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Two days too little for government’s tax meeting

Publication date: 21 Mar 11 | Source: THE TAX INSTITUTE

The Gillard Government risks short-changing Australia with its stripped-back tax summit, the country’s leading professional association in tax said today.

The Tax Institute says the issues around tax reform are too important to be rushed over a two-day discussion.

It repeated its call for a measured, structured approach with the establishment of specialist sub-committees to undertake the “heavy lifting” of preliminary reports, well before the summit convenes in October.

“We don’t have an issue with the Tax Forum being delayed well past its original June deadline – we do have a problem with its compressed nature,” said Senior Tax Counsel Robert Jeremenko.

“The Government spends a good part of a year working up its budget, and yet it expects tax reform to be sorted in two days.

“As The Tax institute advised the Government last year, there must be a structured approach with a series of working groups engaged well before the tax summit,”

The plan to allow taxpayers to upload comments to a pre-summit website would be window dressing if not accompanied by a process that actively engaged tax specialists on a program of work.  
Mr Jeremenko repeated that the agenda must permit a discussion of the GST, to enable discussion about options for eliminating the most inefficient and worst-designed imposts like state insurance taxes and stamp duty on property sales.  

“In his statement yesterday, the Treasurer has ruled out an increase in the rate of GST but not discussion of the GST at the tax forum and the need to look at options for reforming inefficient state taxes,” Mr Jeremenko said.


The Tax Institute is Australia’s leading professional association in tax.  It aims to improve the taxation system and the delivery of tax services through education, sharing of information and consultation.

For more information:
Robert Jeremenko, Senior Tax Counsel, The Tax Institute,   T: 02 8223 0011, M 0468 987 300

Craig Regan, Lighthouse Communications, 02 9692 8811, 0408 448 527.