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Ahead of “two days in October”: Reviewing the status of the recommendations of Australia’s future tax system review


On 2 May 2010 the then Commonwealth Government released the final report of the Australia's Future Tax System Review (AFTSR or "Henry Review"), Australia's future tax system: Report to the Treasurer. Although some measures have been adopted the vast majority are yet to be addressed. As the next major step in the reform process is a Tax Forum, to be held at Parliament House in Canberra on "two days in October" (4 and 5 October 2011), which aims to consider the Review's recommendations and the Government's responses, it is an opportune time to catalogue the recommendations and the Government's responses.

This paper seeks to do this against a background that:

  • provides the context in which the Henry Review came into being (looking at both the previous reform processes and the political/economic circumstances in 2008 when the review was announced)
  • explores the structure of the Review; its terms of reference and, most importantly, what features have made the Henry Review different to previous reviews
  • explores, briefly, the Government’s response to the recommendations; and
  • sets the context for, and identifies issues that could impact upon, the success of the Tax Forum.

Author profiles

Prof Michael Dirkis CTA
Michael is Professor of Taxation Law at the University of Sydney. He has a PhD on Australian international taxation and is a noted researcher, having authored Is it Australia's? Residency and Source Analysed (2005, Australian Tax Research Foundation), as well as authoring and co-authoring over 590 publications and papers. From May 1999 until October 2009 he was, as Senior Tax Counsel for the Taxation Institute, in the forefront of the all major tax reform and taxation administration reforms. He continues his involvement as a member of the Treasury's Tax Treaties Advisory Panel and the Education Committee of the Tax Practitioners Board. He was awarded the Australasian Tax Teachers Association's Graham Hill medal in recognition of his "outstanding contribution to the teaching of taxation law and policy" on 21 January 2010. - Current at 29 October 2012
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Brett Bondfield CTA
Brett is a Lecturer in the Business Law, Faculty of Economics and Business, University of Sydney. - Current at 01 July 2011
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