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25 Aug 08 Taxation Institute says report 'A leap forward for open tax consultation'

In a media release issued on 22 August 2008, the President of the Taxation Institute, Sue Williamson FTIA, welcomed the Government’s decision to accept the 26 recommendations contained in the Tax Design Review Panel’s report, “Better Tax Design and Implementation” which it released the same day (see item (2) of this edition of TAXVINE).

Ms Williamson said the report reflected the Taxation Institute’s decades-long push for full and open consultation and established implementation guidelines in the design of tax law.

“The recommendations, if acted upon, represent a high water mark in achieving efficient, certain and well designed laws. It is only by improving tax policy design and its implementation can we begin to tackle the complexity and associated compliance and administrative costs embodied in our overly complex taxation laws. We believe these recommendations should deliver better tax policy and laws, which is good for our economy as it reduces the level of wasteful compliance and administrative costs that taxpayers currently face,” Ms Williamson said.

Ms Williamson said the proposal to engage tax professionals early in the design phases was particularly encouraging for the future development of tax laws, as it would ensure any proposed tax measures were aligned with current commercial business practices before they were implemented.

“The availability of an extra statutory concession to the Commissioner of Taxation should also stop the implementation of legislation which is contrary to the policy intent, provided appropriate safeguards are in place,” Ms Williamson said.

The Taxation Institute will seek to engage the Government as these measures are implemented to ensure that their full potential is realised.

For a copy of the Taxation Institute's media release, 22 August 2008, go here

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