28 April 2010
ACOSS today released ten critical questions that should be answered by the Henry tax review to ensure Australia builds an equitable and efficient tax system with enough revenue for the community in the future.
“The Henry review has a once-in-a-generation chance to lock-in key reforms to guarantee there is adequate public revenue to fund services and income support needed by Australians as the population ages,” said Clare Martin, CEO, Australian Council of Social Service.
“The tax treatment of housing and superannuation in particular should be scrutinised. There are generous tax concessions for these assets which benefit people with substantial wealth at the expense of Australians on low incomes.
“ACOSS is also looking to the Henry report to recommend for measures to ensure that revenue is raised on people’s ability to pay tax, not their ability to game the system.”
ACOSS will be looking for the following ten questions to be addressed by the Henry report: :
1. Does the report propose to increase public revenue as the population ages to meet the growing cost of health and disability services?
2. Would the taxation of superannuation be fairer?
3. Would the tax treatment of housing be fairer?
4. Are opportunities for people to arrange their financial affairs to avoid income tax curbed?
5. Would investment incomes (e.g. capital gains and interest) be taxed more consistently, and would this be achieved by raising or lowering overall taxes on investments?
6. Would business pay more or less tax overall?
7. Would the tax treatment of charities be placed on a fair and secure footing?
8. Would the proposed system be fair between generations?
9. Would the proposed system improve work incentives?
10. Would the proposed system be simpler?
As the peak body for the community sector, ACOSS has made a number of submissions to the Henry tax review which are available here.