On the 25 November 2016 the Committee adopted the terms of reference provided by the Minister for Revenue and Financial Services, the Hon Kelly O’Dwyer MP. The full terms of reference are detailed at the front of this report, along with an explanatory paper provided by the Treasury in support of the terms of reference. Both the terms of reference and the explanatory paper were published to the Committee’s website.
The scope of this inquiry was limited by nature of the role of the Committee—and through the terms of reference—to the prevailing and emerging taxation environment and tax administration within that context. The Committee has received high level commentary about taxation policy, most comment supporting policy streamlining; with reference to simplification as raised in Australia’s Future Tax System Review (the AFTS review).
The Committee has not extensively delved into the detail of taxation law, which is vast and beyond the capacity of the Committee’s resources in the period of inquiry. Rather, the Committee has explored the broader taxation eco-system, both domestic and global, the factors influencing that environment, and the way stakeholders perceive and operate within it. Importantly, the Committee has considered what influences positive taxpayer behaviour in their interaction with the tax system and what constitutes favourable engagement frameworks.
The Committee considered new payment platforms, use of Information Technology (IT), cyber-currencies and the potential use of blockchain technology for administrators and regulators. And against that backdrop, and that of the Government’s ‘digital by default’ agenda, the role of cyber-resilience, cyber-security and access to the tax system for all stakeholders; not just the digitally astute or the affluent.