AN independent association for tax professionals, The Tax Institute, has called on the federal government to cut the company tax rate by 2 per cent.

Included in the Institute’s 2014-2015 federal budget submission, was a request for a cut in the company tax rate as well as a reform of state taxes to create a more efficient tax system.

President Michael Flynn says the overall message was that crucial policy to improve the tax system cannot be delayed despite the country’s current budgetary position.

“The Tax Institute supports ongoing analysis of potential reforms to Australia’s tax system, which are consistent with the Henry Review platform,” says Flynn.

“We welcome the announced Tax Reform White Paper consultation in the second half of calendar year 2014 and look forward to the government setting a timetable for this consultation as soon as possible.

“The government’s announced 1.5 per cent company tax cut for the year ended 30 June 2016 is a step in the right direction, however, The Tax Institute encourages the government to proceed with a 2 per cent cut."

He says a company tax cut would also reduce taxes on investment, driving an increase in savings and capital as well as innovation and entrepreneurship – all outcomes that he says are indisputably in the interests of all Australians.

“The Tax Institute urges the government to take a leadership position on State tax reform and bring the States on board with a unified vision for tax reform in Australia,” he says.

“This would include increasing Australia’s reliance on consumption taxes, such as the GST, and abolishing inefficient and complicated state taxes such as conveyance duties and insurance duties."

He says the government should consider the impact of the reforms on taxpayers in lower income tax brackets to ensure that such taxpayers do not suffer undue adverse consequences.

Other areas in need of reform highlighted in The Tax Institute’s submission include multinational taxation, tax transparency and alcohol tax reform.

Flynn welcomes the government’s commitment to addressing base erosion and profit shifting (BEPS) in conjunction with Australia’s G20 partners through its endorsement of the OECD action plan on BEPS in July 2013.

“We support implementation of measures consistent with the OECD recommendations on BEPS, which are due to be released in September 2014, to ensure that multinational companies pay tax in the country where revenue is earned.

“The Tax Institute also calls on the Government to further analyse and investigate the merits of reforming the current system of taxing alcohol.

“This would include evidence-based analysis, including consideration of transitional arrangements that might be required should a common volumetric tax be proposed,” he says.

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