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Media Release 1715/08/2007

Improving Australia’s Tax Consultation Processes

The Chairman of the Board of Taxation, Mr Richard Warburton, today welcomed the Treasurer’s announcement  of improvements to the arrangements for community consultation in the development of tax legislation.

The changes announced by the Treasurer are in response to the recommendations made in the report Improving Australia’s Tax Consultation Processes, prepared by the Board in conjunction with Treasury. The report builds on the Board’s 2002 report on Government Consultation with the Community on the Development of Taxation Legislation. It notes that since 2002 there have been significant improvements in tax consultation arrrangements and they are now consistent with international practice, generally functioning well and have community support. As a result, the recommendations outlined in the report are for evolutionary change to the tax consultation system, within the broad framework of the existing arrangements developed in response to the Board’s 2002 report. In particular they build on the approach of the 2002 report of engendering a culture of open and genuine consultation to which both Ministers and stakeholders are committed, with parties sharing a goal of achieving outcomes that best serve the national interest.

The recommendations in the report are directed at all participants in tax consultation processes and the Board intends to work closely with all concerned for their implemenation.

The Chairman expressed his thanks to those who contributed to the review including the individuals and organisations that participated in the Board’s consultation forums, members of the joint Board and Treasury working party chaired by Mr Keith James, officers of the Treasury and the Australian Taxation Office and the staff of the Board’s Secretariat.

The report is available from the Board’s website at www.taxboard.gov.au.