Paying too much tax? 


Ideally any tax system should be simple, effective and equitable. The current Australian system is none of these. The two tax assessment acts have almost doubled in size every seven years over the past 20 years and currently total more than 10,000 pages.

Issues of tax reform, tax holidays and pitfalls associated with investment income are some of the subjects that will be covered during a free lecture tomorrow, Tuesday 23 May, as part of the Charles Darwin University Public Lecture Series for 2006.

Professor Brian Andrew from the School of Law and Business will present the lecture - Tax Reform, Tax Holidays and Economic Development - beginning 6pm at the Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory.

“It is almost impossible for even honest and conscientious taxpayers to fully comply with the current tax system because of its growing complexity,” Professor Andrew said.

“It is also economically inefficient, with concessions discouraging the accumulation of wealth through economically productive activities.

“The system is so unfair that low and middle income earners now pay the highest effective tax rates, with some families facing effective marginal tax rates of 108% because of the interaction between the tax and social security systems.

“Tax reform must simplify the system, encourage productive investment and economic development, remove the distortion of economic decisions and ensure equitable outcomes.

“Darwin and the NT are also relatively isolated and need investment for economic development. Tax incentives should be part of a package which encourages development and we have only to look north to our Asian neighbours and competitors to see how tax incentives can stimulate economic development,” Professor Andrew said.

Professor Andrew will be introduced by Karen Green a tax partner at Deloitte.

The free Public Lecture will begin at 6pm on Tuesday 23 May in the theatre at the Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory, Fannie Bay. Light refreshments will be served afterwards on the terrace and everyone is welcome to attend.