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Australian businesses are invited to have their say on the current tax system and its impact on their operations.

Accountancy network BDO is running its 2014-15 Tax Reform Survey, and aims to give businesses around the country and across all sectors the chance to share their collective thoughts on topics like the GST, corporate tax rate, capital gains tax, superannuation and the FBT system.

Now open until 31 October 2014, and in its fourth year, the survey responses will be released in early 2015, informing BDO’s contributions to the Federal Government’s Tax Reform White Paper as well as pre-Budget submissions for 2015-16.

BDO National Tax Leader Marcus Leonard commented that Australian businesses are still yet to see meaningful tax reform. Furthermore he believes the Government is using its White Paper as a means to stifle any opportunity for advancement.

“The G20 will certainly push forward conversations around international tax transparency and issues like base erosion and profit shifting,” Mr Leonard said.

“However, many questions remain nationally in lieu of a commitment on tax reform from the Federal Government and the deferral of the white paper.

“From small business owners and entrepreneurs, through to large corporations, businesses are still grappling with a tax system that is complex and burdensome, without any certainty around what genuine reform will look like and when it will happen.”

This year’s survey – which can be completed online via BDO’s website – will gauge whether opinion has changed from the previous consensus that Government has been tinkering around the edges of tax reform for too long.

Notable outcomes from last year’s survey included the figure that 95 per cent of respondents believe there is too much talk and not enough action in the tax reform area.

“One particular area of contention is the GST. In the 20134-14 survey, 95 per cent of respondents agreed the GST must be considered in any tax reform discussion, 67 per cent suggested all GST exemptions should be abolished, and 59 per cent wanted the GST rate increased to fund the abolition of state payroll taxes and stamp duties.”

New changes to tax at stalemate

Palmer United Party Senate leader Glenn Lazarus has labelled any further Government tax hikes “political suicide”.

This year’s Budget included plans to cut and change university funding, cut family payments, impose an increase to the fuel excise and a $7 fee on GP visits, X-rays and blood tests.

However, meetings between senior ministers and crossbench senators over the past five-weeks have so far failed to break the Senate impasse over the Coalition’s Budget plans.

to go ahead with its threat to raise taxes if it cannot get its budget passed.

t would be “political suicide” for the Government to go ahead with its threat to raise taxes if it cannot get its budget passed.

Speaking to ABC yesterday, Finance Minister Mathias Cormann warned that if spending cuts were blocked then “the only alternative to balance the books is to increase taxes”.

Parliament resumes tomorrow, and Senator Lazarus said the Government needed to propose “better” ways to improve the nation’s books.

“It’d be political suicide for the Abbott Government if they did try to introduce more taxes to the Australian public,” he told Fairfax Radio in Brisbane.


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Stephanie Zillman

Stephanie Zillman

Stephanie is the editor-at-large of Dynamic Business. Stephanie brings with her a passion for journalism, business, and new ideas. On her days off, you might find her reading a book on the beach.

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