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18 Mar 11 Preamble - Friday 18 March 2011

This week the Tax Institute formally responded to the Government's consultation paper on its election commitment to introduce a Tax System Advisory Board.  It is proposed that the oversight board will allow the Tax Office to benefit from a wider range of perspectives and experiences obtained in managing large complex organisations, without inpinging on the Tax Commissioner's statutory independence to administer the tax laws.

The Tax Institute welcomes the Government’s initiative to set up a board to assist and advise the Tax Office.  An effective board of this nature will assist greatly in bringing a taxpayer perspective to bear on the significant organisational decisions facing the Tax Commissioner.  It is essential that the Tax Office has access to and considers the taxpayer perspective in the context of making significant governance decisions, in order to ensure that Tax Office policies are appropriately tailored for the benefit of taxpayers.

The Tax System Advisory Board should be established as an Executive Board that is accountable to the Treasurer for carrying out its function of providing advice to the Commissioner.  This will ensure that Board members are able to give frank and fearless advice to the Commissioner without fear nor favour.  Our preferred option is not one in which the Commissioner chairs the Board, ensuring maximum flexibility in the operation of the Board's advisory functions.

Please see below for further activities this week.

Regards

Robert Jeremenko FTIA


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