Looking back on 2013 (Part 1)

2013 may be remembered more for what didn't happen than what did.

We did get, to name a few things:

  • a new federal government;
  • a new Pt IVA;
  • a new registration requirement for financial planners who give tax advice;
  • a concession to excess superannuation contributions tax;
  • a proposed change to the debt/equity rules; and
  • a change to the way consultation is conducted with the ATO.

We didn’t get:

  • a rewrite of Div 7A;
  • a rewrite of trust taxation; and
  • tax reform.

To be fair, there are some things we didn’t get that maybe we should be grateful for:

  • changes to how FBT will be calculated on motor vehicles;
  • the imposition of a cap on deductible self-education expenses;
  • the soon to be repealed resources rent tax and carbon tax; and
  • changes to the deductibility of interest related to foreign dividends.

Again, to be fair, a tax white paper is now on the government’s agenda, and the government has told us that it will advise us of its strategy to deal with the remaining list of tax measures soon.

Don’t miss my final reflections to be published on the blog next week.


Stephen Westaway is President of the National Council at 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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