Recently the Government released the GST Distribution Review Panel's report. Amongst other important options, including possible changes to mining royalties and the Minerals Resource Rent Tax, the report is yet another well-reasoned plea for the Federal Government to permit a debate on the rate and base of the GST.
The Tax Institute has long called for the hard work to start now such that we can achieve a national plan for the direction of tax reform. This must include the Commonwealth and the States and Territories acting together.
Abolishing inefficient State taxes like stamp duty on homes must be considered in the context of discussing the entirety of the GST.
There is no point tinkering with one aspect of the GST, like the imported goods threshold, when time and again history has proven that tinkering with tax systems causes more harm than good. The only way to ensure that real reforms are achieved is to look at the tax system as a whole and that includes the whole of the GST.
Robert Jeremenko CTA 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.