March triggers a US soft patch, a harder Fed, and a possible start to tax reforms?

Pendal Group

Pendal Group

Canberra's Tax Discussion paper somewhat overstates the case against direct (income) taxes and in favour of indirect (spending) taxes, but there are summaries of potential weak spots ie differential taxation of different forms of saving, the generosity of superannuation tax concessions, and the interaction of negative gearing and reduced taxation for capital gains. The possibilities of a change to dividend imputation and of a lower corporate tax rate were also bruited. We need to get a national conversation going on such matters. Unsurprisingly, the paper contains no consideration whatsoever of a carbon tax, or of a resource rent tax! The difficulty is, of course, that reform is about increasing the efficiency of the tax system. What we need also to confront is the necessity to raise more revenue; that is to increase the tax burden. This is the reason why an eventual increase in the rate of the GST, or a broadening of its coverage, appears inevitable. What's in store for Australia and other major economies? More from BTFG Chief Economist Chris Caton here (VIEW LINK)

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