Leading the fight against retrospective tax law

Early last week the House of Representatives Standing Committee on Economics inquired into the Bill containing the retrospective changes to TOFA and the consolidation rights to future income rules.

The Tax Institute was the only professional association to take the fight against retrospectivity to the Committee in the form of a detailed submission. We were also the only witnesses (with Treasury) called to present evidence in person to the Committee.

A big thank you to both Peter Murray FTI (Life) (KPMG) and Andrew Hirst FTI (Greenwoods & Freehills) who joined me at the Committee hearing and lent their expert knowledge. Please refer to Hansard for the draft transcript of the hearing. The Committee will table its report including recommendations concerning the future of the Bill on 18 June and I will keep members updated.

Last week I also attended the bi-annual Treasury stakeholder consultation meeting. I led discussion on the topic of "tax policy and legislation consultation processes". I took the opportunity to raise members' concerns with various extremely short consultation periods on proposed tax law changes.

I also discussed the issue of stalled tax reforms and suggested areas of improvement for Treasury when consulting on policy changes, such as with the next round of the Business Tax Working Group. In addition, I spoke on the prevalence of retrospective legislative change and its abhorrence to tax professionals and the wider taxpaying community.

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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