Published on 01 Mar 15
by "AUSTRALIAN TAX FORUM" JOURNAL ARTICLE
This article examines public participation in tax reform in Australia using an analysis of the publically available submissions made in response to the Treasury discussion paper, “Reform to deductions for education expenses”. The discussion paper was released by Treasury in May 2013 in relation to the $2,000 cap for education expense deductions. The introduction of the proposed reform was subsequently deferred and then abandoned by succeeding governments, but not before an unprecedented campaign was launched by a collective alliance of taxpayers and their representative organisations. This study uses regulation theories to frame the examination of the public response to the discussion paper and the explicit issues raised by interest groups in their formal submissions. More specifically, the research question considers: how do the Australian public participate in the tax consultation process? We also consider the appropriateness of the questions included in the discussion paper and the consultation process more broadly. Findings indicate support for private interest theory and also highlight a lack of transparency and feedback in this Treasury consultation.