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25 Jan 13 Preamble - 25 January 2013

Welcome to the first TaxVine for 2013. I hope that all members had a restful time over the Christmas/New Year period.

Politically, this year carries with it the uncertainty of a Federal election. In terms of the Parliament and the timeframe for its legislative program, this means that there will likely be fewer sitting days in which to debate and pass many important tax measures.

This makes it all the more important for the Government to ensure that the plethora of announced but unenacted tax measures is dealt with as a priority.

The Tax Institute has led on this issue and we have ensured that the Assistant Treasurer has been made well aware of members’ concerns.  Our strong advocacy has resulted in a joint meeting between the Minister and the professional bodies to discuss prioritising some of the outstanding measures. The Minister’s early response has been positive and we welcome his attempts to move some of the backlog.

Unfortunately, in the race to balance the Budget over recent years, the Government has rushed a number of new tax changes. As a result, other pre-existing priorities were pushed down the list. Many of these were announced by press release, creating uncertainty and hampering the ability of businesses to make informed investment decisions.

Treasury’s latest forward work program details approximately 40 tax measures that they are working on. However, Treasury has told us that they have a list of more than 100 tax announcements that are yet to be legislated. The Australian Financial Review reported on this issue this week and we provided comments for the story (see media summary below).

We will continue to pursue the outstanding measures as another priority item this year.

As always, please feel free to contact me or either of the Tax Counsel in the team: Deepti Paton CTA or Stephanie Caredes CTA.  We look forward to a successful and enjoyable year ahead.

Kind regards
Robert Jeremenko CTA