Australia Delays Tax Review
Friday, March 5, 2010
Having received the Henry tax review at the end of last year, and having then
said that it would consider the review for release early in 2010, along with
an initial response, the Australian government now appears to be delaying that
The government has previously said that the review would lay the foundations
for a 10-year plan for reform. It was said that the government’s response
to the review's recommendations would be in various forms, with some things
that could be done immediately or at least with a consultation and development
process that could be launched.
Its release has been widely anticipated as it has caused uncertainty in some
areas, particularly in the mineral resources sector where there has been speculation
of an increase in mining taxation.
Even last month, the government had refused a request for a swift response,
confirming that the government was still considering the detailed document having
only received it a few weeks previously, but also confirming that it was preparing
its initial response which would be published at some time early this year.
However, following the announcement of the government’s far-reaching
health and hospital reforms which will need discussion with all the parties
involved, especially the state governments, the Prime Minister, Kevin Rudd,
is reported as saying that he is now too involved and busy also to complete
the details of the government’s reaction to the tax review.
The government priority is, apparently, the health reforms and there is no
target date for the release of the tax review. Various parties are still calling
for its early release, to allay the speculation about its contents and about
which of its recommendations will eventually be taken up by the government,
but it appears that the Treasury is still working through the document. It will
now be heavily involved in the switches in expenditure and taxation within the
changes proposed to the structure of the health sector.