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

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

Voting

10 votes
10 up votes
0 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

Voting

3 votes
3 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.

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Voting

3 votes
3 up votes
0 down votes

Tax System Improvement

Guidance on Research and Development

There is currently little guidance provided to the mining industry on Research and Development (R&D) and its interactions with the tax system. Propose that the ATO provide consistent levels of R&D guidance/advice across all industries in order to provide clarity and certainty.

Submitted by

Voting

3 votes
3 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

Voting

3 votes
3 up votes
0 down votes

Tax System Improvement

ESS and Interests in Foreign Vehicles

Need further guidance from the ATO with respect to Employee Share Schemes (ESS) and whether interests in certain common kinds of foreign vehicles (such as a limited liability company) qualify as 'shares' or 'ordinary shares' under the ESS rules, in particular, subsections 83A-10(1) and 83A-45(2) of the ITAA 1997.

Submitted by

Voting

3 votes
3 up votes
0 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

Voting

3 votes
3 up votes
0 down votes

Tax System Improvement

A new small business entity

The 2015 Re:think paper discussed the virtues of a US ‘S-Corp’ type entity for SMEs in Australia. CPA Australia is of the view that it would be appropriate for a new type of entity be introduced into our tax regime that would have some of the features similar to that of a S-Corp, such as limited liability and streaming/ flow through of income to beneficiaries, but importantly it would also need the additional feature ...more »

Submitted by

Voting

2 votes
2 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

Voting

2 votes
2 up votes
0 down votes

Tax System Improvement

Unnecessary tax return form item

Total salary and wages expenses is one of the financial information disclosures on income tax returns of entities carrying on business. This disclosure is unnecessary because the ATO already gets this info from PAYGW disclosures on the business's BAS. Having to work out the payment summary equivalent figures to disclose on a tax return of an entity with a substituted accounting period can be very time consuming. Most ...more »

Submitted by

Voting

2 votes
2 up votes
0 down votes

Tax System Improvement

Tax Reform, and tax mix

The Tax White Paper process may be ended, but the structural tax problems remain.

We encourage governments to pursue structural tax reform - particularly focusing on our outdated tax mix and the problems articulated in the Re:think paper re aging population, our over-reliance on income taxes and under-reliance on taxes on consumption.

Submitted by

Voting

1 vote
1 up votes
0 down votes

Tax System Improvement

Encouraging savings and investment

Australia's current tax system penalises taxpayers on income derived from savings outside the superannuation system. Given the tax-preferred status of superannuation, it has become the preferred savings vehicle for most Australians. This is beneficial for retirement savings, but does little to recognise the necessity for individuals to save income outside of super to afford major capital purchases during their working ...more »

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Voting

1 vote
1 up votes
0 down votes

Tax System Improvement

Exempt Current Pension Income and Actuary's Certificates

In order for income of a Superannuation fund to be treated as exempt current pension income (ECPI) and therefore be exempt from income tax, section 295-385 of the Income Tax Assessment Act 1997 requires the trustee of the fund to obtain an actuary's certificate. Obtaining such a certificate is burdensome both from a timing and compliance cost perspective. Propose a statutory formula be developed in place of this requirement. ...more »

Submitted by

Voting

1 vote
1 up votes
0 down votes

Displaying 1 - 15 of 35 Ideas