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15 Oct 10 Preamble - Friday 15 October 2010

It is always at this time of year when everyone says things will be done "before Christmas". After the relative lull in consultations (due in part to the political uncertainty) things have certainly ramped up in the last two weeks, and the Taxation Institute's Tax Policy & Research team and our members have a lot of work on hands.

This week, the ATO released its finalised practice statement on the application of the ATO's unpaid present entitlements ruling (TR 2010/3) in the form of PS LA 2010/4. The Taxation Institute has engaged in discussions with the new Assistant Treasurer, the Hon Bill Shorten MP on this issue, as we remain concerned about the impact of the ruling and practice statement on a vast number of families and small businesses. We will keep members informed of progress on this front.

In addition, the Board of Taxation released position papers on aspects of the consolidation regime and Islamic financing, with submissions due in late November and December respectively.  We welcome contributions from members to craft our responses to these papers.

The Taxation Institute has submitted an extensive list of issues to be discussed at an ATO convened workshop on the new limited recourse borrowing rules for superannuation funds. We thank the members who contributed following our call for issues in TaxVine, and we look forward to reporting the outcomes of this meeting next month.

The National Tax Liaison Group will be meeting on Monday 18 October 2010, and is scheduled to meet once more before the year is out. The Taxation Institute has submitted a number of issues to be discussed at the ATO Tax Practitioner Forum, which will hold its final meeting for the year in November.  The ongoing difficulties suffered by tax practitioners with the Tax Agent Portal are causing widespread concern and have been raised with the ATO on numerous occasions. The Taxation Institute is continuing to advocate for better systems to meet the needs of busy practitioners.  

As the decorators at city department stores are keen to remind us, Christmas is just around the corner. There certainly is a lot to do before we can enjoy our summer holidays.

Please see below for details of other activities this week.

Kind regards
Deepti Pation ATIA and Tamera Lang ATIA

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