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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:

  • A new-knowledge approach to corporate income tax efficiency

    shopping_cart Add to cart 01 Dec 2020

    This article adopts a new-knowledge approach to tax policy analysis as a means of exploring the efficiency of the corporate income tax. The foundation stone of this approach is the idea that new knowledge and wealth creation are coextensive. The
    idea that new knowledge and wealth creation are coextensive is already inherent in some aspects of tax law (e.g. R&D regimes), economics (e.g. endogenous growth theory) and fundamental physics (i.e. constructor theory). From a corporate income tax perspective, the implications that flow from the new-knowledge approach include: that knowledge is by far the most important factor of production; that economic rent (or pure profit) is ultimately nothing more than a function of new knowledge; and that tax efficiency should be recast in terms of the excess burden placed on knowledge production. Accordingly, this article seeks to explain the negative impact of the corporate income tax on knowledge production and, by extension, sustainable productivity growth.

  • Water taxes: a systematic literature review with application to Australia and New Zealand

    shopping_cart Add to cart 01 Dec 2020

    Water is a scarce resource in many parts of the world while other parts of the world have abundant water, but it is of relatively poor quality. In Australia there is strong competition for water, which was managed through engineering works to control its supply until water markets were adopted in the1990s. By way of contrast, water is abundant in many places in New Zealand, but there are issues with its quality. While there is significant professional and academic literature regarding these and other water issues, most of it ignores the effect of tax.

  • From uncertainty to objectivity: Reforming tax deductions for repair costs in Australia

    shopping_cart Add to cart 01 Dec 2020

    In Australia, the cost of repairing an asset used to produce assessable income is immediately deductible under s 25-10 of the Income Tax Assessment Act 1997. To claim this deduction, the repairs must not be of a capital nature. The courts have developed three tests to distinguish repair costs from capital expenses. The first test, the ‘initial repair test’ is fairly sound. However, the other two tests, which focus on replacing and improving assets, are far less reliable. This article begins with a general discussion on repairs and critiques the three tests used for characterising repair costs. It explores the rationale for allowing immediate tax deductions for repair costs and the significant difficulty involved in producing coherent and consistent tax outcomes in practice. Next, the article demonstrates this difficulty through a survey of case law, arguing that the current rules need to be clarified. Lastly, the article recommends that new tax rules be adopted to deal with repair costs, to complement the existing regimes governing depreciating assets and capital works, simplify tax administration and reduce compliance costs.

  • Tax complexity in Australia – A survey-based comparison to the OECD average

    shopping_cart Add to cart 01 Dec 2020

    This article comprehensively reviews Australia’s corporate income tax complexity as faced by multinational corporations (MNCs) and compares it to the average of the remaining OECD countries. Building on unique survey data, I find that the Australian tax code is considerably more complex than the OECD average, which is mainly due to overly complex anti-avoidance legislation, such as regulations on transfer pricing, general anti-avoidance or controlled foreign corporations (CFC). In contrast, Australia’s tax framework, which covers processes and features such as tax law enactment or tax audits, is close to the OECD average. A more detailed analysis yields further interesting insights. For example, excessive details in the tax code and the time between the announcement of a tax law change and its enactment turn out to be serious issues in Australia relative to the remaining OECD countries. 

  • Spoiling Oktoberfest – Expat´s hosts in the wage-tax-crosshair

    shopping_cart Add to cart 01 Dec 2020

    When sending employees to work in Germany, international operating enterprises face various challenges. Articles about the taxation of the employees on that score are rife. Since January 2020 an amendment to the German Income Tax Act (EStG) effectively extends the scope of withholding obligations on companies operating on German soil by adding an “arm´s length factor” on supposed wage-payments. In this paper I will outline the rules for wage tax-withholding of secondments to Germany
    and take a closer look at the effects caused by the amendment.

  • The impact of increased tax transparency via public country-bycountry reporting on corporate tax aggressiveness: Evidence from the European Union

    shopping_cart Add to cart 01 Dec 2020

    This paper exploits a unique setting to examine the impact of public country-bycountry reporting (CBCR) on the tax aggressiveness of multinational firms. The European Parliament introduced new rules in 2013 requiring the public disclosure, on a country-by-country basis, of certain tax-related information by European Union (EU) banks. Enhanced transparency via public CBCR is regarded as one way of increasing pressure on multinationals to better align the payment of corporate taxes with their true economic existence in each country they operate in. Based on a hand-collected sample of 79 multinational EU banks, no evidence is found of a reduction in tax avoidance in response to public CBCR and a similar result is found using a differences-in-differences research design with a control group of 46 multinational insurers.

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