On 29 April 2016 the Board of Taxation (BoT) launched Sounding Board, an innovative online collaboration platform that allows users to submit, discuss and vote on ideas to improve the tax system.
Once ideas are submitted they are prioritised by the community and then reviewed and collated by the BoT, Australian Taxation Office (ATO) and Treasury. Selected ideas are referred to the Treasury if legislative change is required, or to the ATO for administrative matters.
Sounding Board is open to tax bodies and professionals, businesses and members of the public to have their say on ways to improve the tax system. It is primarily designed for tax system improvement ideas, such as ways to reduce red-tape that result in compliance savings. It is not designed to consider new policy ideas, or significant changes to the tax system.
A wide range of ideas from foreign resident capital gains withholding payments to fringe benefits tax (FBT) related issues have already been submitted and will be reviewed in due course for further consideration.
In addition, the BoT had previously received around 170 ideas that have now been reviewed and categorised with some of the ideas put forward for further consideration or implementation. The Government has also committed to introducing an annual regulatory reform Bill to enable the suggestions which require legislative change to become law.
This is a very positive new development to help facilitate ongoing improvements to Australia's tax laws and you are encouraged to visit the BoT’s website to vote on existing ideas or contribute your own suggestion.