As the leading forum for the tax community in Australia, The Tax Institute is a critical voice in tax policy and advocacy matters and has sought after views.
Following the most recent submission by The Tax Institute’s Victorian State Taxes Committee to The Hon. Tim Pallas MP, Treasurer of Victoria on the State Taxation Acts Amendment Bill 2019 (now law) (see link below), we spoke with committee chair, Simon Tisher, CTA.
A Barrister at the Victorian Bar since 2003, Simon has been heavily involved with The Tax Institute for several years.
A member of the Victorian State Council, the Victorian Professional Development Committee, and various event sub-committees, he has been chair of the Victorian State Taxes Committee since 2016.
“This submission related to concerns The Tax Institute State Taxes Committee had about the new economic entitlement provisions in the State Taxation Acts Amendment Bill 2019 (now law)” Simon said.
The committee’s concern was the scope of the then proposed new economic entitlement provisions, stating that “the lack of consultation prior to releasing the Bill and the apparent rush to legislate what amounts to a new head of duty that not only has no comparison in other states, but which was not announced or foreshadowed in the 2019 Victorian Budget, is problematic.”
Simon elaborated “The submission also related to concerns the State Taxes Committee had about the imposition of duty on the acquisition of fixtures and the removal of the special provisions in the Valuation of Land Act 1960 for calculating the value of land on which a heritage building is situated.”
Remarkably this extensive submission was “prepared, finalised and sent to the Treasurer within three days. In most instances, the process usually takes a few weeks or sometimes longer. However, due to the speed with which this Bill was proceeding through Parliament, we had to move very quickly” Simon told us.
Unfortunately, in this instance the submission was unsuccessful and the Bill was subsequently passed by Treasury on 6 June, 2019, with changes coming into effect from 1 July, 2019. These changes will have a significant impact on foreign investment, property developments and cooperate restructures.
When asked what happens in case of an unsuccessful submission, Simon replied “We don’t give up.”
“We try and apply pressure on the State Revenue Office to administer the legislation sensibly, ideally through issuing public rulings. This is primarily done through The Tax Institute’s participation in the Victorian State Taxes Consultative Council, which meets quarterly at the Victorian State Revenue Office.”
The Victorian State Taxes Committee meets regularly as a sub-committee of The Tax Institute. It aims to bridge the gap between taxpayers, tax professionals and key influential stakeholders including Victorian Treasury and the Victorian State Revenue Office.
You can view the submission here.
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