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Election 2019: Sources for Federal Labor Party Policy Proposals

2. ATO reform on small business treatment

Ken Phillips
Self-Employed Australia
PO Box 13103
Law Courts Vic 8010

Dear Ken

Thank you for your correspondence to Labor about two important issues to Self-Employed Australia and small businesses around Australia.

Please find the responses to our questions below.
a) Would the ALP legislate for the Small Business Tax Tribunal. It is currently a creature of AAT regulation and ATO internal policy. We need legislation to lock this in.
Labor has led the way on reforming tax administrative processes to treat small businesses fairly. Labor is committed to the principle that small businesses deserve a seat at the table with the Tax Office, just as big businesses currently get.

Particularly in light of media reporting in 2018, Labor announced we would legislate a Second Commissioner of Taxation – Appeals. This new Commissioner would ensure all taxpayers have a fair appeals process, with a new and separate set of eyes to review cases.

This function would also facilitate alternative dispute resolution between the Tax Office and small businesses.

The Government followed with its plan to establish the Small Business Tax Tribunal. As you note, it is a creature of regulation, not legislation.

Labor will continue the Small Business Tax Tribunal.

As part of the consultation and legislative drafting process for the Second Commissioner reform, we would be able to task Treasury to also consult on legislative certainty for the Tribunal.

Yours sincerely

Australian Labor

Note: the second part of the ALP's response (on Unfair Contract Reform) has already been published on our website here.

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