Showing posts from July, 2015

We need your feedback

Every week we spend a lot of time poring over the beloved Member Feedback section of TaxVine. We all read it, but not everyone has the time to write in. Now more than ever your feedback is crucial.

The time is fast approaching for the Institute to again participate in the biannual hearing of the House of Representatives Committee on Tax and Revenue's inquiry into the ATO. The hearing will take place on 9 September and submissions close on 14 August.

Our last submission to the parliamentary committee dated 16 March canvassed a range of issues including: the positive impact of personnel changes within the ATO, timing and guidance on changes to the Tax Agent Portal, and the tenor of ATO correspondence. The Committee has also made specific reference to our submission on Single Touch Payroll.

Please contact us at Tax Policy if there are any topics, or developments on the above issues, which you think we may have missed and would like us to raise at this hearing, based on your recent de…

Member profile: Juanita Sands

Member profile: Juanita Sands

Name: Juanita Sands

Employer: Deloitte Private Pty Ltd

Position: Senior Analyst

Throughout my education I always had a passion for maths and not much else besides reading. My high school teachers loved telling me I should do something like accounting when I grew up, but being a teenager who did the opposite of what teachers said there was no way I was going to become something boring like an accountant. After starting a maths, psych and law degree, I ultimately ended up at TAFE doing an office administration certificate and loved the accounting subjects and have not looked back since.

I have now been in accounting for over 15 years and am a single mum to a gorgeous and smart college student and have worked full time since she was in primary school and part time while studying before that. Work and life balance can be a juggle but is very rewarding being a mum, while working full time.

I am currently completing The Tax Institute’s Graduate Diploma of Applied …

The case to raise the GST

On Wednesday and Thursday this week, the Leaders Retreat was held in Sydney involving the State Premiers and the Prime Minister. One of the ‘hot button' issues on the agenda was the GST – including NSW Premier Mike Baird's proposal that the GST rate be lifted from 10% to 15% to fund the cost of public health. An alternate proposal was put forward by Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczukto instead to raise the Medicare levy from 2% to 4%.

In The Tax Institute's view, the Government should undertake a comprehensive review of the current exemptions and special rules in the GST law to ensure they are still necessary and appropriate. Members can read more about our views in our Tax Discussion Paper submission.

The heart of the issue though is not about whether there should be a change to the GST or the Medicare levy. It's about where should the States and Territories source funding for the services they provide. Should this be from their own taxes they administer or sour…

Tax reform back in the spotlight

On Wednesday 15 July, the Treasurer, The Hon Joe Hockey MP, gave a speech putting the spotlight firmly back on tax reform. The speech was timely, ahead of next week's Leaders' Summit involving the Prime Minister, and the Premiers and Chief Ministers of the States and Territories, and our very own State Taxes Conference.

The Treasurer noted that a number of States have failed to abolish the inefficient state taxes they had agreed to when the GST was introduced. This point was made in the Institute's submission to the Tax Discussion Paper.

Bracket creep was also noted as an issue that needed to be addressed. This is consistent with the Institute's submission, which calls for a more transparent marginal tax rate system for individuals.
The Treasurer argued the case for continued differential tax treatment of capital versus income, presumably ruling out any changes to the CGT discount as a way of dealing with issues such as negative gearing.

On other significant matters suc…

Broadening the GST to digital products

This week, The Tax Institute lodged its submission in relation to the tax integrity measure that will extend the application of GST to digital products and other services imported by Australian consumers. This measure was announced in the 2015-16 Federal Budget and will apply from 1 July 2017.

While cast as an integrity measure, the effect of the new provisions will be to broaden the GST net to capture supplies (other than goods or real property) made to Australian consumers by non-residents, marking a significant change to a core concept (‘supplies connected with Australia') in the GST law. The Tax Institute has already engaged extensively with Treasury and the ATO to ensure that this new legislation properly achieves its policy intent. A copy of our submission is available on our website.

Also, this week, the ATO released its Corporate Plan for 2015-2019. This document sets out the ATO's ‘purpose, priorities and improved performance measures'. At the same time, the ATO h…

State's Taxation Conference speaker profile: Paul Ellis

Paul is the national leader of EY’s Employment Taxes group, a market leader in providing innovative solutions to enable employers to effectively manage their employer obligations. Paul has over 25 years of experience assisting public and private sector employers to reduce costs and develop risk strategies in relation to their remuneration related tax obligations. He advises a large range of Australian and foreign companies on domestic and international employment related tax issues including remuneration packaging, employment taxes and charges (FBT, payroll tax, workers compensation and superannuation), identification and assessment of contractor issues and the structuring and implementation of equity and other employee incentive plans. Paul was a member of the ATO’s former National Tax Liaison Group FBT sub-Committee and is a member of The Tax Institute’s FBT Committee.

How long have you been affiliated with The Tax Institute?

From the time I commenced working as a tax professional, s…