Media Releases
Review of Business Taxation press release
No. 1/98



The Chairman of the Review of Business Taxation, Mr John Ralph, AO announced today that "work is proceeding on this very important initiative to review business income taxation".

Mr Ralph said "an effective business tax system should have as a key objective the improvement of the international competitiveness of the economy in order to attract capital for investment and maximise the opportunities for job creation".

He added that "extensive consultations would be held prior to developing recommendations for a sound, competitive and efficient business income taxation system for Australia". The Treasurer has announced today that the reporting date for the Review has been extended from 31 March 1999 to not later than 30 June 1999 to allow further time for consultations.

Mr Ralph said he welcomed the announcement by the Treasurer today that Mr Bob Joss, CEO of Westpac and Mr Rick Allert, Chairman of Southcorp will join him in undertaking the Review of Business Taxation. He said that the experience and knowledge that they bring to this important task will greatly benefit the work of the Review.

To facilitate the process of consultation, a number of external advisers have already been appointed to the Review Secretariat: Mr Phil Anderson, Arthur Andersen, Sydney; Professor Rick Krever, Deakin University, Melbourne; Ms Alice McCleary, Consultant to PricewaterhouseCoopers, Adelaide; Mr Sam Nickless, McKinsey & Co, Sydney; Professor Richard Vann, University of Sydney and Greenwoods & Freehills, Sydney; Ms Alison Watkins, McKinsey & Co, Sydney; and, Mr Jim Wright, Department of Industry, Science and Resources, Canberra. The Secretariat is being managed by Dr Alan Preston as Secretary to the Review and also has staff drawn from Treasury and the Australian Taxation Office.

The Review was announced by the Treasurer on 14 August 1998 and will make recommendations on the fundamental design of the business income taxation system, the processes of ongoing policy making, drafting of legislation and the administration of business taxation. The recommendations will be consistent with the aims of improving the competitiveness and efficiency of Australian business, providing a secure source of revenue, enhancing the stability of taxation arrangements, improving simplicity and transparency and reducing the costs of compliance.

Mr Ralph said three papers are planned to be issued progressively over the initial months of the Review. The first paper will start the consultation process by discussing the framework and principles for business taxation and their relationship to the ongoing processes of policy design, drafting of legislation and tax administration in Australia. Consultation on this topic is one of the important elements covered in the Terms of Reference for the Review. Discussion and submissions will be invited on this topic because the framework and principles adopted following consultation will be the background against which issues will be discussed and recommendations made in relation to the business taxation system as required of the Review.

The second paper, an information paper, will provide a comparison with international experience of the Australian business income taxation system, as a whole, as also set out in the Terms of Reference.

The third paper will cover detailed issues, as a basis for further consultation and submissions, directed at the strategy for reform of the taxation of investments and business entities set out in A New Tax System.

Copies of these papers and other relevant information will be made available on the Review’s Internet site (

John Ralph AO
Review of Business Taxation
27 October 1998

For more information contact:
Dr Alan Preston
Review of Business Taxation

Phone: (02) 6263 4313

Postal Address:

Review of Business Taxation


Department of the Treasury


Parkes Place




(02) 6263 4352