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The new bank tax: law by decree

Publication date: 30 May 17 | Source: THE TAX INSTITUTE

Date: 30 May 2017

The Tax Institute is fundamentally opposed to the use of legislation by Ministerial decree which is what the new bank tax legislation amounts to. 

Professor Robert Deutsch, Senior Tax Counsel says, “The newly released Major Bank Levy is mercifully brief but there is a reason for that. Most of the hard work will be done by “legislative instrument”. At any given time, the relevant Minister will have the power to work out a range of matters relating to the calculation of the amount to which the Bank Levy will apply”. 

Broadly, the Bill allows the Minister to “provide for any matter relating to the method for working out (the total liabilities amount)”. 

“There is something distinctly uncomfortable about a law that says - generally this is how you work it out but the Minister can tell you what the precise rules are as we go and can even change the rules as he or she has previously applied them”, says Professor Deutsch. 

“This seems to be a case where the draftsman did not have clear directions and so has left the detail to be worked out later”. 

ENDS 

For more information, please contact:

Stephanie Conway, Media Relations Contact: 02 8223 0011 

The Tax Institute is Australia’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.