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In an address entitled "Keeping Australia’s Economy Strong: Reshaping The Governance of Australia’s Tax System", made to the Australian Economic Forum, Darling Park, Sydney, NSW on 5 August 2010, the Assistant Treasurer, Senator Nick Sherry, announced that a re-elected Labor Government would establish an advisory board at the ATO, to be known as the Tax System Advisory Board.

The Tax System Advisory Board would inform the Commissioner and ATO Executive Committee on the strategy, direction, culture, organisation, management, compliance planning, staff profile and information technology plans at the ATO. It would also provide a new, direct and in-built voice for the business and taxpayer communities in relation to ATO decision-making and culture.

The Tax System Advisory Board, which will be similar to a strategic private-sector style board, would be made up of non-government members and will begin with a review of the ATO’s management practices to ensure the highest level of corporate governance.

However, the Commissioner would remain the independent head of the ATO with responsibility to undertake the administration of aspects of Australia’s tax system and deliver the ATO’s commitments to government and manage the ATO as a government agency.

The Assistant Treasurer also said that a re-elected Labor Government would also recommit to a principles-based approach to tax design to deliver a simple, transparent, responsive, accountable and accessible tax system, including continuing work to deliver Australia a single modern Income Tax Assessment Act.

Finally, the Assistant Treasurer said that a re-elected Labor Government would boost and reshape the role of the Board of Taxation by empowering it, in consultation with the government, to initiate its own reviews to examine how current tax policies and laws are operating. The Government would also adjust its membership as necessary to ensure it is correctly balanced and fully representative.

For a summary of the address, go here

For the full address, go here


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