Discouraging retrospective legislative changes

There was a lot of "running around" in Federal Parliament last week, including with respect to tax legislation. As I mentioned previously, the Government introduced a significant amount of tax legislation into the House of Representatives. With respect to the Bill to enact the previously announced changes to the consolidation rights to future income rules and TOFA changes, last week saw the The Tax Institute's continuing advocacy against such retrospectivity result in that legislation being referred to the House of Representatives Standing Committee on Economics for further inquiry.

Peter Murray FTI (Life) (KPMG) and Andrew Hirst FTI (Director) (Greenwoods & Freehills) will join me in presenting evidence to the Committee today in Canberra. Members are welcome to watch or listen to the web stream of the proceedings.

The importance of tax laws to taxpayer decision making and behaviour cannot be underestimated. As such, The Tax Institute strongly supports working within a framework of guiding principles when introducing tax laws in order to provide taxpayers with greater certainty in relation to their tax liabilities and affairs. Of these principles, among the most fundamental is that legislative changes should not apply retrospectively except in very specific circumstances and after thorough public consultation.

We will be elaborating on this and other matters in the context of the consolidation and TOFA changes at the Committee hearing.

Robert Jeremenko

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.


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