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Review of Business Tax Discussion Paper

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■ PRESS RELEASE Business Coalition for Tax Reform 16/379 Collins Street Melbourne, Vic 3000 Telephone 03 9610 4208 Facimile 03 9610 4223 Web site

Review of Business Tax Discussion Paper

Mr. Fergus Ryan, Chairman of the Business Coalition for Tax Reform today welcomed the release of the Review of Business Taxation’s Discussion Paper A Strong Foundation: establishing objectives, principles and processes. Mr. Ryan said “The paper presents all Australians, particularly the business community, with an opportunity to discuss and provide

input into the vital challenge of rebuilding our business tax system.”

Mr Ryan said “the Review's stated objectives of economic growth, equity and greater simplicity would find widespread support in the business community. These objectives accord broadly with the objectives the Business Coalition for Tax Reform has established for tax reform. These are to improve international competitiveness and fairness in taxation and to create a climate favourable

to investment, job creation and saving.”

Mr Ryan said “the Discussion Paper recognised, in very frank terms, the faults with all dimensions of the present system - including its basic design, the tax legislation itself and the administration of taxation.” He added “The paper displays an honest appreciation of the difficulties the business community has been grappling with for some years and which the

Business Coalition for Tax Reform has urged be taken into account in the tax reform process.

“As an organisation that has promoted the need for comprehensive tax reform, we particularly welcome the wide scope of the review. The questions of administration, of policy design and legislative processes and the inclusion of the fringe benefits tax regime, are all indicative of the willingness of the R e v ie w to address these issues head on and open them up for discussion. "

Mr Ryan also welcomed the approach taken by the Review of embarking on an open and consultative process of engagement with the business community. He said “if we are to address the high compliance costs and the uncertainty of the current regime, we really do need to rethink our approach to business tax in a way that takes full account of commercial realities and taps into

the experience of the businesspeople at the ‘coal face’of the tax system. The Discussion Paper released today shows every sign that these voices will be listened to.”

The Discussion Paper is centred around principles of policy design, of legislative processes and administration. Mr. Rvan said the business community will need to examine all of the suggested principles very closely and provide constructive feedback into the review process. “It is now up to us to talk through the issues raised by the Discussion Paper and to build upon the excellent start that has been made.”

Contacts: Fergus Ryan 03 92868708

David Buckingham 0419 004 200