Source: Australian Tax Forum Journal Article
Published Date: 1 Dec 2015
A number of highly visible projects have been undertaken in Australia since the early 1990s in an endeavour to simplify the income tax. Most of the focus has been on linguistic measures " changing the words used in drafting tax statutes, the way that text is presented to readers and the degree of precision with which rules are expressed. This article focuses on a different and neglected source of confusion " the way individual regimes within the tax legislation interact. Drafting experiments do not, and cannot, address this source of confusion, but it remains as great a source of difficulty as the form in which text is prepared and presented. This article analyses and classifies common instances of the problem, explores how they arise and examines the kinds of complexity that results. The article argues that new projects focusing on structural design can accomplish much, perhaps even more, than past projects focusing on language.
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