The Government has shown a willingness to engage in exploring the possibility of tax reform. It was Treasurer Swan who commissioned the once in a generation, root and branch review of our tax system in 2008: the Henry Review.
But there are big differences between exploring, promising and delivering on tax reform. The recent loss carry-back measure is an example of a positive reform that resulted from some thorough analysis. However, the scrapping of the promised company tax cut means that business is rightly sceptical at the moment about the Government's bona fides with regards to following through and actually stumping up for tax reforms.
The next stage of the Business Tax Working Group process, with proper open consultation, is a sign that the examination of potential tax reforms will continue - this is a good thing that The Tax Institute will be extensively involved in.
Robert Jeremenko is Senior Tax Counsel of The Tax Institute.
The Tax Institute is Australia’s leading professional association in tax. Its 13,000 members include tax agents, accountants and lawyers as well as tax practitioners in corporations, government and academia.