Free tax clinics will make tax less taxing - Media Release

FREE TAX CLINICS WILL MAKE TAX LESS TAXING

A Shorten Labor Government will make our tax system fairer for disadvantaged Australians by funding 10 free tax clinics across the country.

While multinationals and millionaires can afford an armada of experts to navigate the tax system, low and middle-income Australians are often intimidated by the tax system, and unsure where to turn to get help.

Tax clinics will provide free tax assistance for disadvantaged communities. Each tax clinic will have volunteers, students and pro bono tax practitioners on hand to help low income taxpayers and microbusinesses with administrative tax matters, including completing tax returns and responding to queries raised by the tax office.

The former Inspector General of Taxation, Ali Noroozi, has stated that tax clinics “have the potential to be of significant assistance to vulnerable taxpayers”, noting the model of Low Income Tax Clinics in the United States.

A Shorten Labor Government would secure the ongoing tax clinic trial at Curtin University in Perth, and expand tax clinics to up to 10 universities.

We would also change the laws to allow clinics to register as tax agents in their own right, as well as providing Deductible Gift Recipient status to facilitate partnerships with experienced tax professionals and institutions.

This policy expands on Labor’s comprehensive tax reforms including a $4.8 billion multinational, tax haven and tax integrity package and a pledge to create an independent Second Commissioner at the Australian Taxation Office to oversee a structurally separate appeals area.

While Labor has been leading the policy discussion on sensible tax reform, the Abbott-Turnbull-Morrison Government has ruled out an independent second commissioner of appeals and has shown no appetitive for assisting vulnerable tax payers.

Only Labor can be trusted to give everyday taxpayers a helping hand.

ENDS

Authorised by Noah Carroll, ALP, Canberra.


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Cnr Gungahlin Pl and Efkarpidis Street, Gungahlin ACT 2912 | 02 6247 4396 | Andrew.Leigh.MP@aph.gov.au | Authorised by A. Leigh MP, Australian Labor Party (ACT Branch), Canberra.