- Australian Federal Budget will be handed down on 2 April ahead of a federal election
- CA ANZ’s pre-budget submission to the Australian Government urges caution
- The submission warns against election largesse, despite returning to surplus
The Australian Federal Budget will be handed down on 2 April in the context of a May election and the first national surplus in more than a decade.
While the incumbent government has the potential to use the improved budgetary position for electorally friendly largesse, Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand (CA ANZ) is urging caution given some of the economic issues facing the Australian economy.
In its pre-budget submission to the Australia Government, CA ANZ says there is now the opportunity to address many ongoing and difficult issues in a disciplined fashion.
The Budget position should be considered from a long-term and intergenerational perspective, and CA ANZ has long advocated for the broadening of the GST to create a more sustainable tax base.
In terms of specific budgetary measures, while CA ANZ welcomed the legislated tax cuts announced in the 2018-19 budget, it advises against further cuts, believing they are inadvisable at a time when the surplus should accumulate to help fund future fiscal measures.
CA ANZ welcomes the extension of the $25,000 instant asset write off for small business, but believes this should become a permanent fixture of the taxation system.
The submission also advocates replacing annual superannuation contribution caps with lifetime caps, and creating joint spousal accounts within funds, including for pensions.
The Budget is also the opportunity to implement reform based on the recommendations of the recent Royal Commission into Misconduct in the Banking, Superannuation and Financial Services Industry, but the response should not be driven by short-term political considerations.
It is also an opportunity to promote Australia’s future as an online, efficient business community and a chance to address some long-term regulatory issues that affect CAs, with the potential to announce the delayed post-implementation review of the Tax Agent Services Act 2009.
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