The Tax Institute is the most respected and influential contributor to the development of tax policy and administration in Australia. As part of this contribution, we prepare top level submissions on tax policy, administration and technical matters at both Federal and State levels. Non-confidential submissions prepared from 1996 onwards and covering legislation, ATO and Treasury consultative documents and papers, as well as rulings, determinations and a range of other ATO opinion and guideline documents, are available here.
16 Apr 2019
It has been reported in the media recently that you described the long standing, express statutory availability of a tax deduction for assistance from a lawfully authorised tax practitioner as a “rort”, and propose that a Labor government would cap that deduction at $3,000.
02 Apr 2019
The Tax Institute welcomes the opportunity to make a submission to the Board of Taxation in relation to the Post-Implementation review of the Tax Transparency Code Consultation Paper (Consultation Paper).
The Tax Institute acknowledges that increased transparency, including a well-designed voluntary TTC, will have a positive impact on the integrity of the tax system and thereby on voluntary compliance. In particular, transparency measures have the ability to positively influence the perception of taxpayers generally with respect to the large corporate sector and to underscore the important role they play in the economy. A properly designed TTC can assist in moving any public discussion away from unhelpful rhetoric, such as notions of a company paying its ‘fair share’ of tax, to more accurate and objective measures.
29 Mar 2019
In general, retirees face a $1.6 million cap on the amount they can use to purchase a tax-free superannuation pension. Existing retirement pension balances on 1 July 2017 (being the date TBAR was introduced) also count towards that cap.
The transfer balance account is maintained to keep track of the remaining cap space for the retiree, with:
- a credit arising when a member starts to receive a pension in retirement phase, and on 1 July 2017 for existing pensions in retirement phase; and
- a debit arising when a member receives a lump sum in part or full commutation of the pension.
- In recognition that it is difficult to bring the value of some pensions down to the cap, additional cap space is provided to allow for the full credit value of:
- defined benefit lifetime pensions; and
- life expectancy pensions and account-based market-linked pensions that were already in existence in retirement phase on 1 July 2017.
These types of pensions were (in the most part) not account-based, so special values were used to work out the credit. For whatever reason, a special value was also used for the 1 July 2017 value of account-based market-linked pensions.
Unfortunately, the interaction of the credit and later debit upon commutation did not always produce sensible outcomes. The Bill and Regulations are intended to rectify the position for account-based market-linked pensions and in some other situations.
19 Mar 2019
The Tax Institute supports the establishment of the Small Business Taxation Division (Division). However, some aspects of the Division require further consideration. The purpose of this submission is to outline the main issues that need to be considered as the Division is developed. In addition, The Tax Institute suggests that further consultation be undertaken by the AAT and ATO around 12 months after the Division has commenced operation to assess its effectiveness.
28 Feb 2019
The Tax Institute welcomes the opportunity to make a submission to the Treasurer in relation to the 2019-20 Federal Budget. We refer to the media release issued by the Assistant Minister for Treasury and Finance, Senator the Hon Zed Seselja, inviting submissions for the 2019-20 Federal Budget where the Government has expressed its intention ‘to keep the economy strong and guarantee the essential services on which Australians rely’.
The Tax Institute considers that a structurally sound Australian tax system is required to support the Government’s goal of keeping the economy strong and ensuring sufficient revenue is raised to support the provision of essential services relied upon by Australians.
To achieve a structurally sound Australian tax system, one must cast an honest and critical eye over the current system and decide whether all the features of the current system should remain or should be removed in favour of new or modern features that better support Australia’s economic needs. Such a pursuit requires a strong political will.
15 Feb 2019
Our submission addresses our main concerns in relation to the Consultation Paper. In particular, we have determined a ‘rule of thumb’ that could apply when determining which information should remain included in a Taxation Determination and which information could instead be published on the ATO website.