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Australian Tax Forum is a prestigious quarterly journal with the objective of providing discussion on issues in tax policy, law and reform amongst tax professionals.

It is an essential reference source for understanding and contributing to the development of taxation systems worldwide. Australian Tax Forum is aimed at those who want to influence the future development of tax policy. It is an important journal for tax policy makers, academics and libraries.

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Articles from the current issue:

  • The tax on feminine hygiene products: Is this reasonable policy?

    shopping_cart Add to cart 01 Oct 2017

    This article considers the current debate surrounding the application of broad-based consumption taxes such as the goods and services tax (GST) levied in Australia to feminine hygiene products. In particular, it considers whether the tax on feminine hygiene products is reasonable policy. In considering this debate, reference is made to the current legislative framework and history of applying GST to feminine hygiene products. It also considers some brief international comparisons and the competing arguments for and against taxing feminine hygiene products.

  • Political connections, corporate governance and effective tax rates in Malaysia

    shopping_cart Add to cart 01 Oct 2017

    This study examines whether political connections and corporate governance influence effective tax rates of public listed companies (PLCs) in Malaysia. The sample consists of 541 firm-year observations from seven industries listed in the Kuala Lumpur Stock Exchange (now known as Bursa Malaysia) covering three years from 2010 to 2012. The main findings are robust measures relating to political connections, corporate governance and effective tax rates. The findings reveal compelling evidence that Malaysia’s PLCs with high governmental interest which are managed by politically connected CEOs and firms with weak audit governance are more likely to have lower effective tax rates. Foreign institutional ownership and governmental ownership are two determinants that play a monitoring role in managing effective tax rates. The study complements existing literature on effective tax rates by identifying the main factors that influence effective tax rates in PLCs.

  • Should the superannuation access age be raised?

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    Australia’s superannuation system is composed of individual retirement accounts made of compulsory and voluntary contributions as well as their investment returns. A feature of the superannuation system is that funds can generally only be withdrawn once a taxpayer has reached their preservation age, currently legislated to increase to 60. However, there have been various calls to raise the superannuation access age beyond 60. This could be accomplished by further raising the preservation age or by utilising punitive tax rates on superannuation withdrawals made by those below a set age. Proponents of raising the superannuation access age claim that such an increase would lead to economic benefits due to it increasing mature workforce participation. However, this article argues that such benefits are likely to be limited in nature, and more importantly, will lead to widespread disadvantages, including a marked reduction in the proportion of people’s lives where they are simultaneously both in retirement and in good health. The article concludes by arguing that unless there is a dramatic change of present or anticipated circumstances, raising the superannuation access age would in net terms be a negative policy move.

  • An assessment of the Code of Professional Conduct under the TASA 2009 - six years on

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    A significant body of research has developed over the last sixty years concerning the factors that influence and impact taxpayer compliance. In particular, a number of recent studies have examined tax practitioners’ ethical behaviour and the implications this has for taxpayer compliance. However, fewer studies have conducted systematic empirical research into tax practitioner ethics in Australia, and more specifically with regards to the Code of Professional Conduct under the Tax Agent Services Act 2009 (Cth), since its operation from March 2010.

  • The role of the tax administrator in tax policy development

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    The purpose of this article is to explore the role of the Commissioner of Taxation in policy development and law design. The methodology used is to consider the approaches adopted by other countries in relation to these functions, as well as taking an historical perspective of the ebb and flow of this role in Australia over the last few decades. The thesis presented is that the voice of administration is a necessary ingredient to good policy development, particularly on administration issues and as a key contributor to good law design. The concept of integrated tax design is strongly supported but it must be underpinned by appropriate capabilities, and seamless and sound working relationships. The principles of consultation, collaboration and co-design (user-based design) are also regarded as positive influences in sustainable tax reform, but they require all parties to have a commitment to the national interest.

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