The Australian Labor Party (ALP) has failed to understand and respect the role of accountants, according to the Institute of Public Accountants (IPA).
In a sign that the Federal Opposition’s proposal to reduce the tax deductibility of accounting advice has served to united the major accounting bodies, the IPA has warned that by declaring tax deductions for accounting fees as a rort, “Labor has not only attacked the accounting profession, it has attacked millions of hard working taxpayers who are doing the right thing in paying their fair share of taxation”.
Further the IPA said it had received a letter from the Prime Minister, Scott Morrison and the Treasurer, Josh Frydenberg expressing concerns over the proposed Labor move which it was disseminating to its members.
“To be clear, we support the fact that all Australians should pay their due share of tax but they should also be able to access the appropriate tax deductions available to them to ensure they are not overpaying,” IPA chief executive, Andrew Conway said.
“Labor’s views on this matter shows a lack of understanding about, and respect for, what it takes for an accountant to appropriately manage an individual’s tax affairs. It is not always a matter of a simple tax return; there may be many other factors associated with our highly complex tax system,” he said.
Conway said that for some clients there could be considerable time spent in areas of tax audit, litigation, dispute and other interactions with the Australian Taxation Office and that further complexities existed with the formation of partnerships, trusts, property acquisitions and disposals.
“Simply put, genuine taxpayers are not rorters,” he said. “They should be seeking the right tax advice from their trusted adviser, the accountant, to make sure they continue to claim their rights and pay the correct amount of tax.”
“Labor’s proposed measure is genuinely and obviously a revenue grab. If you cap it at $3,000 the likelihood of a person engaging appropriate tax advice is reduced. This could have disastrous impacts on the community.”