ONLY LABOR WILL FULLY FUND TASMANIA’S TAX CLINIC
Labor will ensure that the University of Tasmania’s Tax Clinic can continue into the future, helping all Tasmanians navigate the tax system.
Labor will commit $150,000 annually to the UTAS Tax Clinic, which will operate in both Launceston and Hobart, as part of Labor’s proposed expansion of 10 tax clinics around Australia.
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 like Tasmania’s 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 as well as small and microbusinesses with administrative tax matters, including completing tax returns and responding to queries raised by the tax office.
The $150,000 budget for UTAS also allows for travel to parts of Tasmania such as Burnie.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 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.
Although Scott Morrison and his chaotic colleagues announced they will fund ten one-year trials for tax clinics, their plan is limited in scope and ambition and accounting bodies have raised concerns about the structure of the program.
Only Labor can guarantee funding certainty for tax clinics that work in the interests of all Tasmanians and all Australians.
A fact sheet on the clinics policy can be found here.
Authorised by Noah Carroll ALP Canberra.