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Australian Tax Law

Henry told us in his guide to the Institutional Framework of Taxation in Australia that the Australian Taxation System is one of the most complex in the world and is made up of approximately 125 taxes including taxes such as Income Tax, Capital Gains Tax, Fringe Benefits Tax and Goods and Services Tax just to name a few. 

He also mentioned that there are many different organizations that play different and varied roles within this system to ensure its integrity and all Australians are equally treated with equity.

The Australian Taxation System is embedded in the way of life for all Australian taxpayers, we pay tax on our income, we pay tax when we purchase goods and use services, we pay tax when we sell assets and this is just to name a few but in return the Government provides services and benefits e.g. hospitals, schools, defence, and financial assistance to those in need etc.

As we know the government relies very heavily on the revenue from taxation to be able to finance its activities and services it offers to the public and reforms and reviews on taxation are often a focus of governments. 

In May of this year, we will have an election to determine who will govern Australia for the next 4 years.  Taxation has always played an important role in the election promises of the major parties and this year is no different. 

The parties are looking at different aspects of tax reform which may include changes to existing taxation policies such as changes to franking credit rebates, negative gearing, changes to the income tax rates to introducing limits on tax deductibility are some of the items being reported on.  Many elections have been won and lost on taxation promises ….. how is this one going to play out?

This assessment requires you to review the major taxation promises of each of the major political parties and to comment on whether you feel that what is being proposed  fits into the concepts of the principles of a Good Tax.

The principles of a Good tax encompasses

  • Equity
  • Efficient
  •  Simplicity
  • Certainty
  • Neutrality

Part One

Review Australian newspapers such as the West Australian, Financial Review, The Australian, Sunday Times and various others for articles on the area mentioned above.  You need to find 10 newspaper articles which will be handed in with your assignment.  The articles should be from 2018 or 2019 only.  If you do not have access to Australian Newspapers then you may use the Factiva Database within the Curtin Library. 

A factsheet on how to use this database and a short video presentation is included in the assessment link for this assignment on the Blackboard.  These newspaper articles must be scanned or saved as PDF files and uploaded to the Blackboard in the appropriate area within the assessment tab.  Please Note we will not accept links to the articles.

Part Two

After reading newspapers and journal articles and using wider research platforms explain what each major political party is proposing as part of its election promises in the area of taxation. You also need to consider if those proposals make a good tax.

For this area of the assessment you need to explain

  1. What is the taxation platform of the political parties in Australia for the upcoming election?
  2. Are they following the concept of a Good Tax Principle of what they are proposing?  You may to discuss one proposal in detail or their overall complete taxation package.
  3. What is your opinion of the fact that taxation is often a major part of election promises made by political parties?  For example why do you think it is important, does it sway voters do you think or major corporations to support one party over the other in the lead up to the elections.

The requirements of the assignment for part two is to produce a 1500 to 2000 word essay on the above points and to express your opinion of this topic which should be based on your findings from the Australian newspapers you have collected and any other research you may want to undertake, please do not just provide a detailed summary of the articles you have included in Part 1

The word limit does not take into account the cover page or references and we will allow an excess of 10%.

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