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Introduction to the personal income tax reform symposium papers

Published on 01 Apr 07 by "AUSTRALIAN TAX FORUM" JOURNAL ARTICLE

A recent study of personal income tax (“PIT”) reform in OECD countries concludes that the share of PIT in both total tax revenue and GDP has changed little in most countries in recent decades. However, the many differences in rules, rates and exemptions applied to different income flows that have developed under the “semi?comprehensive” PITs found in most OECD countries – including Australia – have, over the years, given rise to many tax arbitrage possibilities. In part to reduce such activities as well as to improve the horizontal equity, efficiency and administrability of the tax, in recent years many countries have undertaken rate reducing and base broadening reforms. To varying degrees in different countries, such reforms have also been driven by more long-term factors such as demographic change, concerns about international competitiveness and economic growth, and – perhaps – shifting attitudes to tax compliance and redistributive taxation.

Author profile:

Richard M BIRD
Professor Emeritus, University of Toronto and ARC International Fellow, Atax, Faculty of Law, UNSW.
Current at April 2007
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