17 December 2019. Tax & Super Australia (TSA) was delighted to host members and guests in celebration of its 100-year anniversary at a special event last night overlooking the city of Melbourne, where the organisation was established back in 1919.
TSA was pleased to welcome the inaugural Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman Kate Carnell and ATO Assistant Commissioner (Superannuation and Employer Obligations) Graham Whyte to give keynote addresses for the evening.
Ms Carnell said that tax agents have long played a crucial role helping small businesses to navigate challenging tax and super legislation, so they can concentrate on their core business work.
More recently, and amid a tougher lending environment following the royal commission into banking, small businesses have been relying on tax agents’ expertise to get them “finance ready” for loan applications, Ms Carnell added.
“The work that you do with small businesses matters to their capacity to grow,” she told members.
Meanwhile, Assistant Commissioner Whyte started his address by relaying a congratulatory speech from ATO Commissioner Chris Jordan. Part of it read:
“We can thank you for kick-starting the collaborative culture between the ATO and consultative groups that has helped shape the tax system of today, and we look forward to continuing to work together into the future.
“During my time as Commissioner, I have seen first hand the value Tax & Super Australia brings to the table as a representative of tax and superannuation professionals through your role as a member of the Tax Practitioner Stewardship Group and your many other contributions on behalf of your members.”
Mr Whyte said TSA’s journey also reflected the development of the tax system. “It’s important to look back at that history, and your input into the most significant changes to Australia’s tax system. Your history and accomplishments are a great illustration of this.”
“The association has been at the forefront of these changes. For example, the introduction of pay-as-you-go withholding tax, the introduction of the self-assessment system, the introduction of the goods and services tax, and in more recent history the introduction of single touch payroll,” he said.
“Tax & Super Australia is a strong advocate, and represents its members’ views to the ATO. The journey continues, and the ATO is very grateful for the involvement of Tax & Super Australia,” he said.
TSA President and Chairman Stephen Ware said: “Ours is an organisation that started at the end of World War One when a group of Melbourne businessmen banded together to lobby the government to repeal individual taxes imposed during the War.”
“They showed initiative and a strong sense of advocating for what was right and fair for the everyday taxpayer.”
“While our organisation has evolved and grown over the years, it continues to mirror this advocacy— but now by representing tax and super professionals, who do a tremendous service for everyday Australians.”
TSA chief executive Pippa McKee said: “It’s a real privilege to be part of an organisation that is celebrating its centenary. It’s a great opportunity to reflect, but also to move forward with renewed focus and energy about how we work with our members and the broader industry.”
“We want to fulfil our mission of equipping members with the tools and knowledge needed for them to continue their vital work of helping Australians and business manage their tax and retirement planning.”