All eyes were on the Treasurer's comments yesterday in relation to "where we are at" with the nation’s finances. For the most part it will come as little surprise to members that tax revenues are broadly down and that many taxpayers have significant carry-forward losses. Those members operating in the patchwork economy will know firsthand that for some sectors, times are tough.
We have for months now urged the Government to not allow the inevitable focus on today's numbers to derail the longer term tax reform project that will yield significant benefits in years to come. It is now, when we should be laying the ground-work and setting out a plan for implementing the vision crafted by the Henry Review panel, so that we can begin to effect reforms as they become affordable.
With such a vision in mind, we recently lodged our pre-Budget submission with Treasury setting out The Tax Institute's key tax reform priorities for the 2012-13 income year. Broadly, our submission called for:
- State Taxes Reform;
- An independent Tax Reform Commission to develop the Henry Review vision into a detailed, workable and affordable set of reforms;
- The simplification of taxation of trusts project to remain on track;
- The professional standards regime for financial planners providing tax advice to commence as announced by 1 July 2012;
- Greater flexibility in contributing to superannuation, and an increase in contributions caps; and
- Shoring-up of Treasury resources to enhance essential industry consultation.
We will continue to urge the Government to keep an eye on medium and longer-term tax reform priorities as Budget night draws near.
Please see below for details of other activities this week.
Deepti Paton ATIA and Stephanie Caredes ATIA