Seventy years ago, Australia, a newly independent nation state, was at war.
The 1940s saw intense bombing raids on Darwin, and submarine attacks on Sydney and Newcastle. Thanks to new taxes and procedures necessitated by the war, there was a considerable growth in tax revenue. In 1942, uniform tax legislation was introduced and the Commonwealth assumed responsibility for levying income tax.
The following year, a Sydney accountant named Harold Irving decided that it was time to try to improve the position of tax agents, tax law and its administration. Against this backdrop, The Tax Institute was founded.
As Australia’s tax landscape became more complex, Irving was concerned with the dissemination of information surrounding taxation to registered tax agents. He selected a provisional committee of colleagues, and the first meeting of what became The Tax Institute was held on 16 July 1943.
Later that year, the Commonwealth Tax Agents Board was created, and tax agents were required to be registered with it to protect the tax-paying public and to ensure that they were maintaining high standards of practice.
Since then, Australia’s tax system has continued to become more complex. The Institute, well-known for being dynamic and responsive, evolved to meet the growing needs of the profession.
It is testament to the original committee’s progressiveness that, 70 years on, the Institute’s founding objectives remain more relevant than ever. They include:
- protecting the interests of practitioners;
- distributing information relevant to taxation law and practice and department procedure that is of particular interest to tax agents; and
- encouraging and maintaining a high ethical standard among registered tax agents.
Today, the Institute is Australia’s leading educator and professional association in tax, and remains an authoritative voice in supporting a fair and equitable tax system. The Institute provides a full suite of education and information products that keeps today’s tax professional up to date and builds the capacity of the next generation of tax professionals.
In 2013, The Tax Institute is celebrating 70 years of supporting the tax profession.
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.