On Tuesday 7 February The Tax Institute was quoted in the Australian Financial Review: "Government blasted for dividend handicap" in relation to the company dividends from profits issue (s254T) and also on that day in: "Super funds urge green to reconsider" in relation to the Greens' superannuation proposals.
With regards to s254T, we say that the uncertainty means investors could miss out on franked dividends: “You’ve got public companies that don’t even know what dividends they can pay”. “Business hates nothing more than uncertainty – they’ll often roll with things that aren’t in their favour, but things can’t be uncertain.” We say the bungle highlighted the disjunction between Treasury and the Tax Office, a cause of extreme frustration. “Why are we in a situation where the Tax Office is putting out draft interpretations that are quite boldly contradicting what Treasury is saying the intent of the legislation is? Even if they’re not talking to each other, they can see through public documents that they’re at odds.”
On the Greens' super proposals, we say any changes to the tax system needed to take into account compliance costs. “Compliance costs and workability are paramount. A change that exponentially changes compliance costs is not one you would readily embrace”.
On Wednesday 8 February The Courier Mail published an opinion piece by The Tax Institute on road user charges “Ken Henry’s suggestion of congestion tax could lead to happy commuters. To view the article, please click here.