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15 Dec 11 Preamble - Thursday 15 December

This week’s Ministerial reshuffle has resulted in NSW Senator, The Hon Mark Arbib, being promoted to the role of Assistant Treasurer and Minister for Small Business.  The Minister also retains his Sport portfolio and is promoted to the additional role of Manager of Government Business in the Senate.

The former Assistant Treasurer, The Hon Bill Shorten MP, has been promoted to the workplace relations portfolio, but importantly retains the portfolios of Financial Services and Superannuation.

We look forward to continuing our open, constructive and productive working relationship with both the new Assistant Treasurer’s office and Minister Shorten’s office into the New Year.

Also this week, the Business Tax Reform Working Group released its interim report on the tax treatment of losses.  The report canvasses three options for the treatment of tax losses: introducing loss carry-back provisions; indexing tax losses to inflation; and reducing restrictions on businesses using tax losses (the continuity of ownership and same business tests).  What is most interesting about the report is that despite the working group’s terms of reference explicitly requiring revenue neutrality, it doesn’t detail business tax changes that might be made to pay for any of the loss changes.  Depending on the combination of options pursued, the cost of the changes and the offsetting savings measures could be substantial.  We look forward to participating in the consultation.

Below you can read about some of the Tax Policy team’s other activities this week.

Finally I would like to wish all members a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. The Tax Policy team will be back in the first week of 2012 and we can be contacted via Tax Policy.

Kind regards
Robert Jeremenko FTIA

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