Showing posts from December, 2016

Tax policy - the year in review

by Stephanie Caredes, CTA *

2016 was a year that, at the beginning, still held some hope for significant reforms to be made to the Australian tax system. While the momentum had waned, there still seemed to be some possibility that the promised tax reform white paper may come to fruition.

While we are all acutely aware that this did not occur, it is worth reflecting on the milestones that did occur in tax policy in 2016.

Budget focus – significant reforms
The Tax Institute welcomed the 2016-17 Budget as a good step in the evolution of the Australian tax system, though by no means was it a revolution. We felt that the changes promoted fairness in the aspects of the tax system that were impacted.

Tax agent portal and ATO online systems - a joint message to members of The Tax Institute by the President and the CEO

Dear Members,

We are making every effort on your behalf to obtain more information from the ATO about their progress in fixing the present problems with the ATO portal and online systems, and when those fixes are likely to allow you to resume your normal work using the ATO portal system.

We have been in touch with Senior ATO Officers and have been advised that they are working frantically towards effecting a fix as soon as possible. We have been assured that the ATO regards the tax agent portal as a high priority system, and hence is treating this matter with the highest priority. We have also been assured that there has been no loss of data.

We'll be keeping a close watch on the progress of developments and have asked to be kept up to date. We have also emphasised the importance of frequently keeping agents up to date on any progress.

The Tax Institute is acutely aware of the significant impact of this outage on our members’ practices and that members would have already suffered …

Predicting the unpredictable – The 2017 Financial Services Taxation Conference

2016 taught us to expect the unexpected. Donald Trump was elected President, the Panama Papers were leaked, Brexit actually happened, changing the GST did not… technology upped its disruption ante, the OECD shone the spotlight on its BEPS project and the crackdown on multinational tax avoidance got even more real. These events have changed the face of the financial services industry and given the Australian corporate tax system a shake-up. If 2017 is anything like the year gone by, we’re in for an interesting ride.
Australia’s financial services sector is the largest contributor to the national economy, contributing around $140 billion to GDP over the last year. It has been a major driver of economic growth and with 450,000 people employed in this sector, it will continue to be a core sector of Australia’s economy into the future.*
Yet, as dominant and resilient as the industry may be, it is in no way immune to global and domestic pressures. Almost a decade ago, the Global Financial Cri…

Challenges and opportunities for tomorrow's tax professionals

by Noel Rowland *

At The Tax Institute, from the National Council down, we’ve committed time and focus to imagining who the tax professional of the future will be and what they will do.

With many factors driving change — including technology, demographics, social trends, economic fluctuations, political shifts and enhancements to legislation and regulations — we continuously ask how the tax function might evolve over the next decade.

Tax 2025
I recently attended an event that featured KPMG’s Grant Wardell-Johnson, who co-authored a discussion paper released in August, titled Tax 2025.

Chapter VII of this paper addresses the tax function of the future and outlines the trends and outcomes that may emerge over the next decade. For example, the tax function will likely require multiple new skills, including deep expertise in technology, data analytics, economic analysis, communication and negotiation, as well as proficiency in managing disputes across a wider variety of jurisdictions and …