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ACOSS: Australia Should Strengthen Tax Base

Thursday, March 10, 2016

The Australian Council of Social Services (ACOSS) has called on the Government to use the Budget to strengthen the income tax base, reform inefficient tax concessions, and overhaul the capital gains tax (CGT) system.

Publishing ACOSS's pre-Budget submission, the Council's CEO, Cassandra Goldie, said: "Genuine tax reform is not about raising or lowering tax rates: it should begin by limiting unfair tax breaks and unintended loopholes that mainly benefit people who are on higher incomes and erode the tax base. These are well known and include superannuation, investor housing tax concessions, and the use of company and family trusts, which enable people to avoid paying their fair share of tax."

According to ACOSS, "income taxes are the fairest way to raise public revenue and governments should strengthen that tax base, not undermine it." It recommended that that the income base for the Medicare Levy should be broadened to cover "tax-sheltered income" and that the Seniors and Pensioners Tax Offset should be restricted to pensioners.

In addition, ACOSS would like to see superannuation fund earnings taxed at the same 15 percent rate in the "pension phase" as in the "accumulation phase." It argued for private trusts (both discretionary and fixed) to be taxed as companies, and for income tax deductions for expenses relating to investments in assets yielding capital gains to be limited to income received from those assets from January 1, 2017.

ACOSS also called for the removal of capital gains tax (CGT) concessions for small business assets. These concessions include the additional 50 percent discount for the disposal of such gains, the exemption for gains on assets held for over 15 years, and the exemption for gains used for retirement purposes.

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The Report

Offshore Trusts Guide: Introduction

The History of Offshore Trusts
Development of Professional Competence in the Jurisdictions
What Future for the Trust?
The New Age of Transparency
The Swiss Association of Trust Companies
The Society of Trusts and Estates Practitioners

Offshore Trusts Guide: Jurisdictions

Bahamas

Bahamas: Legal Framework and Formation Rules and Fees
Bahamas: 2006 Private Trust Companies Legislation

Barbados

Barbados: Legal Framework and Formation Rules and Fees
Barbados: Supervisory and Licensing Regime and Fees

Bermuda

Bermuda: Legal Framework and Formation Rules and Fees
Bermuda: Supervisory and Licensing Regime and Fees

British Virgin Islands

British Virgin Islands: Legal Framework and Formation Rules and Fees
British Virgin Islands: Special Trusts Act 2003
British Virgin Islands: The Trustee Act 2003
British Virgin Islands: :Supervisory and Licensing Regime and Fees
British Virgin Islands: New Laws on Private Trust Companies
British Virgin Islands: New Private Trust Company Regulations

Cayman Islands

Cayman Islands: Legal Framework and Formation Rules and Fees
Cayman Islands: Supervisory and Licensing Regime and Fees

Cook Islands

Cook Islands: Legal Framework and Formation Rules and Fees
Cook Islands: Supervisory and Licensing Regime and Fees

Cyprus

Cyprus: Legal Framework and Formation Rules and Fees
Cyprus: Supervision, Licensing and Tax

Gibraltar

Gibraltar: Legal Framework and Formation Rules and Fees
Gibraltar: Legislation, Regulation and Supervision

Guernsey

Guernsey: Legal Framework and Formation Rules and Fees
Guernsey: Trusts Law 2007

Isle of Man

Isle of Man: Legal Framework and Formation Rules and Fees
Isle of Man: Supervisory and Licensing Regime
Isle of Man: Uses Clients and Tax Treatment

Jersey

Jersey: Legal Framework and Formation Rules and Fees
Jersey: Supervisory and Licensing Regime
Jersey: Trusts Amendment Act 2006
Jersey: Foundations

Liechtenstein

Liechtenstein: Legal Framework and Formation Rules and Fees
Liechtenstein: Regulation Supervision and Transparency
Liechtenstein: Characteristics of Liechtenstein Trusts
Liechtenstein: Foundations

Madeira

Madeira: Legal Framework and Formation Rules and Fees

Malta

Malta: Legal Framework and Formation Rules and Fees
Malta: The Trust and Trustees Act 2004

Mauritius

Mauritius: Legal Framework and Formation Rules and Fees
Mauritius: Characteristics of the 2001 Trusts Act
Mauritius: Additional Provisions of the 2001 Trusts Act
Mauritius: Tax Treatment

Monaco

Monaco: Legal Framework and Formation Rules and Fees

Nevis

Nevis: Legal Framework and Formation Rules and Fees

Panama

Panama: Legal Framework and Formation Rules and Fees
Panama: Requirements for Acting as Trust Company in Panama

Seychelles

Seychelles: Legal Framework and Formation Rules and Fees

Turks & Caicos

Turks & Caicos: Legal Framework and Formation Rules and Fees
Turks & Caicos: The Voidable Dispositions Ordinance

Vanuatu

Vanuatu Legal Framework and Formation Rules and Fees




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