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Role of Advisory Board left hanging

Publication date: 21 Sep 99 | Source: THE TAX INSTITUTE

"The Taxation Institute of Australia today welcomed the Review of Business Taxation's Report "A Tax System Redesigned" that recommended a statutory Board of Taxation with a majority of non-government representatives including the Chairman", said Taxation Institute of Australia President, Mr Gordon Cooper.

"However, given that the Board of Taxation is seen a key element for the successful implementation of "A Tax System Redesigned" (having responsibility for the oversight of the Taxation Charter and the development of taxation policy, the legislation and the associate administrative practices) the Institute is concerned that the Government has not fully adopted this key element of the reform," said Mr Cooper.

"Despite being such an integrated part of any future tax policy developments and implementation, the Government appears to have set aside any firm decision on such a board, delaying a response as to what form the advisory board will take," he said. " The Government should have revealed the structure of such a Board now, rather than leaving it hanging. "

"Further, the Institute is concerned that the Treasurers press release states that a non-statutory Advisory Board will be established, rather than the statutory board proposed in "A Tax System Redesigned". Such a board runs the risk of being under-resourced and dismissed on a minister's whim," he noted. "Successful implementation of any reform process cannot be guaranteed under such a structure."

"Given the key role that such a board can play in ensuring tax administration is accountable and tax policy responsive, the Taxation Institute (which has long called for the establishment of some form of independent tax board) urges the Government to adopt a statutory board that will have both the necessary resources and form to ensure a successful implementation of the "A Tax System Redesigned" model," he said.