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Tax reform: Priorities and prospects


Australia’s Future Tax System (AFTS) Review (the Henry Review) has provided a strategic direction for the future development of the tax and social transfer systems. This article considers the priorities and prospects for further tax reform in the coming few years. The author discusses previous tax reform processes in Australia, tax analysis, key drivers and their reform implications, and recent and current trends in tax reform overseas.

The article then examines Australia’s existing tax circumstances and strategies, constraints, especially political, on medium-term reform, and medium-term priorities and prospects for tax reform. Several reform possibilities are then examined, including tax on mainstream savings, retirement savings and income, land and land transfers, alcohol taxation, road pricing and funding, financial services, and achieving a more neutral business tax base.

The article then discusses the major structural tax reform proposals of the AFTS Review, and concludes with observations on the tax reform process.

Author profile:

Greg Smith
Greg is an Adjunct Professor at the Australian Catholic University and a Senior Fellow at the Melbourne Law School. He is also a member of the Commonwealth Grants Commission, CEDA Council on Economic Policy, and the Government's Specialist Reference Group on the Taxation of Multinational Enterprises in Australia. He was formerly a head of the Federal Treasury Revenue and Budget Groups, and a member of the 'Henry' Future Tax System Review panel. Greg has recently been appointed Chair of the Grants Commission. Current at 14 August 2014 Click here to expand/collapse more articles by Greg SMITH.

This was presented at The Great Tax Debate.

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Individual sessions

The Great Tax Debate - Panel B

Author(s):  Greg SMITH,  Henry Ergas,  Adam Creighton,  Cassandra Goldie

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The Great Tax Debate - Panel A

Author(s):  Mathias Cormann,  Rob Oakeshott

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A process to implement a tax reform agenda

Author(s):  Rob Oakeshott

Materials from this session:

The principles underpinning an efficient and equitable tax system

Author(s):  Mathias Cormann

Materials from this session:

The inefficiencies in and distrortions caused by our tax system

Author(s):  Henry Ergas

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The Henry Review - A liberal critique

Author(s):  Adam Creighton

Materials from this session:

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