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It's the 'been there, done that' budget, according to the Taxation Institute

Publication date: 09 May 00 | Source: THE TAX INSTITUTE

The Federal Budget has not delivered any new initiatives in the tax area, nor has it clarified key industry issues including the start up date for the Taxation Board and whether Option 2 will be adopted, said Taxation Institute of Australia President Ray Conwell.

"The Treasurer has delivered a 'been there done that' Budget which merely applies the dollars and cents to previous announcements," said Mr Conwell.

"Almost all of the tax measures announced by the Treasurer in tonight's budget are a rehash of statements made over the past few months, particularly those in relation to non-commercial loss measures and alienation of personal services income measures."

"At this crucial time in taxation reform, the Government should be taking decisive steps to resolve the outstanding issues which will impede the steady transition from an old to a new business tax system," he said.

"The Government has yet to respond to the Warburton Report recommendation that Option 2 be introduced. The Warburton Report urged that an announcement be made by 31 March. Given the missed opportunity to announce its implementation in the Budget, the Institute repeats its call that Option 2 be delayed thereby freeing up scarce drafting resources to concentrate on the main game of implementing essential business tax reform," said Mr Conwell.

One of the key measures yet to be addressed in detail by the Government is the composition and commencement date of the so-called 'Taxation Board'.

"It is essential that the Government clearly articulate the composition and terms of reference of the Taxation Board that it promised eight months ago. It is also imperative that the Board commence operation immediately to ensure that it can effectively oversee the introduction of taxation reforms over the coming months," Mr Conwell said.