Ongoing uncertainty over the tax treatment of trusts has emerged as the top election issue for Australia’s taxation professionals.
Taxing of trusts was nominated by 50% of respondents as a top tax issue for the election.
Implementing a long term policy for the taxing of superannuation (47%), tax incentives for small business (46%) and reducing the number of state and local government taxes (44%) are the other main concerns.
The Institute has invited Treasurer Wayne Swan and Shadow Treasurer Joe Hockey to meet in a debate about tax policy.
Tax Institute Senior Tax Counsel Robert Jeremenko said the feedback about trusts reflected members’ concerns and was unsurprising given the outcome of recent tax cases and ATO views in relation to trusts.
“The High Court of Australia recently noted that it has been more than 20 years since the courts first identified the need for legislative clarification in this area of tax law,” Mr Jeremenko said.
‘Members’ feedback confirms that legislative change is well overdue.
“The tax treatment of trusts has the potential to affect all taxpayers including individuals, small businesses, superannuation funds, managed funds and large businesses.”
“Our membership clearly believes it’s time for both sides of politics to commit to a legislative solution to provide clarity.”
Mr Jeremenko said the Institute’s proposal for a debate on tax was sent to the Government and Opposition well before the start of the election campaign. Both major parties are yet to respond.