Thursday, November 09, 2006

The Tax Commissioner a household name?

Well he isn't now.

Bet you don't know the name.

It is over the fold, and in this story for tomorrow's Canberra Times about how he is about to attempt to get a higher profile.

Australia’s Taxation Commissioner is set to become more of a household name.

The last Reserve Bank Governor Ian Macfarlane boosted his public profile enormously by agreeing to give public evidence twice yearly before a parliamentary committee outlining his views about the state of the economy.

The former Governor has since had several book offers and is to deliver this year’s Boyer Lectures on ABC Radio National. (The first goes to air this Sunday at 5.00pm.)
Michael D'Ascenzo has been the Tax Commissioner since the beginning of this year and is little known outside of the Tax Office.

Giving evidence to the Taxation Inquiry being undertaken by the Joint Parliamentary Committee of Public Accounts and Audit yesterday Mr D'Ascenzo said he wanted to be more open about what the Tax Office was doing.

The Committee’s Chairman, Victorian Liberal Tony Smith suggested that he might like to try the system developed by the Reserve Bank Governor.

Michael D'Ascenzo agreed and will report to the committee and take questions twice a year, with the sort of formality that has done wonders for the profile of his opposite number in the Bank.

Although surprised by the suggestion (he had no notice of it) Mr D'Ascenzo said it would be “a good opportunity to engage with the Parliament in the care and management of the community's tax system, and reflects an open and accountable tax administration."

Tony Smith says the hearings will most likely take place each March and September before and after the end of each tax year.