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Tax Governance Issues: Managing System Complexity


  • This article is part of an Australian Research Council (ARC) Linkage project (ARC LP110200267: Assessing and Addressing Tax System Complexity) being conducted by the author in conjunction with Professor Richard Krever (Monash University), Dr Philip Lignier (University of Tasmania), Professor Jeff Pope (Curtin University of Technology), Associate Professor Binh Tran-Nam (UNSW) and The Institute of Chartered Accountants in Australia. The author thanks a referee for comments on an earlier draft, which were much appreciated.

Chris Evans, School of Taxation and Business Law (Atax), Australian School of Business, The University of New South Wales, Sydney, NSW 2052, Australia. Email:


The session on tax system governance at the October 2011 Tax Forum represented an opportunity to build on the strong foundations, laid down by the Henry Review, for a citizen-centric approach to the management of the interactions between individuals and firms and the agencies charged with responsibility for the administration of the tax and transfer system. This article suggests that despite the goodwill brought to the discussions by all concerned, little consensus emerged at the Forum on the key issues of how best to manage the complexity of modern tax and transfer systems or on what form of external scrutiny might be most appropriate for the tax administration in the Australian context.