On Thursday 28 July, The Tax Institute had an opinion article published on p67 of the Australian Financial Review: 'Carbon Pricing looks sound', in which we lead public comment on the carbon price package and its interaction with the existing tax system, ahead of the draft legislation being released. We were also quoted on page 6 of the Australian Financial Review on 28 July with regards to the impending announcement of further details of the Government's Tax Forum. In the article we reinforce the need for a long-term view on tax reform; tax professionals don't want the two day forum to be a flash in the pan - it needs to be a structured and ongoing discussion on reform. This includes having an unrestricted debate covering all aspects of tax reform including social welfare. We also stress that preparatory work is needed and we point to The Tax Institute's own Great Tax Debate on 31 August as a platform for experts to debate reforms. From this we will create working groups on possible reform options that will add to the two day event the government is holding.
Later the same day, Thursday 28 July, the Government released both the draft legislation dealing with the carbon price package and the discussion paper for the October tax forum.
The Tax Institute issued a media release on 28 July entitled: 'Tax reform in two days? Tell 'em they're dreaming'.
We were subsequently quoted in Smart Company: 'Tax forum puts carbon tax, GST on agenda, but experts say two days still not enough' please click here to read this article.
On Friday 29 July The Tax Institute has extensive media comment across the national newspapers. The Australian Financial Review front page article 'Swan flags corporate tax overhaul' (continued on page 10), refers to our comments and quotes us extensively. We also comment in the article entitled: 'Incentives to go bush on agenda' on page 16, and in: 'Levy breaks to boost equity financing' on page 12. In the 'What they said..' column on page 18, we are quoted as saying: "The biggest fear for tax professionals is that once the two days are over, the only tangible output will be a warm glow and a communiqué calling for more discussion."
In The Australian, our comments are covered in the following articles: ‘Wayne Swan resists pressure to put GST on reform agenda’ please click here to read this release and 'Spot the missing guest on the roll-up's invitation list' please click here to read this release.
Also this week The Tax Institute was quoted in the Weekend Financial Review on 23-24 July: 'Tax office pinpoints $86m in suspect claims', in which we comment on the reported increase in suspect refund claims identified by the ATO. We say that the ATO has boosted its fraud assessment abilities and it is fair enough that people trying to evade the law are identified. The large number of refunds paid out to date this year is an improvement on last year's efforts that were affected by the Change Program. We encourage taxpayers with complex affairs to seek advice from a tax professional before lodging their return.