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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:

  • Tax-driven Off-Market Buybacks (TOMBs): Time to Lay Them to Rest

    shopping_cart Add to cart 01 Jul 2020

    Tax-driven Off-Market Buybacks (TOMBs) have been used by large Australian companies to distribute cash and stream franking (tax) credits to low-tax-rate shareholders. While small in number, the amounts are significant, involving an estimated cost to government tax revenue in 2018 of around $2 billion. This paper reviews the current and historical evolution of the regulation and taxation of TOMBs and argues that there are fundamental problems with corporate use of TOMBs. These include inequitable treatment of shareholders, government tax revenue costs, inconsistency with good principles of taxation, arbitrary tax determinations and practices which are difficult to justify. Since corporates can distribute cash to shareholders using other, quite standard, capital management techniques, we argue that a social cost-benefit analysis leads to the conclusion that TOMBs should be prohibited.

  • Fostering Australian R&D activity through industry-university collaboration

    shopping_cart Add to cart 01 Jul 2020

    The R&D Tax Incentive provides a legislative framework that aims to reward and stimulate investment in Australian R&D. Achieving the policy aim currently requires industry to navigate complex requirements that can sometimes elude the most sophisticated R&D participants. In such cases, support for industry comes from advisory specialists who assist with registration of the R&D activities and related Incentive claims via the taxation system.

  • Promoting and Protecting the Economic Outcomes of Older Partnered Women and Widows: Challenges for Australia’s Retirement Income System

    shopping_cart Add to cart 01 Jul 2020

    Historically, retirement income policy has responded to women’s relatively limited ability to secure an independent retirement income through either a state age pension or a surviving spouse benefit, payable to widows upon death of their partner. The shift towards accumulation superannuation schemes in countries such as Australia has made surviving spouse pensions less relevant and left many women financially dependent on their partner in retirement. The economic risks faced by many women within retired couple households as a result of this shift have been neglected by policy makers, at least in part because of the pervasive assumption that intra-household resource allocations are beyond the purview of government. This paper aims to address the resulting policy gap by examining two broad approaches to protect economic outcomes for partnered older women in Australia’s superannuation-based retirement income system. One approach features measures aimed at enhancing women’s capacity to influence decision-making on household superannuation wealth; and the other focuses on regulatory settings that can influence who owns superannuation wealth within the household. We conclude 214 (2020) 35 AUSTRALIAN TAX FORUM by identifying specific opportunities to address imbalances in the entitlements of older Australian women to the superannuation assets held in their households.

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