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As you know, Sunday 2 May 2010 saw the release of the report of the Henry tax review and the Government's initial response. President David Williams and I participated in the 'lock-up' briefing on the report in Canberra. When the information was made public, the Institute issued a press release outlining our position on the report and the initial response. On Sunday Members will have also received an overview of the key points, prepared by CCH, in a special edition of TAXVINE.

Whilst the Government's response is a small first step, the remaining Henry review recommendations provide a blueprint for reform of Australia's tax system over the next decade.

On Monday 3 May 2010, we publicly called on the Government to bite the bullet on one of the key recommendations in the Henry review, which was to make tax time simpler through pre-filling of income tax returns. Whilst the Government hinted that an announcement on this was imminent, we remain perplexed that it wasn't announced as part of the initial response. The Henry review was about making our tax system simpler, fairer and more equitable and this would be an important step forward.

The many specialist Institute sub-committees are now examining the raft of remaining recommendations in the Henry review. Once we have identified the priority issues, the Taxation Institute will be actively engaging with the Government on the recommendations to ensure a mature debate on the reform of Australia's tax system. We will also be participating in the discussions with the Government's consultation panel on the new resource rent tax, including with respect to ensuring that it operates efficiently and doesn't increase complexity.

Next week sees the release of the 2010-11 Federal Budget, where we will again be in the Government ‘lock-up’ briefing so that we can prepare a special TAXVINE for publication to Members on the night (Tuesday,11 May 2010).

Kind regards
Robert Jeremenko FTIA

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