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NSW postpones tax review
insuranceNEWS.com.au, 17 March 2008

NSW Premier Morris Iemma has approved the Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal’s (IPART) request for an extension to its review of NSW state taxation, which includes the controversial fire services levy (FSL).

The draft report was due last Friday but will now be released on May 23, while the final report has been pushed back two months to July 31.

IPART Principal Adviser Eric Groom says the tribunal has sought the delay “to enable us to take into account the latest Grants Commission data”, which was released last week.

“Our terms of reference require us to look at taxation in the context of commonwealth/state relations,” Mr Groom told insuranceNEWS.com.au.

Mr Groom confirms reforms to insurance taxation are on the table. “We’re looking systematically at all the taxes and relative merits and opportunities for simplification,” he said.?

NIBA’s submission in December to IPART’s issues paper reiterated its call for the FSL and associated stamp duty on insurance premiums to be scrapped.

“There is no doubt that the way in which NSW levies specific taxes and charges on insurance policies fails all basic principles of taxation and clearly the arrangements are badly in need of reform,” NIBA CEO Noel Pettersen said.

He called on the NSW Government to replace the FSL with a broad-based property tax using the WA model and abolish stamp duty, which he labelled an “unjust discretionary tax”.