One of the things that surprised me in my early months as president is the number of submissions that the Institute makes to government and the ATO. Most of the submissions are the result of collaboration between our members and our three Tax Policy staff. During the year to date, the Institute has made over 50 submissions and has been involved in a number of consultations, including:
- the unenacted “protection measure” changes (protecting taxpayers in respect of certain unenacted measures that are not proceeding);
- changes to employee share schemes;
- changes to managed investment schemes;
- CGT and non-resident issues and superannuation matters; and
- the House of Representatives Tax and Revenue Committee which is responsible for, among other things, scrutiny of the ATO, including the ATO’s handling of tax disputes.
We have also consulted with the Board of Taxation on its reviews of Div 7A, the debt/equity tax rules, the thin capitalisation arm’s length debt test, and the review of
tax impediments facing small business.
We continue to consult with the ATO on a plethora of tax practitioner issues, the “Future Tax Industry” and a variety of technical and interpretive matters to ensure that
improvements are made to the administration and operation of the tax system.
Robert Jeremenko, Stephanie Caredes and Thilini Wickramasuriya all deserve a special thank you. None of this invaluable work could have been carried out without their support.
Before finishing, I would like to add a number of further thank yous. Thank you to all of the staff at the Institute, led by CEO Noel Rowland, for supporting me and our members over the past 12 months. I also thank the members of National Council for their support during 2014, our state councillors and other state committee members, and all of the members of our event organising committees, without whom the Institute could not run such successful events.
The Institute has already prepared an exciting 2015 CPD program, including our flagship event, the 30th National Convention on the Gold Coast in March 2015 — please join us for the anniversary celebrations. I am also hoping that one of the initiatives I encouraged during my term as president — the revamping of our technical committees — will flourish during 2015 and beyond.
Finally, I extend my best wishes to Stephen Healey as incoming president for 2015.
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.