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19 Apr 13 Preamble - 19 April 2013

This week The Tax Institute released the results of our member survey of election priorities. Thank you to all members who took the time to share their views.

We conducted an extensive media campaign to promote the results of the survey (please see ‘The Tax Institute in the media’ below) and we will continue to represent members’ interests in improving the tax system with key political stakeholders.

The question posed in the survey was: ‘With the federal election date set for 14 September 2013, what are the top three tax issues you regard as the most important for our political leaders to address?'

The responses show that the overwhelming priority amongst members is an equitable and sustainable superannuation system for the long-term. While the responses were gathered prior to the Government announcing its intended reforms to superannuation earlier this month, it is clear that if the superannuation tax system is to be changed, members want a real long term, sustainable plan for reform, not mere tinkering around the edges. When Governments tinker with the system this risks harming people's confidence in it and in putting their hard-earned money aside to save for their retirement.

Another top priority is the simplification of tax laws to alleviate the compliance burden on small business. The Government must continue the significant work that remains to be undertaken in this area. This includes exploring the possibility of creating a separate ‘small business entity’ structure; streamlining definitions and access to small business concessions; and simplifying carry-forward loss integrity measures.

Also featuring as a high priority is the reform of State taxes supported by increased funding from the GST.  It is clear that tax professionals want the Government to take a leadership position on State tax reform, which includes increasing reliance on the GST and abolishing inefficient and complicated State taxes, such as conveyance duties and insurance duties.

The survey also found strong support for modernisation of the complex trust tax law provisions, as well as greater certainty in the application of tax laws by legislating unenacted measures sooner after their announcement.

Our media release with further details of the survey can be accessed on our website.

Kind regards
Robert Jeremenko CTA