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The Tax Institute's New President to Focus on Building a Simple, Efficient and Fair Tax System

Publication date: 07 Feb 12 | Source: THE TAX INSTITUTE

Monday 23 January, 2012: The major focus in 2012 for the incoming President of The Tax Institute, Ken Schurgott, will be working to ensure that government tax reforms are simple, efficient and fair for all - taxpayers, practitioners and the government.

Under its new President, The Tax Institute will strive to maintain the momentum on tax reform generated in the latter half of last year, demonstrated by the success of the Great Tax Debate last August ahead of The Tax Forum, to build the appetite for further reform and reinvigoration of the Australian tax system.

There are currently a number of tax issues under consideration by government including the taxation of trusts, tax audit processes, tax advice confidentiality for accountants, and the inclusion of financial planners in the tax agent services regime.

Mr Schurgott said another important issue on which the Institute will need to be alert and steadfast in 2012 is the recent trend of the Federal Government introducing retrospective legislation to favour revenue-gathering objectives.

"Retrospective legislation is generally bad law and erodes confidence in our legal system," he said.

"We need to remain vigilant with regard to any proposed tax reforms, particularly those involving retrospectivity, to make sure that they bear the hallmarks of good tax legislation - simplicity, efficiency and fairness."

A key focus for the new President of The Tax Institute, Ken Schurgott, will be the Federal Government's rewrite of tax law relating to the taxation of trust income.

The Government released a consultation paper late last year to give trustees, beneficiaries, tax professionals and other stakeholders an opportunity to comment on proposed changes which will culminate in a full rewrite of the provisions to take effect from 2013.

"As tax professionals, we have an obligation to apply our best efforts to make the tax system work for all - taxpayers, practitioners, and governments," Mr Schurgott said.

"We must ensure the tax system is reliable, efficient, readily understood and applied, and fair."

Mr Schurgott paid tribute to the outgoing president, Peter Murray, who he said served with great distinction.


Ken Schurgott, FTIA, is a Tax and Commercial Law Partner in the Sydney office of Schurgott Noolan Pty Ltd. He has extensive experience in all aspects of tax as well as business structuring, asset protection, succession planning and trust and estate law. He is also a member of the Advisory Panel to the Board of Taxation and has recently been a member of the Working Group on Managed Investment Trusts and is presently heavily engaged in consultation in relation to the reform of the taxation of trusts.

The Tax Institute is the country's leading professional association in tax. Its 13,000 members include tax agents, accountants and lawyers as well as tax practitioners in corporations, government and academia. The Tax Institute supports the tax profession and its members by holding more than 350 tax events each year. It conducts educational courses, develops publications, maintains an online information resource and provides a comprehensive tax library and research service. It works to continually improve tax law and its administration.

For more information contact: Robert Jeremenko, Senior Tax Counsel, The Tax Institute, 0468 987 300.