Friday, 22 February 2013

2013 in tax

Having abandoned thoughts of walking in Ken’s shoes, I turned my mind to the year to come. As president, what would the year hold?

First, it’s a federal election year, which will see a flurry of legislation to complete promises and a new set of announcements to establish agendas for the election by all parties.

We already have consultation happening in respect of Pt IVA reforms, the Div 6 trust rewrite, transfer pricing, and further tranches of legislation as expected.

In addition, the issues relating to the regulation of taxation advice provided by financial advisers, their tax agent registration and educational requirements are still to be finalised.

Robert Jeremenko and I met with Assistant Treasurer the Hon. David Bradbury, MP, to discuss priorities in legislation releases. The Assistant Treasurer was willing to listen and will be active in progressing our concerns about announced, but unenacted, measures. These meetings will continue on a scheduled basis to provide the Assistant Treasurer with the professional bodies’ concerns. Again, The Tax Institute is always willing to participate in fora that promote consultation.

2013 also sees change with new government appointments:

  • Mr Chris Jordan, AO, as Commissioner of Taxation
  • Mrs Teresa Dyson, as Chair of the Board of Taxation
  • Mr Ian Taylor as Chair of the Tax Practitioners Board.

I’m sure each will bring their own dimension to their respective role and The Tax Institute looks forward to working with these appointees.

As a membership body, we need to continuously be aware of what our members seek from their organisation and I invite you to provide your feedback to me on issues that concern you.

We are undertaking a governance review of The Tax Institute to consider our alignment with our volunteer network. This includes our volunteer speakers, state councils, committees, and structured education lecturers and markers. We recognise that this group is fundamental to The Tax Institute’s success and our continued role as the leading professional association in tax. While we have a dynamic group of willing volunteers, we want to ensure that our engagement with this group is rewarding and enjoyable. You will hear more from me on this as the year progresses.

As a president, you only look good if the team you work with makes you look good. Again, I’m pleased to be part of an energetic team.

The year has only just begun and I’m already up to my seventh meeting with the tax policy and advocacy team.

Your team at The Tax Institute is up and running.

As a reminder, the 2013 National Convention brochures are out. Please come to the convention. The organising and program committees have put a lot of effort into ensuring a high quality program. I’m sure Perth will provide a stunning backdrop for you to both get those CPD hours up and enjoy the best the west can offer.

Wishing you all a fulfilling year.

Stephen
Westaway
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.