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29 May 09 Submission on proposed Revenue Management System (RMS) changes – Duties and Pay-roll Tax (QLD)

The Taxation Institute has lodged a submission on Proposed Revenue Management System (RMS) Changes – Duties and Payroll Tax with the Queensland Office of State Revenue.

The submission notes that the proposed RMS changes arise in the context of a self assessment regime which applies to a wide range of instruments and transactions, unsupported by a private binding rulings system, and where public rulings are subject to disclaimer. The consequence is that advisors themselves will often risk becoming liable for interest (effectively at a penalty rate) or penalty tax.

The audit and assessment of tax shortfalls (which might be disputed) may occur months or years after a transaction. In many circumstances these interest and penalty charges can never be passed on to the individual taxpayer, and so the practitioners who facilitate the regime for the Commissioner will bear an unfair cost.

The RMS changes confer obvious advantages for the Commissioner, and also for many taxpayers and advisors. It can be expected that the vast majority of standard transactions can and will be processed in a regime that includes the changes that are proposed. However every instrument, transaction, taxpayer or advisor will not be in the "standard" category every time. While such exceptions will be small in number, their inability or reluctance to participate would be based on strict regulatory restrictions, or risk exposures that a fair system should not make them responsible for.

It is noted that in the outline of RMS changes the Commissioner already contemplates a discretion to exclude some taxpayers and advisors from the changes. It is the Taxation Institute's view that changes should not be mandatory, and if a taxpayer or an advisor finds them to be burdensome, then they should be excluded without need for the favourable exercise of a discretion. For these reasons, the Commissioner should confirm that the facility for paper lodgements and physical payments will continue to be available.

For a copy of the submission go here.

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