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Taxation Institute Response to Australia’s Future Tax System Proposals

Publication date: 10 Dec 08 | Source: THE TAX INSTITUTE

Australia’s premier professional tax body, the Taxation Institute of Australia, today welcomed the release of the Australia’s Future Tax System Consultation Paper as a step in the right direction for tax reform

The Taxation Institute particularly welcomed the addressing of the tax complexity issues, tax-welfare churn and the planned community consultations to take place in March next year.

President of the Taxation Institute, Sue Williamson, said the Consultation Paper lays the groundwork for meaningful tax reform as it sets out clearly the often competing views held by the community on a whole range of tax issues.

These concerns range from addressing issues of international competitiveness in terms of corporate tax rates and the taxation of capital, whilst at the same time ensuring that the tax-transfer system provides the appropriate level of support for those in need.

“It gives a window into the Herculean task faced by the Review Panel in coming up with recommendations that meet the major challenges facing Australia into the 21st Century,” she said.

“Community concerns with the complexity of the tax-transfer system are further highlighted in the 500 submissions to the Review to date and remains the principle challenge for the Review Panel. The planned community consultation process is going to be very important.

“It is only by focusing on the underlying problems in the system, such as the current high levels of tax-welfare churn, can real reform be achieved. It is often tempting to focus on the symptoms of this inequity and complexity, such as the number of tax returns, rather than focusing on the root causes such as unnecessarily complex policy, administration and legislation.

“It’s vital at this stage to ensure that dialogue with the community about tax reform remains open and the Consultation Paper ensures this with a platform leading to further consultation rather than providing any concluded views.”

As the Taxation Institute has been a strong contributor to the tax reform debate since 1943, it will continue to make further submissions  to the Review Panel. To maximise input from Australia’s taxation practitioners, the Taxation Institute will be undertaking a communications program to seek its Members’ views.

Media Contacts:    Sue Williamson, President - Taxation Institute of Australia on 0411 646 783
Peter Laidlaw, Lighthouse Communications Group on 0419 210 306