Next steps: Alleviating the burden on small business

The Board of Taxation has now commenced its fast-track review into impediments in the tax system for small business. Members will recall that the Federal Government recently announced this review at our National Convention in Hobart.

As I have said before, there is significant work to be done in simplifying the existing tax laws to alleviate the compliance burden on small business. As members would be well aware, often measures which were originally brought in to assist small business and simply their tax affairs have proven to be prohibitively complex.

The Board has been asked to identify features of the tax system that unreasonably or unnecessarily hinder small business from growing and achieving their commercial goals. The Board is to identify the short and medium-term priorities for small business tax reform, with particular focus on high priority options for simplification and deregulation. The focus will be on aspects of the tax system that unreasonably impede the goals of a broad cross section of businesses. The Board’s Terms of Reference for this review are available on its website.

The Tax Institute will be actively participating in the Board’s review. We are keen for member input on priority areas for reform, so please let us know the details of the impediments and how they relate to particular circumstances of a small business, for example:

  • Industry/sector in which the small business operates;
  • Size of the business (number of employees/capital employed/annual turnover); and
  • Stage in the lifecycle of the business (start-up/mature/winding-up).

Practical examples or descriptions of common situations/business structures in which the impediments regularly appear would be useful for us to provide to the Board.

Please send your thoughts to Tax Policy by Monday 5 May 2014.

Robert Jeremenko

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.


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