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Has the Government gone soft on Ralph?

Publication date: 12 Oct 00 | Source: THE TAX INSTITUTE

The Taxation Institute of Australia has welcomed the Government's decision to release an exposure draft on the rules applying to non-fixed trusts.

However, the Institute calls upon the Government to urgently clarify whether this legislation is merely a new regime for non-fixed trusts or is it the first tranche of a unified entity regime which provides consistent treatment of all entities including non-fixed trusts.

"Much of the rhetoric in the explanatory material seems to indicate that the Government has gone soft on the Ralph proposals and is leaving the taxation of companies, fixed trusts and other entities to the vagaries of the 1936 tax law," said Taxation Institute of Australia, President, Mr Ray Conwell.

"The Government needs to clarify its position very quickly as it is imperative that companies and their advisers get a better picture of the business tax landscape given the closeness of the start up date for many of the Ralph proposals, particularly for entities with substituted accounting periods," he said.

"Further, the sooner the Government issues more exposure drafts the better it will be for business and the consultative process. It is only through wide exposure of such legislation that the need for continual amendment which has plagued the GST implementation can be avoided."

"By going forward with refined legislation, Parliament's valuable time is not wasted by considering thousands of technical small black letter law changes to fix mistakes," Mr Conwell said.