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All countries face the challenge of ensuring their tax systems are able to support effective governments in the global era of increasingly mobile capital and labour, and to establish effective, fair, simple and sustainable tax systems for the future. Australia has undergone a number of major tax reform exercises over recent decades and there is an ongoing public debate in Australia, as in other countries, about how to keep the tax system relevant in a changing international economy.
This subject engages with the fundamental fiscal policy issues of today for all levels of government. It will analyse the major tax bases available for governments, the interactions of tax law with the transfer system, the challenge of environmentally sustainable taxes and issues of tax law design, complexity and administration for the future. The subject is taught by Paul Tilley, a former Australian Treasury official with a long history of tax reform in Australia.
Principal topics include:
- Introduction to macroeconomics and fiscal policy
- Introduction to microeconomics and resource allocation policy
- Principles, objectives and main concepts in tax policy formulation
- The social, economic and historical – political contexts of tax policy formulation in Australia
- Major issues in tax reform in Australia, including in relation to fiscal policy and revenue adequacy, the major tax bases at each level of government, interactions within the tax-transfer system and issues of tax policy design cost, complexity and administration.
Intended learning outcomes
A student who has successfully completed this subject will:
- Be able to critically examine, analyse, interpret and assess the economic underpinnings of taxation policy
- Have an advanced and integrated understanding of the key concepts in taxation policy, including recent developments in this field
- Be an engaged participant in debates regarding the linkages between taxation policy and the wider economic and social policy context
- Have a sophisticated appreciation of the factors and processes driving taxation policy
- Have an advanced understanding of the major issues in tax policy in Australia and able to critically evaluate tax policy options in the Australian context
- Have a detailed understanding of tax policy principles in the global context
- Have the cognitive and technical skills to generate critical and creative ideas relating to the development of tax policy, and to critically evaluate existing legal theories, principles and concepts with creativity and autonomy
- Have the cognitive and technical skills to independently examine, research and analyse existing and emerging issues relating to tax policy
- Have the communication skills to clearly articulate and convey complex information regarding tax policy principles to relevant specialist and non-specialist audiences
- Be able demonstrate autonomy, expert judgment and responsibility as a practitioner and learner in the field of tax policy.
Last updated: 3 November 2022