Monday, 9 November 2015

A decision on tax reform

By the time you read this, the Prime Minister and Treasurer will have made an important announcement on tax reform. At the time of writing, we are all speculating as to what it might be - is it the launch of the all-important Options Paper in the Tax Reform White Paper process? Has a bargain been struck with the States on the GST? Scintillating stuff.

We welcome the current discussion on possible reform to the GST. This is in line with our view that the rate of GST should be considered together with the current exemptions and special rules in the GST. No doubt we will be busy engaging with the Government on addressing this and other options for reform of our tax system in the run up to Christmas.

In other more specific news, Treasury have just released an Exposure Draft into the 2015-16 Budget announcement of a roll-over to allow small businesses to change their legal structure without incurring a capital gains tax liability. This is now also expected to apply to transfer of trading stock, revenue assets and depreciating assets. The materials can be found here. Please contact us at Tax Policy if you have any thoughts on the measure so that it can feed into our submission to Treasury.

We are also currently consulting with the ATO on how they provide private advice and guidance. Please drop us a line if you have experience with the ATO's private rulings process or if you prefer to obtain certainty from the ATO on technical issues through other less formal channels. The ATO's recent Discussion Paper on private advice and guidance can be found here.


Thilini Wickramasuriya FTI is a 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.