Sounding Board

Welcome to the Board of Taxation Sounding Board.

It’s the place to contribute ideas for tax system improvement (including care and maintenance ideas that were part of the ATO’s Tax issues Entry System process). Importantly, it is not intended as a forum for substantive tax policy proposals (e.g. altering tax rates, changing the tax mix or removing certain types of taxes altogether).

We are looking for ideas that reduce red-tape and result in compliance savings (e.g. streamlining tax registration thresholds, re-drafting complex provisions to ensure clarity and removing unnecessary sections from tax returns), not ideas that would require significant changes to the tax system.

We encourage you to submit ideas and offer practical solutions that you think could positively shape the Australian tax regulation landscape.

How to use Sounding Board

To get involved simply register as a user and submit, vote and/or comment on the ideas. All submitted ideas are periodically reviewed by the Board of Taxation, with assistance from the Treasury and the Australian Taxation Office. The highest rated ideas are selected for further consideration and possible implementation by the Government.

To submit an idea, please click the 'Submit New Idea' button at the top of the navigation sidebar. You will then be asked to add a title and describe your idea. You will also have the option to add tags to the idea. To vote on existing ideas, simply click the up or down arrows to the right of the idea title/description listed below. To add a comment, click in the box below the idea.

More Information

To learn more about the work of the Board of Taxation and the role we play in improving the tax system, visit www.taxboard.gov.au.

Thank you for your contribution.

Tax System Improvement

Productivity and workplace diversity – current measures ineffect

There are currently two FBT exemptions currently available which relate to child care: 1. Exemption for the provision of child care facilities – a key requirement is that the employer must provide the child care facility on its business premises. 2. Exemption for contributions made to obtain priority of access – of little practical value when compared to the cost of child care itself. It is understood that only an exceptionally ...more »

Submitted by (@brianpurdy)
13 comments

Voting

87 votes
88 up votes
1 down votes

Tax System Improvement

Payroll Tax Reporting - National System

Currently, employers must collect and report monthly wages information and annual reconciliations for each State using various systems/forms. Members of a group then also require a Designated Group Employer (“DGE”) to lodge a separate annual reconciliation for each State summing the wages information for every group company both in the relevant State as well as Australia wide (in order to apply State payroll tax thresholds ...more »

Submitted by (@testaan)
4 comments

Voting

23 votes
24 up votes
1 down votes

Tax System Improvement

Superannuation Guarantee Charge Simplification

The rules governing the Superannuation Guarantee Charge (SGC) regime are complex and onerous to the extent that many SME's ignore SGC for late super remissions. These rules should be substantially simplified in order to provide clarity and improved compliance.

Submitted by (@moderatorboardoftaxationsecretariat)
4 comments

Voting

13 votes
13 up votes
0 down votes

Tax System Improvement

Update Section 45B guidance

The ATO should consider reviewing the usefulness and relevancy of its advice and guidance in respect of schemes to provide certain benefits (section 45B of the ITAA 1936) and update it as required.

Submitted by (@moderatorboardoftaxationsecretariat)
1 comment

Voting

11 votes
12 up votes
1 down votes

Tax System Improvement

AMIT regime - platforms & wraps

Platforms, wraps, IDPS and IDPS-like schemes are not currently deemd as "good" investors for a fund that is trying to satisfy the eligibility requirements for entry into the AMIT regime. Platforms etc have very large numbers of investors (in the thousands) and a platform investor could easily satisfy the widely held requirement if each investor were to invest into a fund directly. The current law results in a significant ...more »

Submitted by (@financial.services.council)
1 comment

Voting

10 votes
10 up votes
0 down votes

Tax System Improvement

Increase the GST valid tax invoice threshold

The current threshold for which a valid GST tax invoice must be held in order to claim input tax credits is $82.50 GST inclusive. This threshold imposes large administrative costs on businesses. Propose the threshold be increased to $150 GST inclusive.

Submitted by (@moderatorboardoftaxationsecretariat)
2 comments

Voting

9 votes
10 up votes
1 down votes

Tax System Improvement

Foreign resident capital gains withholding payments

Given the broad application of this regime (eg. deeming all vendors of real property to be foreign residents unless they produce a clearance certificate from the ATO) and its red tape implications for day to day transactions, there is an urgent need for the ATO to issue class variations for situations where there is no tax payable including: • transactions attracting roll-over relief; • transactions required to give ...more »

Submitted by (@reynah)
1 comment

Voting

7 votes
7 up votes
0 down votes

Tax System Improvement

Amend transfer pricing rules

Amend transfer pricing rules so that when a taxpayer’s gearing ratio falls within the safe harbour rations, the taxpayer’s debt deductions are priced, for the purposes of the transfer pricing rules, on the basis of the taxpayer’s actual gearing ratio and not by reference to a notional arm’s length capital structure.

Submitted by (@moderatorboardoftaxationsecretariat)
1 comment

Voting

7 votes
7 up votes
0 down votes

Tax System Improvement

Increased ATO portal functionality

There are several common reasons why a tax agent would call the tax office, if some of these reasons can be made available online it would save time for both the tax agent and ATO staff. Suggestions for portal improvements could include: The ability to see, download, and amend the annual payroll summaries and taxable payments summaries lodged by a business (and other uploadable files), ability to make payment arrangements ...more »

Submitted by (@markcaldwell)
2 comments

Voting

7 votes
7 up votes
0 down votes

Tax System Improvement

Align Fringe Benefit Tax Year with Income Tax Year

For small businesses, calculating expenses that confer fringe benefits using a period that overlaps accounting periods adds an additional compliance burden. By aligning the two periods, a business can use their year-end figures to calculate their expenses for FBT

Submitted by (@markcaldwell)
2 comments

Voting

6 votes
6 up votes
0 down votes

Tax System Improvement

My gov

Currently you cam only use an email address for one my gov registration. While the rationale is understandable. It doea not work effectively. This practice stops children from assisting parents or relatives to lodge tax returns. This is an easy fix which provides greater flexibility and will increase participation with My Gov

Submitted by (@tonrid52)
3 comments

Voting

6 votes
6 up votes
0 down votes

Tax System Improvement

Extend Super Fund Central Management and Control Exemption

Currently, a Self-Managed Superannuation Fund (SMSF) can remain an Australian superannuation fund even where its central management and control is temporarily outside of Australia for up to two years. However, this timeframe is too short in the context of modern work arrangements. Propose the exemption be increased to allow a fund's central management and control to be temporarily outside Australia for up to four years. ...more »

Submitted by (@moderatorboardoftaxationsecretariat)
Add your comment

Voting

5 votes
5 up votes
0 down votes