On Tuesday 5 April 2011, The Tax Institute was quoted in the Australian Financial Review: ”Remodel of trust rules on agenda” on the taxation of trusts. In the article, The Tax Institute says that it is important to ensure the ATO and Treasury are in tune, as trustees will need practical certainty for 2011 tax returns. We were also quoted on that day in the Australian Financial Review: “Project Wickenby review on way” in relation to the Inspector-General’s work program. In the article, we say that we are concerned that the ATO benchmarks are pretty broad, for example, they don’t differentiate between regional areas. The resulting ATO reviews are a daunting experience and create a lot of work and expense.
Also on 5 April the online current affairs site, The Punch, published an opinion article from us in relation to tax reform and the tax forum "When burnouts get more attention than tax reform". To view the article, click here.
The Tax Institute was quoted on the front page of The Age on Thursday 7 April 2011: “Lib bid to tax family trusts”. The article relates to the Shadow Treasurer's suggestion of taxing trusts as companies. In the article, The Tax Institute says that while it is good to have a Shadow Treasurer speaking about tax, the concept of taxing trusts as companies has been rejected by the recent Henry Tax Review as well as the former Coalition Government. To view the article, click here. On the same issue, The Tax Institute was also quoted in the Australian Financial Review: "Tax trusts as companies, says Hockey", where we added that our immediate focus is certainty in the area of trust tax law and that we are working with Treasury on this. The Australian Financial Review also quoted us in the front page article: “Boardrooms man barricades against invasive ATO”. The article discussed large business audits and the ATO seeking further information from businesses on uncertain tax positions. We commented that there is a need to be careful to not let this be the beginning of the end of self-assessment, and we don't want to get to a position where the ATO is overburdening companies with information requests. Would the ATO be able to use the wealth of information as a result of its requests?
The Tax Institute is quoted today, Friday 8 April 2011, in the Herald Sun: “Greens call to crack down on $1 billion company-car scheme in May Budget”. The article relates to the Greens FBT and cars proposal. In the article, The Tax Institute says that a flat statutory FBT rate for cars would remove any incentive that may exist for people to drive further just to access the next lower tax level. To view the article, click here. The Tax Institute is also quoted today in the Australian Financial Review in relation to the mining tax and ATO consultation ahead of draft legislation. In the article, we say that the ATO's moves to issue draft early guidance at the same time as draft legislation is a fantastic development that should be extended to other types of legislation. It is a vast improvement on waiting for legislation to receive the Royal Assent before issuing guidance.