BDO Tax Reform Survey 2013

10 October 2012

Lance Cunningham, National Tax Director |

Square pegs and round holes

In 2011 BDO ran its inaugural Tax Reform Survey, which found that the taxpayers of Australia are still frustrated with the slow pace of tax reform and the complexity of the current tax system. Despite the Henry Review now being almost four years old, true reform that is the right shape for Australia’s future growth and prosperity continues to be a dream, and the efforts towards reform have continued to try to fit a square peg in a round hole.

To further this debate on tax reform, between October and December 2012 we asked Australian taxpayers to participate in our latest annual Tax Reform Survey. In doing so, we sought to revisit many of the areas of frustration identified in the previous survey, and to ask whether any of the tax reform initiatives in the intervening period had addressed any of the concerns raised.

We found that not much had changed, that the frustration continues, and that the right fit continues to elude us.  

The results contained in this report are gathered from the responses of over 100 respondents to the survey, and range across the spectrum of Australian taxpayers. It is clear that taxpayers want fair and reasonable reforms that are easy to understand, and will go some way to reducing the administrative burden they feel they carry under the weight of the tax system.

Some of the key findings include:

  • 73% of respondents think the Government should revisit most of the Henry recommendations
  • 72% believe a review of the GST is essential to any discussion of tax reform
  • 85% of participants agree Australian businesses are spending an increasing and unreasonable amount of time and resources on tax compliance
  • 62% feel that Australia’s tax system isn’t competitive with our international counterparts
  • 85% of participants agree there are too many different forms of taxes being paid by Australian businesses.

If you have any questions relating to the Tax Reform Survey 2013, please contact your local tax adviser.