathleen

legal secretary: emily bun t: tel:+61 3 8615 9929 e:

about Kathleen

Kathleen’s practice sees her guide clients and their businesses through the complexity and challenges that Taxation Law can present, in an understandable and simplified way.  With previous experience working for Big 4 accounting firms and the Australian Taxation Office, Kathleen appreciates the perspectives of all stakeholders in the taxation environment, utilising this experience and knowledge to provide clients with practical advice and solutions that avoid prolonged disputes with tax regulators.

Kathleen has a wealth of experience in both federal and state Taxation Law, advising a wide range of clients including large corporate groups, expatriates, employers and high-net-worth individuals. Her time outside the law firm environment has provided invaluable insight into accounting practices as well as the practical implementation of tax advice – the latter being something that is often overlooked by legal advisers focused on the complexity of tax issues in question.

When clients are faced with audit or compliance activity, Kathleen focuses on seeking resolutions with the Australian Taxation Office and State revenue authorities that avoid litigation and achieve palatable outcomes in a commercially expedient manner.  Kathleen aims to deliver quality client service by engaging with all stakeholders early with open and clear communication.

Areas of Expertise

asset protection and restructuring
employment taxes
federal and state revenue office engagement – rulings, audits and objections
indirect and property related taxes (GST, stamp duty, land tax and municipal rates and levies)
international and cross-border tax
small business capital gains tax concessions
taxation issues in family law and estate planning
taxation of trusts


foreign owned Subsidiaries
property development

recent experience

  • cash economy audit

    Kathleen assisted a restaurant business with an ATO audit focused on record-keeping in a high cash receipts business, including advising on allegations of the use of an electronic sales suppression tool in contravention of recently introduced legislation. This matter involved complex case management with the ATO, understanding of technical forensic analysis, and simplifying difficult tax concepts for the client to seek an amicable outcome.

  • gst property development audit

    Kathleen reviewed the outcome of a GST audit conducted by the ATO following historical non-compliance of GST reporting involving a partnership of individuals. Kathleen identified an error in the ATO’s consideration of the period of review restrictions, resulting in an outcome that led to a refund of historical GST paid (rather than an assessment for further GST as the ATO’s original position concluded).

  • partition advice

    Kathleen provided advice on the stamp duty and capital gains tax consequences of a complicated partition of land held by family members, involving land development and the calculation of cost bases, the availability of the main residence CGT exemption, the extent of availability of stamp duty concessions, and practical advice on the implementation of partition / subdivision steps to not trigger unnecessary unpalatable tax outcomes.