28 November 2018

Productivity commission to review remote tax assistance

The Coalition Government has requested that the Productivity Commission undertakes a review into remote tax assistance to ensure it remains fair and contemporary.

The review is in response to concerns raised that the current remote tax assistance has failed to keep pace with a changing Australia.

The Zone Tax Offset, Fringe Benefit Tax remote area concessions and Remote Area Allowance provide financial support to people living in remote areas of Australia.

The locations eligible for these forms of assistance are determined by geographic 'zones', defined in tax legislation, which have remained largely unchanged since they were established in 1945.

Concerns have been raised that the remote area tax assistance has not fundamentally changed over a number of decades to reflect changes in demography, infrastructure and cost of living.

In response, I have requested that the Productivity Commission undertakes a comprehensive review of the tax assistance and provides recommendations on its appropriate form and function into the future.

The review will commence in February 2019 and the Commission is due to report to Government within 12 months.

The Commission will undertake broad public consultation, including meeting directly with remote communities and inviting public submissions.