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Urgent call for guidelines in mass marketed tax effective schemes

Publication date: 26 Jun 01 | Source: THE TAX INSTITUTE

In an interim report released yesterday by the Senate's Economic Reference Committee, it was revealed there was evidence that the Australian Tax Office was late in closing down or warning the public not to get involved with the schemes.

While the Taxation Institute welcomes the interim report, the President has called for the Commissioner to notify participants in these old tax schemes what their penalties will actually be. These taxpayers are currently in a state of uncertainty about their fate.

On 26 April 2001, the Commissioner announced that some scheme participants would be able to access reduced penalties.

The Taxation Institute of Australia is calling for the Commissioner to uphold this commitment and publicly announce details of those guidelines.

"We are asking the Commissioner to tell Australians where he will draw the line," said Ms McCleary. "Interest payable on tax debts is to be reduced to some investments in mass marketed tax effective schemes. Clarification on these guidelines is urgently required to ensure certainty."

"Taxpayers may not even be aware they are potential targets. The Commissioner is obligated to provide details of how the ATO is going to administer the announced penalty interest concessions in relation to investors."