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As announced on 22 August 2008, the Government accepted in principle all the recommendations of the Tax Design Review Panel which examined ways to reduce delays in introducing tax legislation and improve the quality of taxation legislation. The Government will implement the one outstanding recommendation to make greater use of private sector experts in the tax design process as recommended by the Panel. The Government will provide Treasury with additional funding to fund private sector expert input on the practical and commercial issues arising from proposed tax changes which will lead to improved tax legislation.

The Government has also released a discussion paper to progress the Panel’s recommendation that consideration be given to whether or not the Commissioner of Taxation should be given further power to modify the tax law to give relief to taxpayers as announced by the Assistant Treasurer, Chris Bowen, on 13 March 2009. The paper - which canvasses the pros and cons of an extra-statutory concession – seeks views on how a provision could be designed and implemented if introduced. The paper, copies of which can be obtained from the Treasury website, will be open for consultation for eight weeks.

For more information, see the Assistant Treasurer's media release, No 2009/48

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