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Tax Institute Calls on Government to Minimise Tax Impact

Publication date: 11 Mar 09 | Source: THE TAX INSTITUTE

Australia’s premier professional tax body, the Taxation Institute of Australia, is committed to ensuring the impact of taxation laws on Australians are minimised through more clearly drafted tax laws and improved administrative practices.

Taxation Institute President, Joan Roberts, in opening the Taxation Institute’s 24th Annual Convention in Sydney today, said that the Taxation Institute in these tough economic times take some measure of pride in being at the forefront of influencing improvements to Australia’s tax policy, its tax laws and their administration.

“2009 will be additionally challenging for tax practitioners and taxpayers on a number of fronts,” Ms. Roberts said.

The Taxation Institute has identified at least four major areas of challenge in 2009:

  • Tax practitioners will be faced with a developing new regulatory regime and major changes in tax law.
  • Large corporate taxpayers face the challenge of implementing the uncertain new Taxation of Financial arrangements (TOFA) regime. Experts have already identified a myriad of interpretative, administrative and policy issues needing quick resolution.
  • The implementation of the carbon pollution reduction scheme will impose further difficulties on affected businesses, in particular high compliance costs in respect of the application of GST to permits.
  • Small businesses face the challenge of possible changes to the taxation of trusts as well as implementation issues associated with the various stimulus packages.

The Taxation Institute predicts that further impacts are likely when the Government responds to the three completed Board of Taxation Reviews in respect of GST administration, share buybacks and the foreign income tax rules.

“On the horizon sits potentially the greatest catalyst for change to Australia’s tax transfer system, the Australia’s Future Tax System Review (the Henry Review). The Taxation Institute is actively seeking member input into that process,” Ms. Roberts said.

“Consistent with the importance of these issues in 2009 and beyond, it is pleasing to see that all these issues will be dealt with at this 24th National Convention.

“Together with some of our leading private tax, legal and accounting experts, it is particularly significant that our speakers include key members of the Government and financial bureaucracy - the Hon Chris Bowen MP, Assistant Treasurer and Minister for Competition Policy and Consumer Affairs, Dr Ken Henry, the Secretary of Treasury and the chairman of Australia’s Future Tax Review Panel, the Hon. Murray Gleeson AC QC, former Chief Justice of the High Court of Australia, Michael D’Ascenzo, the Commissioner of Taxation and Bruce Quigley, the Second Commissioner of Taxation (Law).”
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Media Contacts:

Joan Roberts, President - Taxation Institute of Australia on 0419 308 141
Dr Michael Dirkis, Senior Tax Counsel - Taxation Institute of Australia on 0417 400 349.
John Hanrahan – Lighthouse Communications, 0411 212 965.