The Tax Institute President says a lack of reform would be a national shame

We urge the Federal Government not to miss the boat on tax reform ahead of the 3 May Budget.
President Arthur Athanasiou, CTA, said it would be a
national shame if the government didn’t unveil significant plans to reform the
tax system.
We would like to a see a tax system which is fair, simple,
efficient and sustainable. Currently, the debate around the system has
stagnated despite the government committing to a holistic tax reform.
Though not optimistic about any significant structural tax initiatives
in the Budget, we believe that the government should shift the country’s
dependence on income tax to a more simple and efficient consumption tax.
“The government must determine the appropriate tax mix for
Australia to provide sustainable revenue to meet future government spending
promises” Mr Athanasiou said.
We believe the 2016 Budget priorities should include:
  • reducing company tax to 25%;
  • abolishing the ‘10% rule’ limiting
    superannuation contributions to self-employed Australians;
  • reforming superannuation laws that benefit the
    small wealthy minority that see superannuation as a wealth and estate planning
    vehicle rather than providing reasonable benefits for retirees;
  • continuing deregulation initiatives and
    publishing regulation impact statements for each reform;
  • concentrating on internationally co-ordinated
    efforts to address base erosion and profit shifting (BEPS) rather than
    introducing new Budget measures on multinational taxation; and
  • increasing digital resources at the Australian
    Taxation Office to improve inefficient systems.
Mr Athanasiou also suggests that the government must commit
to reviewing issues surrounding individual tax, superannuation, general
business and small business tax, not-for-profit sector tax, GST, state taxes,
and the complexity, administration and governance of the tax system.
“Shifting from the current heavy dependence on individual
and corporate income tax towards more efficient consumption taxes will create a
simpler tax system to implement and regulate while providing the government
with more sustainable revenue collections.”
Whatever the Budget
does contain in terms of tax measures, members of The Tax Institute will be the
first to hear what they mean for practitioners and for their clients in our
Federal Budget edition of TaxVine, delivered direct to members’ inboxes on
Budget night.


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