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Let’s get tax reform back on track

Publication date: 17 Feb 16 | Source: THE TAX INSTITUTE

Date: 17 February 2016

The Tax Institute calls for tax reform to get back on track: The Tax Institute believes the government’s decision to take critical issues off the table and abandon the white paper process is a lost opportunity to make the sort of structural tax changes essential to Australia’s long-term prosperity.

The Tax Institute firmly believes holistic tax reform is imperative to ensure we have a sustainable tax system. Piecemeal, ad hoc changes of the type we have seen in the past are not the solution.

Despite the Coalition government's commitment to meaningful debate on tax reform when it took office in September 2013, the 'debate' has since dissipated into a daily flurry of attention-grabbing headlines on isolated issues and a narrow discussion about choosing to reform one tax over another. What promised to be a methodical and structured approach to tax reform has now been abandoned.

The Tax Institute's president, Arthur Athanasiou said:

"This is a disappointing outcome for the nation.  Ensuring our tax system is fair, simple, efficient and sustainable should be at the top of the government's priority list.  By effectively abandoning the white paper process, we now await a future government to achieve meaningful reform.

“More comprehensive Treasury modelling involving all policy options being considered should be undertaken. While we welcome appropriate cuts to income tax and have suggested ways negative gearing could be reformed, cherry-picking reform options without looking at the complete package doesn’t assist the public to make an informed decision about tax reform.

“The Tax Institute implores the government to give clear direction on where to from here for tax reform,” said Mr Athanasiou.


For more information contact:

Noel Rowland, CEO, The Tax Institute: 0414 278 279

Stephanie Conway, The Tax Institute: 02 8223 0011

The Tax Institute is the country’s leading professional association and educator in tax. Its 12,000 members include tax agents, accountants and lawyers as well as tax practitioners in corporations, government and academia. The Tax Institute supports the tax profession through education and professional development and works to continually improve tax law and its administration.