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Tax Board funding may be too late, says Taxation Institute

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

The Taxation Institute of Australia has serious concerns over the funding of the Board of Taxation which appears to be skewed towards the latter years of its operation, rather than the early years when it is truly needed.

"The Board has been allocated $4.5 million dollars in the first year of operation increasing to $6.5 million in its third year of operation," said Taxation Institute of Australia President, Mr Ray Conwell.

"Further, despite the announcement of funding, the Government has still failed to commit to a start up date or the composition of this essential tax policy board," Mr Conwell said.

A statutory Board of Taxation was an essential recommendation of the Ralph Report. It was designed as an advisory board to deal with policy development and the implementation of the new tax system. The recommendation was accepted in a watered down form by the Government on 21 September 1999.

"The delay of eight months is to be regretted," said Mr Conwell. "Given that the majority of reforms will be implemented over the next 18 months to two years, it is questionable whether the Board of Taxation will be able to perform a meaningful role in the reform process unless it commences immediately."

"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," he said.