Tax Fairness Policy Unit
The decline in corporate tax revenues is a major problem for governments around the world. It has raised both public and political awareness of the importance of tax fairness. Some of the more pressing issues in 2020 are corporate tax planning and avoidance schemes, the inadequacies of inter-jurisdictional tax treaties, tax efficiency of superfunds and the operation of the international tax system generally.
The aim of Tax Fairness Policy Unit (TFPU) is to conduct quality and rigorous research that helps to understand the incentives for corporate tax avoidance within a cost/benefit framework. TFPU also analyses policy responses to constrain aggressive corporate tax strategies.
Tax fairness, integrity and transparency are essential for greater societal equity and future sustainable economic growth - Associate Professor Roman Lanis
TFPU has conducted research into many aspects of tax avoidance antecedents in Australia and other countries, and in particular has investigated tax avoidance under a dividend imputation system in Australia and the tax practices of industry superfunds. A number of research and industry papers have been written analysing the success of Australian responses to tax avoidance.
The aims of the TFPU will be even more relevant coming out of the financial distress associated with COVID-19 and affecting companies in Australia and around the world. In April 2020 Australian Prime Minister, Scott Morrison and Finance Minister Mathias Cormann announced that significant corporate tax reform will be required to “turbo charge” the economy on its way out of the coronavirus shutdown. More specifically tax policy and regulation will be heavily influenced by an aggressive pro-business growth strategy. These tax policy changes will require careful assessment and analysis to balance the needs of the community and the corporate sector. They may indeed be revolutionary or even controversial. The TFPU has one of the most experienced teams (with respect to published academic research and community/policy/media impact) in Australia. In addition to its reputation, it has the resources to assess and analyse current and future government tax policy and to provide impartial scrutiny and advice at this critical time in Australia’s economic development.
TFPU critical and relevant research topic areas are:
- Antecedents of corporate tax avoidance in Australia and the world
- The costs and benefits of corporate tax avoidance
- Social, community, ethical (Corporate Social Responsibility) aspects of corporate tax avoidance
- Analysis of unilateral and multilateral governmental response/policies to constrain tax avoidance
- Corporate tax avoidance transparency
- Corporate tax policy responses to financial distress (the case of COVID-19)
- Corporate tax policy in Australia in the context of dividend imputation
- Tax efficiency within the superfunds industry
- Financial and tax disclosures of superfunds
TFPU researchers and associates:
- Associate Professor Roman Lanis
- Professor Peter Wells
- Dr. Brett Govendir
- Dr. Gregory Pazmandy
- Dr. Ross McClure
- Dr. Thulaisi Sivapalan
- Mr. Mikhail Shashnov (associate)
TFPU research publications: