CCA recommends Treasury focus on what Australia we live in, not what taxes we pay - 1 June 2015

Tax Reform? Do no harm

Reform needs to focus on where we live, not what we want our taxes to pay

The title of the Tax White Paper is “Better tax system, better Australia”. CCA believes that all Australians want to live in flourishing communities. While it is important to have a fair, efficient and effective taxation system, the way we tax also has a direct impact on many of the relationships between citizens and within our communities. Our tax system influences the availability of housing and employment, the quality of our education, health care and support services. A good tax system helps create opportunity and promotes public benefit. It supports investment in innovation and creativity, while increasing productivity.

Focusing on economic principles that treat each individual as an economic unit for the sake of developing and implementing an economically sound taxation system will not enable the taxation system to realise its potential to contribute to a better Australia.

CCA supports a national conversation about taxation, but the focus of this conversation should be about the kind of Australia we want to live in rather than simply what taxes we want to pay. Any proposed changes should be meaningfully canvassed with those it will impact on – keeping in mind the fundamental principle of all good interventions – first do no harm.

Tax Reform? Maximise investment in NFPs

This submission reflects the findings from a long history of inquiries and detailed consideration by numerous groups into the benefit of charitable and not-for-profit tax concessions to the Australian community. While most of the current charity and not-for-profit tax concessions should be retained, we can improve the tax system by streamlining classifications and concessional arrangements, improving access to capital, creating greater certainty in government funding, streamlining government processes and associated administration, empowering consumers; ending pointless duplication and multiple assessments of eligibility for government concessions.

Changes in these areas will benefit all Australians.

It is hoped the review of Australian taxation will take the issues raised in this submission into account to ensure the government and community maximise their investment in charities and not-for-profits. A better tax system can play a vital role in ensuring we live in the Australia we want, and encourage a stronger less encumbered charities and not-for-profit sector to flourish.

View the Government's Re:Think, Better Tax, Better Australia discussion paper is available here.