Ongoing Taxation Act amendments prove an overwhelming challenge from reporting and cost of compliance perspective as tax specialist sees need for greater detail and certainty for legislation moving forward
Sydney, 26 August 2013 - CCH, a Wolters Kluwer business and global leader in tax, accounting and audit information, software and services for professionals today called for new government focus and initiatives to address taxation administration. With taxation reform primarily focussed on policy development, CCH is encouraging a renewed focus and commitment to streamlining the administration of policy changes based on a set of industry standards developed by government. This would provide greater clarity for the interpretation of policy changes and relieve the onerous and costly burden of compliance for Australian corporates.
“Currently there is an overwhelming focus on taxation policy change with a corresponding lack of attention to taxation administration,” outlined Tony Katsigarakis, Regional Director Client Development for CCH’s Corporate Reporting Solutions. “This is the message that we are hearing from hundreds of tax managers around the country and it has reached a crucial point. With the regulator itself setting targets for improved processes and greater access to internal corporate data, a clear industry standard delineated by government is clearly needed.”
In two consecutive industry surveys, CCH has found that administration changes in reporting, compliance and cost of compliance for Fringe Benefits Tax and Profit Shifting were of concern for business.
In the CCH 2013 Fringe Benefits Taxation Survey, respondents highlighted a contradiction in a high level of confidence in meeting compliance requirements with high concerns regarding internal processes, costs of compliance and internal knowledge levels. The most recent CCH survey, 2013 Transfer Pricing Survey, shows that 86% of survey respondents confirmed they expect compliance costs to increase. Of this group of respondents over 80% were uncertain as to how much compliance costs will increase, with answers ranging from 20% to 60% to simply unknown.
Katsigarakis continued: “We need to incorporate the tax policy settings into the legislation process in order to create greater certainty and reduce the impact on corporate tax payers. This approach to removing the guesswork has been successfully implemented across other recent financial services industry initiatives and there is a real need and demand to address productivity burdens.
“We encourage government to undertake an industry-wide taxation compliance and reporting review with a view towards setting standards for improving certainty and reducing costs of compliance. We believe it is time to address these issues as the ongoing development of the tax revenue system will continue to add reporting requirements for management teams in the future for some time to come,” he said.Katsigarakis outlined advice for government to streamline taxation administration:
- Review the administration processes of existing taxation legislation and consult with industry working groups on streamlining the interpretation and reporting compliance processes to provide greater certainty on reporting processes.
- Automatically incorporate policy and administration changes for impending taxation legislation to minimise the impact of reporting and compliance for Australian corporates.
- Government to provide clear detail and certainty for all legislation moving forward, removing the need for taxpayer interpretation based on limited information.
For more information, please contact:
Senior Communications Coordinator, Wolters Kluwer Asia Pacific
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Regional Director Client Development, CCH Corporate Reporting Solutions,
Wolters Kluwer Asia Pacific
T: +61 2 9857 1350 | firstname.lastname@example.org
Cathryn van der Walt
12 Worlds on behalf of CCH
T: +61 (0) 402 327 633 | email@example.com
About CCH, a Wolters Kluwer business
CCH (www.cch.com.au) is part of Wolters Kluwer, a market-leading global information services company focused on professionals with annual revenues of (2012) €3.6 billion ($4.7 billion) and approximately 19,000 employees worldwide. Please visit our website or follow us on Twitter, LinkedIn or Facebook for more information.
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