Research Australia has responded to the National Tax Review Discussion Paper. Research Australia’s members are drawn from across the not for profit, government and corporate sectors. As a consequence Research Australia’s submission necessarily addresses a number of different aspects of the tax system but a common theme is the role that the tax system can play in promoting Australian health and medical research and improving the health and wellbeing of Australians. Research Australia recommends incentives to support investment in small, innovative research intensive companies, the continuation of the tax deduction for self education expenses, continuing concessions for not for profit organisations and charities, and reform of alcohol taxes to improve their effectiveness in reducing alcohol related harm.
In 2012 the Australian Government introduced legislation that made significant reforms to the regulation of charities in Australia, including entitlement to tax concessions and the creation of a new regulator, the Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission (ACNC). Many health and medical research organisations and the organisations that support them are affected by this legislation, and Research Australia made a number of submissions throughout 2012 to the Australian Treasury, the ACNC taskforce and to parliamentary inquiries in relation to these changes. Further changes will be made in 2013, and Research Australia continues to represent the health and medical research sector in consultations on the new measures.