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May - Online
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All governments need robust tax systems capable of funding them. Modern tax systems have also taken on other public policy roles, in income distribution and economic activity, and become integral to governments’ social and economic policies. Tax policy design thus entails a challenging mix of economic, social, legal and administrative policies - all of which has become more complex in a world of increasingly mobile capital and labour.
This subject looks at Australia’s tax system and experience with reform over recent decades, comparing it with other countries. The subject will analyse the available tax bases, the interactions between the tax and transfer systems and issues of tax law design and administration. The subject is taught by Paul Tilley, a former Australian Treasury official with a long history as a tax policy adviser to governments.
Principal topics include:
- Introduction to economics, fiscal policy and the processes of government
- Principles, objectives and main concepts in tax policy formulation
- Analysis of the main tax bases in Australia
- Major issues in tax reform in Australia, including in relation to revenue adequacy, economic efficiency, social equity and administrative simplicity
- Interactions between the tax and transfer systems
- The potential of the tax system to pursue environmental objectives
Intended learning outcomes
A student who has successfully completed this subject will:
- Be able to critically examine, analyse, interpret and assess the economic and legal 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 wider economic and social policies
- Have an 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 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
- Have the skills to generate critical and creative ideas relating to the development of tax policy, and to critically evaluate existing legal theories, principles and concepts
Last updated: 29 July 2022