Government Adopts Tax Consultation Report

The Chairman of the Board of Taxation, Mr Dick Warburton, today welcomed the Government’s decision to adopt in-principle the Board’s report on Government Consultation with the Community on the Development of Taxation Legislation.

The report represents a major initiative by the Board in responding to a key aspect of its Charter – that the Board provide advice on the quality and effectiveness of tax legislation and the processes for its development, including the processes of community consultation and other aspects of tax design.

Mr Warburton said that the Board’s recommendations, once implemented, would result in more effective community consultation on tax issues, leading to improvements in the quality of tax legislation and the operation of the tax system more generally.

“While the quality of consultations had improved recently, stakeholders still see shortcomings that I am pleased the Government is now moving to address,” Mr Warburton said.

The Board’s key recommendations seek early and more transparent consultation arrangements for the development and implementation of tax law.

“Early and transparent consultations will generate confidence that the Government’s legislative proposals are likely to be the most effective and workable.”

The Board’s recommendations more generally seek to engender a culture of open and genuine consultation to which both Ministers and stakeholders are committed. Parties must, in particular, share a goal of achieving outcomes that best serve the national interest, Mr Warburton said.

Mr Warburton said that he was also pleased that the Government had decided to enhance Ministerial control for tax law and design, by transferring this function to the Treasury. This also was a recommendation of the Board’s report.

“This should improve tax design and consultation process, and provide better accountability for implementing the Government’s tax policy initiatives.”