Taxation & GST Reforms and Implications


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During 2015, calls for tax reform with media discussion and debate, there has been calls for some multinationals to pay their share of tax and not to avoid it, leaving Australian to carry the burden. Online shopping also an area which avoids the GST that is another focus area. So it negative gearing and capital gains tax. New Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull with new Federal Treasurer, Scott Morrison, is now spearing heading a review into Australia’s tax system, with debate breaking out, where the GST and / or the Medicare levy should be increased, to cover budget shortfalls in health, education, infrastructure spending etc.
As business, unions and community leaders also pushing for tax reform, new Prime Minister, Malcolm Turnbull MP, says “Tax reform will be a central plank of the government’s new innovation agenda”. The Prime Minister has called together the leading proponents of the National Reform Summit for a three-hour session in Parliament House on the urgent need to lift economic growth and living standards. Mr Turnbull said innovation and productivity had been at the core of the summit and were on the agenda of his government. “The future of our country, our prosperity, will depend on the extent to which we can be more innovative, more technologically sophisticated and creative, more competitive and more productive,’’ the Prime Minister said.
Liberal NSW Premier Mike Baird, who is advocating for the GST to be lifted from 10 to 15 per cent, has said he looks forward to working with Mr Turnbull. Other proposals to increase GST revenue include broadening the base to include basic items such as food.

New Federal Treasurer Scott Morrison has signalled income tax cuts are squarely in the federal government’s sights as part of a sweeping review of the tax system, while warning the states they will not simply be handed a “bucket of money” under an overhaul of the system. He also states that “personal income tax must be reformed, as approx. 300,000 Australians will be pushed into a higher tax bracketed under the current system”.

And Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews, one of the most vocal opponents of raising the GST, publicly confirmed on Sunday his government would respect the Turnbull government’s plans if it wins a mandate from voters at the next election. He opposes an increase in GST, but supports an increase in the Medicare Levy, to provide more funding for health.

Opposition Leader Bill Shorten has flagged that tax concessions for the wealthy are in Labor’s sights as debate continues about the fairness of Australia’s tax system. While conversation has been focused largely on a potential increase to the Goods and Services Tax, both Mr Shorten and Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull have used addresses this week to call for a broader discussion about the tax system as a whole. “We have taxpayers in the top personal income tax bracket account for 2.7 per cent of the total number of taxpayers. But they also account for 55 per cent of the total capital gains income,” Mr Shorten said. “They are able to avail of a system where they’re two-and-a-half times more likely to be able to claim tax concessions than other income earners.”

United India Association President, John Kennedy, says he is “oppose to an increase in GST, that would hit the poor and the working people” “Leave the lower end alone” “Hit the rich with higher income tax rates and increases”. “John Howard as Prime Minister and Peter Costello as Federal Treasurer did a good job with the tax system and GST. Leave it alone and tax the rich more.”

Melissa Monteiro, Executive Director of the Community Migrant Resource Centre, says she “opposing to an increase of GST, with migrants”. “But in favour of increasing other taxes to provide money for services”. “Personal income tax needs to be reformed, especially for migrants, as the Australian personal income tax system lacks clarify and understanding, with what the rates and entitlements are”. “There needs to be reform, to have education, information, clarity and understanding”.

Paul McKenzie

The Indian Telegraph Sydney Australia

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