How can trust be built between taxpayers and the taxation system? How can countries simplify their tax systems? Does the Australian Higher Education Loan Program (HELP) undermine the income tax system?

These are just some of the issues to be discussed at next week's Atax conference: "Building Trust in Tax Administration: Leadership, Accountability and Integrity".

Keynote speakers will explore international approaches to building trust in tax administration, the quality of service by tax practitioners, and tax simplification. They will examine the role of tax offices in promoting compliance and increasing trust in the taxation system, and the role reputational risk plays in the tax decision made by large companies.

Professor Michael Walpole, Professor of Tax and Business Law (incorporating Atax) at the Australian School of Business, UNSW, says: "For most taxpayers the only time they really interact with the tax system is at the administrative interface. That is where they undertake their compliance obligations - where they might encounter penalties for lateness etc.

"Tax administration is one of the most important aspects of the tax system and good tax administration contributes to compliance and cooperation between the community and the revenue authorities.

"Our biennial tax administration conference brings together tax administrators, academics and practitioners from around the globe to share expertise and understanding about emerging trends and challenges in tax administration."

Keynote speakers include:

  • Mr Chris Jordan AO – Commissioner of Taxation, ATO, Australia
  • Ms Naomi Ferguson – CEO, Inland Revenue Department, New Zealand
  • Mr Ali Noroozi – Inspector General of Taxation, Australia
  • Mr Colin Neave AM - Commonwealth Ombudsman, Australia
  • Ms Jennie Granger – Director General, Enforcement & Compliance, Her Majesty's Revenue & Customs
  • Professor Erich Kirchler – Vice Dean of the Faculty of Psychology and Vice Head of Department for Economic Psychology, Vienna University of Economics and Business
  • Ms Nina Olson - National Taxpayer Advocate, Internal Revenue Service, USA

Conference presenters include:

  • Prof Chris Evans, Assoc Prof Binh Tran-Nam (UNSW) and Dr Phil Lignier (UTas) will present their paper: The tax compliance costs of large corporations: Recent empirical evidence
  • Adjunct Professor Richard Highfield (UNSW & OECD) and Professor Neil Warren (UNSW) will present their paper: Does the Australian Higher Education Loan Program (HELP) undermine income tax integrity by encouraging increased tax planning and evasion behaviour by HELP debtors?
  • Dr Catriona Lavermicocca (Macquarie University) and Associate Professor Jenny Buchan (UNSW) will present their paper: The role of reputational risk in tax decision making by large companies

The conference is being held on Monday 14 and Tuesday 15 April in Sydney. For further details please contact Christine Brooks on 0405 756 747.

Media interested in attending the conference are asked to register their interest by emailing Janine MacDonald on:

Media contacts: Janine MacDonald +61 478 492 110. Media contact during the conference – Julian Lorkin +61 405 805 365