Wednesday, 27 February 2013

Free highlights from 2012 Australian Tax Forum

In this specially produced e-journal, you’ll find a selection of some of the most popular articles we published in the Australian Tax Forum journal in 2012. Take a look, and feel free to share it with your colleagues and peers.

You’ll also find a complete list of all articles from all four issues from 2012 and links to our website where each is available for individual download.

Download your free copy, which includes:

  • Effective tax rates and the political cost hypothesis: A re-evaluation of Australian evidence, Authors: Sinclair Davidson and Richard Heaney
  • SME "life cycle" imperative, Author: Biagio Pizzacalla, CTA
  • Tax reform and 'rough justice': Is it time for simplicity to shine?, Authors: Jason Kerr and Professor Christopher Evans, CTA
  • Stamp duties, land tax and housing affordability, Authors: Gavin Wood, Ian Winter and Rachel Ong
  • The rise and rise of tax compliance costs for the small business sector in Australia, Author: Dr Philip Lignier

A prestigious quarterly journal, Australian Tax Forum's mandate is to provide discussion on topical issues in tax policy, law and reform. Highly respected for its thought leadership by policy-makers and academics alike, Australian Tax Forum has for many years been a point of first reference for those seeking in-depth commentary on law, administration and economics.

We believe Australian Tax Forum is an essential reference source for anyone seeking to understand or contribute to the development of taxation systems worldwide. We hope that this e-journal will demonstrate this to you too.

Please feel free to share it with any of your colleagues who share an interest in tax policy and administration.

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.

Monday, 25 February 2013

2013-14 Federal Budget priorities

The Tax Institute recently submitted its 2013-14 Federal Budget priorities to the Treasurer.

We note that the growing stockpile of announced yet unenacted tax measures is fuelling uncertainty in the business community and hampering investment.

The Budget submission also outlines a number of priority areas of the tax law that are in need of urgent and significant reform.

Given the election date has been announced, it is critical for the Government to ensure the raft of announced but unenacted tax measures is dealt with as a priority. Whilst we welcome moves by the Assistant Treasurer to start discussions on prioritising announced but unenacted measures, it is imperative that the Government continues to address the announcement backlog in order to stem the uncertainty and free up businesses to make informed investment decisions.

Overall there are at least 25 significant tax measures that have been announced yet have an uncertain finishing date, including key areas of tax law such as the treatment of losses, GST and capital gains tax treatment of earnouts.

It isn't difficult to see why business confidence is being eroded by a tax system which is constantly being built and rebuilt on shifting sands. These trends include tax reforms left in limbo for months and years and the Government’s recent practice of rolling out tax measures retrospectively.

The Tax Institute has called on the Government to pursue a more open and transparent timeline for legislative change that gives taxpayers certainty when it comes to dealing with that change.

Our priorities for the 2013-14 Federal Budget include:

State Tax reform

The Tax Institute urges the Government to take a leadership position on State tax reform and bring the States on board with a unified vision for tax reform in Australia.  This would include increasing Australia's reliance on the GST and abolishing inefficient and complicated State taxes, such as conveyance duties and insurance duties.

Small Business

The Government must refocus its efforts on alleviating the significant tax compliance burden on the small business community. This includes exploring the possibility of creating a separate "small business entity" structure, streamlining definitions and access to small business concessions, and simplifying carry-forward loss integrity measures.

Superannuation

The Tax Institute encourages the Government to collaboratively construct a long-term, holistic plan for the superannuation system focussed on equity and sustainability. This includes addressing the low level and inflexibility of contributions caps, including via repeal of the "10% rule" and further improving the excess contributions tax arrangements.

Multinational taxation

The Tax Institute welcomes the Government's recognition of the need to update current international taxation laws to address the challenges posed by an increasingly digital economy in conjunction with our treaty and major trading partners. Any efforts to increase transparency that allow tax authorities to properly understand taxpayer circumstances and apply tax laws correctly and in a timely fashion is welcomed, but not at the cost of an increased regulatory burden.

Other areas in need of attention include: building on the Henry Tax Review platform; establishing a Tax Reform Commission; child care affordability and trust tax reform.

View our full Budget submission.

Robert Jeremenko
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.

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.

Wednesday, 20 February 2013

National Convention Speaker Profile: Peter Bobbin, CTA

Peter Bobbin, CTA, is presenting the Tax Issues on Intergenerational Change session at the 28th National Convention.

Peter discusses what the National Convention means to him, and
more broadly the tax industry, as well information on
the Tax Issues on Intergenerational Change session he will be presenting.

How long have you been affiliated with The Tax Institute?

I have been a member of The Tax Institute the whole of my career, and in fact now I can proudly say that I am a chartered member – which is something that I am personally quite proud of. With The Tax Institute I have given many presentations at a local, state and national level. But, importantly I have been attending many because it is one of the preeminent education providers to the tax industry in Australia.

What does the National Convention mean to you, and more importantly, the tax industry?

What the national convention does is it pulls together the hot topics of the time, into one place, into one setting, and you have the opportunity of the single most, preeminent tax minds in the country, all in the one location.

Of course the other thing it does is it allows you to get together with friends and colleagues and so for that reason the national convention is not only stimulation for the mind, but it is also stimulation for the soul, getting together with your friends and colleagues, all of us who actually love tax.

What topic are you presenting at the national convention?

The topic that I am presenting is “tax issues on intergenerational change”. This is singularly very important. The vast majority of Australian businesses are in fact SME’s, small to medium enterprise. The largest employer in Australia is small to medium enterprise. With the baby boomers moving through the generation change, with the generation Y’s, generation X’s, and generation I don’t know thereafter coming along, intergenerational change is here to stay and it is massively replete with tax issues.

What I intend to do in the session I have is to grab the current hot topics, but also some older tried and proven ones, and to get across to all those that are attending my session just the key issues that they need to be aware of, that they need to introduce to their clients now whether it’s an intergenerational change because their client is the one that’s receiving from the parents or grandparents, or whether they are the ones getting it ready to pass on.

There is just an array of capital gains tax, there’s transfer pricing in terms of passing of the value, that is, arms length transactions involved, there’s GST issues subject to the nature of the business interest that is being passed. I am going to be looking at those major tax issues that exist in intergenerational change.

What other sessions at the convention are you most interest in?

There are four that I find of personal interest and am also very keen to here the presenters as such. One of them is David Williams and he is talking about getting caught up in tax fraud. Whether you are an accountant or solicitor or any other kind of adviser, what the client does – well we tend to leave that with the client – but we as professionals can be swept up, so I thinks that actually really very important.

Part IVA tax reform, Tony Slater’s giving that one, I think that is a must attend. We have employee equity arrangements, again which is very much interconnected with my own intergenerational change tax issues. Employee equity arrangement by Ian Burgess I think is worthwhile attending, as well as Ken Schurgott’s always a good one to listen to – taxing trust distributions. Given that trusts are the single most used investment and business vehicle in Australia, clearly Ken Schurgott’s taxing trust distributions is an important one.

What do you love to do when you are not knee deep in tax?

When I’m switched off from work what I like to do – three great loves in life, good food, good wine and one other. So indulging –   this is also why I ride a push bike most places. I ride a push bike to work, and have done rides from Sydney to Melbourne, and other rides for hundreds of kilometres. That’s what I do outside of tax.

Join us in Perth for The Tax Institute's 28th National ConventionWith an expert team of leading tax professionals shaping the content and a growing list of delegates who are amongst the best and brightest in the tax profession, the National Convention is undoubtedly the premier taxation conference in Australia.

Tuesday, 19 February 2013

Part IVA and Transfer Pricing

Last week saw the introduction into Parliament of legislation implementing the Government's announced changes to Part IVA and the second phase of the Transfer Pricing reforms.

Part IVA

An effective general anti-avoidance rule is an essential back-stop to ensure the integrity of our tax laws. However, the Government's proposed changes to Part IVA are an unnecessary overreaction to recent court cases.

The existing general anti-avoidance rule appropriately prevents blatant, artificial and contrived tax avoidance behaviour.

The Government's changes are likely to take years of costly court proceedings to fully realise. Worse still, these changes may open a Pandora's box by allowing the Tax Commissioner to levy tax on the basis of a 'maximum tax' alternative. This results from the unrealistic requirement to disregard tax when constructing the alternative postulate.

While not suggesting that the Tax Commissioner would seek to abuse such a broad power, the potential impact on taxpayers with limited resources to challenge the Commissioner's views should not be underestimated.

Transfer Pricing

The same Bill also contained legislation to overhaul the current Transfer Pricing rules. These changes followed on from the undesirably retrospective phase one transfer pricing reforms introduced last year. Pleasingly, the Bill contains a more precisely applicable reconstruction power than an earlier draft, but still suffers from a number of problems.

The Bill containing both measures has been referred to the House of Representatives Economics Committee for further scrutiny regarding the significant economic impact and to ensure correct drafting.

Inspector-General

Last week we also saw the release of the Inspector-General of Taxation's report into the self-assessment system. We welcome the acknowledgement that the current approach to self-assessment of tax liability imposes many of the expected obligations, but offers few of the expected benefits.

Members have long raised concerns with the increasing cost and complexity of quasi self-assessment in an environment of extensive tax law change, increasing reporting obligations and decreasing certainty.

The Inspector-General's long awaited report into the self-assessment system contains thirty-three welcome recommendations, most of which have been accepted by the ATO/Government. These recommendations are a step in the right direction of alleviating the ever-increasing workload borne by taxpayers and professionals in achieving an acceptable degree of certainty in relation to their tax affairs.

However the benefits of these good intentions will only begin to flow to taxpayers and professionals once work commences on implementation via a timely and directed process. In order to ensure success, such a process should be prioritised and well-resourced by both the ATO and Treasury.

We look forward to working with the Government in the coming months to implement the accepted recommendations.

Robert Jeremenko
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.

Monday, 18 February 2013

Changes to tax agent education requirements from 1 March 2013

The Tax Institute is facilitating members’ access to commercial law education requirements with new course developments.

The Tax Institute has commenced development of a commercial law course for those preparing to register as tax agents (see Table 1¹). In the proposed Tax Practitioner Board (TPB) guidelines of 14 April 2010 (which were updated on 13 September 2012), the features of the course were set out in TPB(PG) 02/2010 being: prescribed content; duration equivalent to three semesters; assessment strategies to be a combination of different types of assessment but to have 40% assessed via an independently supervised exam; and the level of the course to be at Australian qualification framework level 5 (AQF 5) (www.aqf.edu.au).

Who needs to study these units?

Those people intending to register as a tax agent (or already registered under the transitional arrangements of the Tax Agent Services Act 2009 (Cth) under items 201, 202, 203 and 205) will require this course.

Given that three units are required, the Institute’s course will facilitate access to the Tax Practitioners Board (TPB) approved “mix and match approach” so that those people requiring only one unit will be able to enrol in a single unit if required. It has been identified that this course of study may not exist in this arrangement of topics in university course offerings.

Tax agents registered prior to 1 September 2010

Assistant Treasurer David Bradbury announced on 14 December 2012 that the government would permanently extend existing transitional rules for certain tax agents who became registered by the TPB before 1 September 2010. These are those registered tax agents and former nominees of agents who were previously registered by a State Tax Agents’ Board through reg 156(4) and (5) of the  Income Tax Regulations 1936 (Cth)².

Table 1
Click to expand
Course information

The taxonomy used by the TPB is “A course in commercial law”, and the Institute has designed its course to have three units and specific “modules” which relate to the required topics.
Before designing this course, the Institute also reviewed the three competencies contained within the TPB-endorsed Financial Services (Accounting) Training Package to ensure alignment with the AQF 5 and certain modules for content coverage. Those competency units are:

  • FNSTPB501A Apply legal principles in corporations and trusts law;
  • FNSTPB502A Apply legal principles in commercial and property law; and
  • FNSMK505A Comply with financial services legislation and industry codes of practice

Delivery methods

Each unit of this course is undertaken by following a distance study guide, attending webinars (8 to 10 hours for each unit, with candidates able to interact with the tutor), and email access to a course convenor. A prescribed text will also be required.

Prescribed topics

The prescribed topics are: Australian legal systems and processes; contracts; the law of entities (including partnerships, corporations and trusts) and business structures; and property law. For a full list, the prescribed topics can be found in the guidelines TPB(PG) 02/2010 at the Tax Practitioners Board website.

More information

The Institute will open enrolments for these units in late March 2013. Those members and their employees wishing to understand whether they are affected by this requirement, or wanting more information on the course and the individual units, can call 02 8223 0038 for assistance.

Ruth
Ferraro
Ruth Ferraro is General Manager Education 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.







References
¹Accessed at the Tax Practitioners Board website.
²TPB Communication, Change to tax agent requirements — commercial law.

Friday, 15 February 2013

Key dates for 2013

In addition to the more than 350 CPD events that The Tax Institute runs each year in major cities and online, we hold a number of flagship residential events. Register your interest early.

  • 13–15 March: 28th National Convention, WA
  • 26–27 April: Private Business Tax Retreat, Qld
  • 2–4 May: 46th South Australian Convention, SA
  • 16–17 May: 6th Annual Tax Forum
  • 23–24 May: Tax through the Bottom of a Glass, Tas
  • 19–20 July: Queensland State Convention, Qld
  • 25–26 July: 13th Annual States’ Taxation Conference, SA
  • August: Tax Specialist’s Workshop, TBC
  • 22–23 August: WA State Convention, WA
  • 5–6 September: National GST Intensive, Vic
  • 17–18 October: Queensland Corporate Tax Retreat, Qld
  • 17–18 October: SA Tax Intensive, SA
  • 7–8 November: 21st National Tax Intensive Retreat, Qld
  • 14 November: Corporate Tax Intensive, WA.

Can’t attend in person? Our series of webinars allows you to earn CPD points remotely.

Education

We are gearing up in 2013 to deliver the industry’s choice for innovative tax education with The Chartered Tax Adviser Program. This enhanced program aligns to our changed membership levels and includes: CTA1 Foundations, CTA2 Advanced and CTA3 Advisory. These courses are designed for candidates at various stages of their profession to further enhance their performance and lead them to the pinnacle of the tax profession, the CTA designation.

If you or your colleagues would like to enrol, please visit our website. The first course starts on 5 February.

Another big year for our leading publications

Building on last year’s successes, 2013 will be another busy year for our publishing team, with new editions and additions to our existing range of guides, handbooks and online services. As always, you’ll find the latest on our range in Taxation in Australia, and on our website.

Noel Rowland
Noel
Rowland
Noel Rowland is Chief Executive Officer 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.

Monday, 11 February 2013

Superannuation reform roadmap

Superannuation is our nest egg. It's the stashed away cash that we all trust will be safe and secure for years to come and will be there when we need it to fund our retirement. It is the ultimate long-term investment.

However, it is an investment made on the basis of a core compact between every Australian and Government: we agree to forgo part of our income now to save for our retirement, whilst in return the Government agrees to respect the sacrifice and the long-term nature of our investment.

The superannuation system depends heavily on the confidence that people have in it. When Governments tinker with the superannuation system it risks harming people's confidence in the system and their confidence in putting their hard-earned money aside to save for their retirement. It also affects superannuation funds and the capital markets.

Unfortunately, the political debate about superannuation has moved once more to the familiar battle ground of class warfare.

The Henry Tax Review found that superannuation is a core component of our retirement income system and one that rightly receives concessional tax treatment compared to other savings. However, the structure of these concessions is inequitable because high-income earners benefit much more from them than low-income earners.

To improve the situation for some low-income earners, today's law effectively offsets the tax paid on their superannuation contributions. For some high-income earners, the law now increases the tax they pay on superannuation contributions.

However, these changes are hardly the reform of the superannuation system outlined in the Henry Review roadmap: an overhaul that would see superannuation contributions taxed at marginal tax rates with a capped tax offset, and with a very low tax rate on earnings in the fund. This would ensure that both earnings and benefits are largely tax-free, while evening-up the concessions provided to higher and lower income earners.

Superannuation reform should only proceed in line with a long-term, holistic plan focussed on equity and sustainability. A reactionary tax-grab out of existing taxpayer savings invested in good faith and on the basis of the current laws is in no-one's interests.

Robert Jeremenko
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.

Friday, 8 February 2013

A farewell and a welcome

Stepping into the role of national president is both exciting and daunting at the same time.

Over the Christmas break, I reflected on the last 12 months and what the next 12 months would hold.

I thought about the standards set in leadership and depth of tax knowledge set by our outgoing president, Ken Schurgott, and thought: “Can I fill his shoes and hold his passion for all things Tax Institute?”

I continued on this path, the presentations Ken delivered, the meetings and conferences he attended, and his always smiling face. I realised at this point that this journey of self-examination and comparison was wasted time. I cannot fill Ken’s shoes but, as the incoming president, I can acknowledge the outstanding contribution Ken made during his time as president.

I’m sure all members join me in thanking Ken for the immense amount of time and effort he contributed as president during 2012.

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.

Wednesday, 6 February 2013

National Convention Speaker Profile: Bob Deutsch, CTA

Professor Bob Deutsch, CTA, is presenting the International Tax Hot Topics session at the 28th National Convention.


Bob discusses what the National Convention means to him, and
more broadly the tax industry, as well information on the
International Tax Hot Topics session he will be presenting.

How long have you been affiliated with The Tax Institute?

I’ve been involved in the tax profession for well over 30 years, and for most of that time I’ve been affiliated with The Tax Institute in one way or another. I’ve been a presenter for The Tax Institute in many different fora, and I’ve written for the Tax Institute both for The Tax Specialist and the Taxation in Australia journal. So it’s been a many and varied affiliation and one which I have very much enjoyed.

What does National Convention mean to you, and more broadly, the tax industry?

Without any doubt The Tax Institute National Convention is the leading professional conference that is held annually for tax professionals. As a result, it means a great deal to most of the profession in the sense that that they can come along as presenters, or more commonly as participants in the various fora that are available the National Convention.

So it’s a very important event and usually canvasses very important tax issues across a broad range of different tax areas. It’s central to the way the tax profession operates, and the way that tax professionals interrelate with one another.

What topic are you presenting at National Convention?

The formal title is International Tax Hot Topics, which is a fairly general title, but it will cover all the main areas of international tax that are currently under the microscope. Probable the most important one I will cover will be transfer pricing which has had a lot of action and some new proposed legislation, so probable half the session will be dedicated to the transfer pricing new provisions and some of the cases and then I’ll stray into other areas of international tax. For example the way in which international tax operates in regards to capital gains which has become quite an important issue as well.

What other sessions at the convention are you most interested in attending?

There are so many different areas that are being touched upon during the sessions, but I guess the two that stand out for me are SME International Expansions, which obviously to someone interested in international tax would be one area that I would want to know a lot more about and that looks like quite an interesting session.

The other area that I’m particularly interested in is Goods and Services Tax, and there is a special session dedicated to Goods and Services Tax concerning exemption, so I have a particular interest in attending those two sessions and there are probable others that if I look at them in more detail I would probable interested in attending as well. And of course there lots of social functions, including the dinner which I will be attending.

What do you like to do when you are not knee deep in tax?

I guess my main hobby is my garden. I have a rather large garden and I spend probably half to two-thirds of the weekend in there fossicking around trying to make this grow, which for someone with a tax background is not always that easy to do. So gardening is a big thing for me, but also reading lots of history which I find particularly interesting and spend a lot of time doing that as well.

Join us in Perth for The Tax Institute's 28th National ConventionWith an expert team of leading tax professionals shaping the content and a growing list of delegates who are amongst the best and brightest in the tax profession, the National Convention is undoubtedly the premier taxation conference in Australia.

Monday, 4 February 2013

Surprise election announcement brings uncertainty

The political year officially kicked-off last week, with both the Prime Minister and the Leader of the Opposition delivering keynote speeches to the National Press Club in Canberra.

The content of the PM's speech was overshadowed by the surprise announcement of a 14 September 2013 election date. The PM claimed that announcing the date some seven months ahead of time would provide certainty and would separate the politics from the focus on policy. She denied this would be the start of the longest election campaign in Australia's history.

The reality is that this year was always going to be seen through the prism of an impending election. By announcing the election date so far in advance of the usual five to six weeks’ notice period, the effect will be to start the election campaign now. As noble an aim as it might be, separating the politics from the policy is never possible and certainly not during an election campaign.

Importantly, for the bureaucracy, it is business as usual until the writs are issued in August. This means that the caretaker period of government does not commence until August, allowing the normal functions of government to continue, including decision-making that would bind an incoming government.

This is important in the tax context, because the Government has a large program of significant legislation that it will need to introduce and pass in the few Parliamentary sitting weeks that remain before the election (the last sitting day will be 27 June). In addition to this, there is the long list of announced but unenacted tax measures on which we are continuing to speak with the Government to achieve movement.

With regards to pending tax policy changes, the PM's speech made it quite clear that substantial new structural savings were being examined, but she refused to be drawn when questioned about superannuation changes, or indeed child care rebate or baby bonus changes.

So, on the one hand the PM is claiming to give certainty with the naming of the election date, but on the other hand, by allowing speculation about impending changes to continue, is creating uncertainty. In particular, the superannuation system depends heavily on the confidence that people have in it. Tinkering with the superannuation system impacts negatively on people's confidence in the system, and their confidence in putting their hard-earned money aside to save for their retirement.

Robert Jeremenko
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.

Friday, 1 February 2013

Happy New Year to our valued members

As another year begins, I’d like to first wish our members a Happy New Year. I hope you had the opportunity to take a well-deserved break over the holiday period.

Here at The Tax Institute we are busy planning for the year ahead, aligning our activities with our key strategic priorities.

The focus areas for 2013 include:

  • the member experience — responding to members’ needs;
  • products and services —providing leading-edge knowledge to all members;
  • leadership —shaping improvements in, and the application of, tax law and its administrations and, as the champion of the tax profession, to raise professional and ethical standards ensuring that members are the sought-after tax experts; and
  • people and infrastructure — to enable and strengthen our business operations.

The Institute has a number of major activities planned for the year, some of which I will update you on in the coming weeks.

Celebrating 70 years of supporting the tax profession

In July 2013, The Tax Institute will be celebrating the 70th anniversary of the founding of the Institute. To celebrate this milestone, the Institute will organise a number of activities throughout the year to provide an opportunity for tax professionals to reflect on how the Institute and its members have helped to shape the industry over the years.

Visit our website over the coming months to find out how you can help us celebrate.

Noel Rowland
Noel
Rowland
Noel Rowland is Chief Executive Officer 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.