Twenty years on, burning platform is here for GST reform: Ken Henry

Original article by John Kehoe
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 1 & 36 : 29-Jun-20

Former Treasury secretary Ken Henry has called for an overhaul of Australia’s tax system in response to the coronavirus-induced recession. Henry was a top tax adviser to the Howard government when it introduced the goods and services tax. Former federal treasurer Peter Costello says Australia’s tax system has become increasingly complex since the GST was introduced two decades ago, arguing that it needs to be simplified. He concedes that the GST base should have been broader with fewer exemptions; however, he is cautious about expanding it now, arguing that ‘populist politics’ in the Senate could result in even more exemptions than at present.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF THE TREASURY

Cut tax to spark mining boom

Original article by Geoff Chambers
The Australian – Page: 1 & 5 : 25-May-20

The Minerals Council of Australia has urged the federal government to reduce the company tax rate as part of its post-coronavirus economic strategy. MCA CEO Tania Constable says the nation’s corporate tax rate is not internationally competitive, and measures such as tax reform and speeding up project approvals could prompt a new wave of resources projects worth around $100bn. Master Builders Australia has in turn called for a $13.2bn stimulus package for the construction industry. Prime Minister Scott Morrison will deliver an economic recovery speech on 26 May.

CORPORATES
MINERALS COUNCIL OF AUSTRALIA, MASTER BUILDERS AUSTRALIA INCORPORATED, AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF THE PRIME MINISTER AND CABINET

Tax system doesn’t support recovery

Original article by John Kehoe, Patrick Durkin
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 6 : 23-Apr-20

Former Treasury secretary Ken Henry has backed calls by Reserve Bank of Australia governor Philip Lowe for an overhaul of the tax system when the pandemic is contained. Henry led a review of the tax system in 2010, and he contends that its findings and recommendations are still relevant. Amongst other things, Henry advocates replacing the GST, payroll taxes and some state-based taxes with a new tax on business cash flow. He has also proposed phasing out stamp duties in favour of a land tax system.

CORPORATES
RESERVE BANK OF AUSTRALIA, AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF THE TREASURY

Company tax rate back on table

Original article by Phillip Coorey
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 1 & 4 : 23-Apr-20

Deregulation, tax reform and changes to the industrial relations system are expected to be the federal government’s priorities when the coronavirus pandemic abates. The Coalition is of the view that the economy will need reforms of a similar magnitude to those implemented by the Hawke-Keating Labor government three decades ago. Treasurer Josh Frydenberg notes that Australia’s company tax rate remains high by global standards, although he has ruled out any changes to the GST at present. The government has also signalled its intention to revive the Ensuring Integrity Bill.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF THE TREASURY

Fast-tracked income tax cuts unlikely

Original article by Phillip Coorey
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 5 : 18-Dec-19

Treasurer Josh Frydenberg has not ruled out bringing forward the next stage of the federal government’s income tax cuts package, which is due to take effect in mid-2022. However, sources have indicated that this is unlikely given the reduction in projected Budget surpluses over the next four years. Meanwhile, Chris Richardson of Deloitte Access Economics argues that bringing forward the second stage of the tax cuts to 2020-21 would require the iron ore price to remain about $US15 per tonne higher throughout that financial year.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF THE TREASURY, DELOITTE ACCESS ECONOMICS PTY LTD, WESTPAC BANKING CORPORATION – ASX WBC, BUSINESS COUNCIL OF AUSTRALIA, SOUTH AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF TREASURY AND FINANCE

ATO labels 102 companies as systemic non-payers of tax

Original article by Tom McIlroy
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 8 : 12-Dec-19

Data from the Australian Taxation Offices shows that the combined tax take from the nation’s 2,200 largest corporate taxpayers was $52.3bn in 2017-18. The data shows that 710 companies did not pay any tax during the financial year, while deputy commissioner Rebecca Saint says 102 companies across all sectors of the economy are "systemic non-payers". She notes that tax receipts from oil and gas companies will increase in coming years, after many booked losses during the construction phase of their projects.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIAN TAXATION OFFICE

Leaders say fiscal stimulus is the answer

Original article by James Thomson, Tony Boyd
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 13 & 27 : 10-Dec-19

Tax cuts and increased spending on infrastructure are among the suggestions from business leaders to help stimulate the Australian economy. Rio Tinto CEO Jean-Sebastien Jacques has urged the federal government to revive its push for corporate tax relief, while Woodside Petroleum CEO Peter Coleman has called for the introduction of an investment allowance to boost business confidence. Meanwhile, Telstra CEO Andy Penn has stressed the importance of innovation to Australia’s future economic growth.

CORPORATES
RIO TINTO LIMITED – ASX RIO, WOODSIDE PETROLEUM LIMITED – ASX WPL, TELSTRA CORPORATION LIMITED – ASX TLS, COCA-COLA AMATIL LIMITED – ASX CCL, BENDIGO AND ADELAIDE BANK LIMITED – ASX BEN, ENERGYAUSTRALIA PTY LTD, MACQUARIE GROUP LIMITED – ASX MQG, SEEK LIMITED – ASX SEK, AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF THE TREASURY

Tax on income, profit world’s second highest

Original article by John Kehoe
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 6 : 6-Dec-19

Australian companies are paying the third-highest share of tax to governments of OECD countries, according to a new tax report from the OECD. It also shows that personal income tax accounts for 40.3 per cent of total government revenue. The report highlights Australia’s heavy reliance on taxes on property, personal income and business profits, and will put pressure on the federal government to undertake major tax reform in order to stimulate the economy.

CORPORATES
ORGANISATION FOR ECONOMIC CO-OPERATION AND DEVELOPMENT

Tax cuts key to driving revival: US

Original article by Geoff Chambers
The Australian – Page: 1 & 4 : 10-Oct-19

US Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross will meet with Prime Minister Scott Morrison in Canberra on 10 October. Ross says the federal government should look at corporate tax reform in order to increase the nation’s global competitiveness and attract more direct foreign investment. Ross has also cautioned against focusing too much on Australia’s trade relationship with China at the expense of its investment relationship with the US. He has also warned that Australia’s aluminium exports to the US are under scrutiny following a recent trebling of export volumes after the Trump administration agreed to a tariff exemption.

CORPORATES
UNITED STATES. DEPT OF COMMERCE, AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF THE PRIME MINISTER AND CABINET, AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS AND TRADE, UNITED STATES. EXECUTIVE OFFICE OF THE PRESIDENT

Tax cuts, not surpluses, key to growth

Original article by Adam Creighton
The Australian – Page: 5 : 24-Sep-19

Returning the Budget to surplus has been a priority for the federal government since it won office in 2013, and it is on track for a surplus in 2019-20 after posting a deficit of less than $700m for 2018-19. However, documents released under Freedom of Information laws show that the Treasury is of the view that tax cuts may be the best way to stimulate the economy. The Treasury papers note that the government’s income tax cuts package will boost household disposable income by 0.75 per cent over three years, while delaying or reversing future tax cuts would reduce the efficiency of the economy and the tax system.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF THE TREASURY