Speaking to Accountants Daily, CPA Australia head of external affairs Paul Drum said that despite the government shooting down plans to broaden and increase consumption taxes, professional bodies should not shy away from developing good public policy to influence the government.
“It is fertile ground, even in this period where the government and opposition have turned a bit of a blind eye and instead focused on the here and now, that I think it is incumbent on professional bodies to not drop the ball on this and still work away on trying to provide options to Treasury and [the] government,” Mr Drum said.
“Knowing that there is not going to be any big announcement, the work must continue in the meantime, and that includes looking at options about reforming our tax system, eliminating inefficient taxes, replacing them with more efficient ones.”
Will we see major tax reform?
While consumption taxes form a part of the issue around comprehensive tax reform, Mr Drum believes there are a number of other areas that the current or future government will have to deal with as well.
“If we were starting a shopping list, we could say the imputation credit conversation is not dead and buried by a long shot, we might come back and revisit CGT and negative gearing, we will certainly come back and look at lower corporate tax rates in the future, and we will certainly be back looking at consumption taxes,” he said.
“It would be unlikely, subject to economic circumstance and what happens in the meantime, but at this stage, I think one would be optimistic to think there will be any large-scale reform now and going even into the next election.
“The only other time where we’ve had major tax reform is when we had a government that had control of both houses, and so it is not that it is a bad idea, it is just an idea that no one can get through parliament.
“An appropriate idea just needs the right time.”
Jotham Lian is the news editor of Accountants Daily, the leading source of breaking news, analysis and insight for Australian accounting professionals.
Before joining the team in 2017, Jotham wrote for a range of national mastheads including the Sydney Morning Herald, and Channel NewsAsia.