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27 Aug 08 Assistant Treasurer's address to the Victorian Tax Bar

On 22 August 2008, the Assistant Treasurer and Minister for Competition and Consumer Policy, Chris Bowen, gave an address to the Victorian Tax Bar in which he referred to the release of the Tax Design Review Panel's report "Better Tax Design and Implementation". The Assistant Treasurer said that the Government is accepting each of the report's 26 recommendations and that he has asked Treasury to commence implementation of the recommendations.

Mr Bowen said: "From now on, the Government will seek to consult on tax changes at both the policy design and legislative development stages. Each of those consultations should last for at least four weeks. The Panel recommends that the early consultation include engaging paid private sector advisers which will have benefits for the quality of tax law. In the case of substantive tax changes, a tri-partite team led by the Treasury should be established including tax officers and private sector experts which has carriage of the measure throughout the design phase." Budgetary and confidential policy matters will be excepted.

Mr Bowen said that the Government will consider the Panel's suggestion that the Commissioner of Taxation should be given power to modify the application of tax laws as he sees fit to make them conform to his understanding of Parliament's intention. "I have asked Treasury to report back to me on this," Mr Bowen said.

For a copy of the Assistant Treasurer's address, go here

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