The tax reform challenge


Saul Eslake

Adam Smith said that a good taxation system should be equitable between taxpayers, certain in its impact on each of them, simple to comply with, and parsimonious in its administration costs. Sadly, the Australian tax system has none of these qualities. In fact, if you hired a consultant to create a system that encouraged the accumulation of wealth through borrowing and speculating while penalising such accumulation through working and saving, he or she would hand you a copy of the Australian Tax Income Assessment Act.