On 28th March 2014, the Acting Assistant Treasurer, the Minister for Small Business and the Parliamentary Secretary to the Treasurer announced that the Board would conduct a review to identify features in the tax system that are hindering or preventing small businesses from reaching their commercial goals.
The terms of reference given to the Board are available below.
Terms of Reference
I, Mathias Cormann, Acting Assistant Treasurer, together with Bruce Billson, Minister for Small Business, request the Board of Taxation (the Board) to conduct a fast-track review to identify features of the tax system that are unreasonably or unnecessarily hindering or preventing small businesses from pursuing and achieving their commercial goals.
The Board’s report should provide business and broader community perspectives on issues in the tax system that are of most concern to small businesses, and identify the short- and medium-term priorities for small business tax reform in Australia, while noting that frequent change is often cited as a contributing factor to the compliance burden facing small business. In doing so, there should be a particular focus on high priority options for simplification and deregulation.
Recognising that the small business sector is highly diverse, as much as possible the report should focus on aspects of the tax system that unreasonably impede the goals of a broad cross section of businesses, with a particular emphasis on impediments to growing into medium and large business. The Board should not feel constrained to use any specific definition of small business.
To facilitate the production of this fast-track review, we ask that the Board utilise its extensive links with tax professionals and conduct targeted consultation with key business groups. The Board also should work closely with the Treasury and Australian Taxation Office in preparing its report. Further, the report should utilise and build upon the conclusions of the Board’s scoping study of small business tax compliance costs, which was completed in December 2007.
We ask that the Board report to Government by 31 August 2014.
In undertaking this review, the Board consulted widely to provide all stakeholders with the opportunity to participate in the review.
The Board appointed a working group of its members comprising Mr John Emerson AM (Chair of the Working Group), Mrs Teresa Dyson and Mr Curt Rendall to oversee the review.
As this was a fast-track review the Board did not issue a discussion paper. Instead the Board sought submissions which identified the most serious tax system impediments that small businesses face in achieving their commercial goals, along with a sense of their relative priority.
The Board completed its review of tax impediments facing small business and provided its report to the Government at the end of August 2014.
On 20 January 2015, the Government announced the release of the Board of Taxation’s report on its review of tax impediments facing small business and the Government’s response to the Board’s report.
The Government partially accepted the Boards recommendations. A number of recommendations were supported and were noted by the Government that they would be implemented or were already in the process of being implemented at the time of the report. Some measures required further investigation, to be considered as part of the Tax White Paper Process or were to be the subject of a post implementation review (in particular the review of the Taxable Payments Reporting System). Two recommendations surrounding changes to the Superannuation Guarantee Charge and employer obligations were not supported.
Further information on this review can be obtained from the Board of Tax Secretariat on (02) 6263 4366 or at TaxBoard@treasury.gov.au.
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|Chamber of Commerce and Industry Queensland||615KB|
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|The Association of Superannuation Funds of Australia||92KB|
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|The Tax Institute – supplementary submission||424KB|