Research projects

Current projects

Winners and losers: A critical examination of tax justice in tax disputes in Australia

Binh Tran-Nam and Michael Walpole
ARC Discovery Grant of $146,548 awarded for 2015-17.

The impact of tax avoidance on cost of debt and shareholder value: A comparative analysis of Australian listed corporations

Youngdeok Lim, Chris Evans and Rodney Brown
Funding of $24,500 has been awarded by the CPA Global Research Perspectives Program for 2015-16.

The effectiveness of undertaking due diligence prior to starting up or purchasing a small business or franchise

Lorelle Frazer (Griffith), Jenny Buchan, Scott Weaven (Griffith) and Binh Tran-Nam
Funding of $18,000 has been awarded by the CPA Global Research Perspectives Program for 2015.

Tax compliance costs research

Chris Evans and Binh Tran-Nam

Funded by New Zealand Inland Revenue Department (NZIRD)

The principal aim of this project, undertaken in 2013, was to provide NZIRD with a scoping study in relation to the proposed identification and measurement of the tax compliance costs of small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) in New Zealand. In addition, the study provided an independent analysis of how to construct robust baseline measures of non-tax regulatory costs in response to the New Zealand Government's commitment in 2012 to reduce business costs from dealing with government by 25 per cent by 2017. Recommendations were implemented by the NZ government in 2013-2014.

Mitigating tax barriers to trade and investment relations between Australia and the People's Republic of China

Chris Evans with Richard Krever (Monash), Ann O'Connell (Melbourne), Antony Ting (Sydney) and Nolan Sharkey (UWA)

ARC Linkage Grant

In recognition of the growing importance of the Sino-Australian economic relationship, incompatible tax rules have emerged as significant barriers to trade and investment between the two countries. This multi-university project, being conducted in the period from 2012 to 2015 in collaboration with leading Chinese tax academics and organisations, initially identifies tax and administrative impediments to capital and labour movement and then develops a blueprint for unilateral and bilateral reform by the Australian and Chinese governments to construct fairer, simpler and more efficient tax systems. The project outputs will assist tax authorities, multinational enterprises, expatriate employees and investors in both countries.

Tax knowledge management

Chris Evans and Shirley Carlon with Kevin Holland (University of Cardiff)

Institute of Chartered Accountants in Australia Academic Research Grant

Knowledge management is critical to the efficient functioning of tax systems and the ability of companies to manage and control their tax obligations. The aim of this research, conducted in 2013 and early 2014  by means of in-depth interviews and surveys, was to address a number of issues in the context of companies' research and development (R & D) and remuneration planning and payment (RPP) activities, including: the role of accountants in tax related information flows within a corporate; the role of non-accountants in tax related information flows within a corporate; the manner in which external tax advisors facilitate information flows within companies; and the manner in which accountants assess tax risks that can arise within the specific R&D and RPP functional activities and more generally through the company. A final report was submitted in August 2014.

Franchisors 'in administration': factors, profiles and impacts

Jenny Buchan with Lorelle Frazer (Griffith) and Charles Qu (Griffith)

Institute of Chartered Accountants in Australia Academic Research Grant

Franchising underpins 71,000 Australian businesses that turn over $128billion in annual sales and provide employment for 700,000 people. If a franchisor fails, the consequences for potentially hundreds of franchisees can be to place their business at risk. Despite this, limited research has been conducted to date on the impact of franchisor administration on its franchisees and other stakeholders such as landlords. This research aims to examine the impact of franchisor administration on franchisees through survey data collection and analysis.

Assessing the effectiveness of the Australian financial advice industry in light of international experience

Gordon Mackenzie with Dimity Kingsford-Smith (UNSW) and Scott Donald (UNSW)

Centre for International Finance and Regulation

This research project will identify and assess how current industry and regulatory structures in Australia contribute, positively and negatively, to the effectiveness of the financial advice industry.  It will form that assessment in light of developments in other comparable markets, including the US, UK, Canada and New Zealand. The project takes a socio-legal approach.  It will have regard for the way that institutional factors, including but not limited to the broader regulatory scheme, influence real-world outcomes.  It will seek to synthesise existing academic and industry research on different elements of the financial advice industry into a more comprehensive and cohesive whole, drawing also on in-depth interviews with senior practitioners and regulators in each of the five jurisdictions under consideration.

ARC Discovery Grant (2009-2011) Federalism for the 21st Century -A Framework for Achieving Reform and Change

Neil Warren (with Lynch, Craven, Williams)

Senior UNSW Researchers – Neil Warren together with Law Faculty’s George Williams, Andrew Lynch and Prof Greg Craven have been funded under an ARC Discovery Grant in a study of how improvements to Australia's federal constitutional system could return between $9 billion and $20 billion each year to taxpayers (up to 3% of GDP). The problem with the current federalism arrangements affects service delivery in areas like health and education and hampers our ability to meet new challenges like water scarcity and climate change. In developing clear criteria for improving Australia's federal constitutionalism this project will offer significant long term financial and other benefits to the nation and will also produce more specific benefits as a result of its case studies of health and water management).

Catalyst Australia – evaluating corporate practice of Australia’s leading companies

Shirley Carlon and Binh Tran-Nam

Catalyst Australia promotes policy solutions for Australia’s social and economic issues. It has funded School of Taxation & Business Law Accounting Senior Lecturer, Shirley Carlon and Associate Prof Binh Tran-Nam in a project to critically analyse Australia’s Corporate tax rate and actual tax paid and disclosure of reasons for differences from statutory rates.

CPA Australia – Standard Business Reporting and the burden of compliance

Chris Evans, Hanna Zakowska and Binh Tran-Nam

Chris Evans Binh Tran-Nam and PhD candidate Hanna Zakowska have secured CPA Australia funding for a project to evaluate standard business reporting as a measure aimed at reducing the tax compliance burden of business in Australia.

Academy of the Social Sciences in Australia/DIISR – Vietnam transfer policy

Binh Tran-Nam

Binh Tran-Nam has secured funding from the Academy of Social Sciences in Australia under its Linkages Bilateral Program for a project to identify and evaluate Vietnam’s International economic integration, child poverty and transfer policy.

Business School Faculty Research Grant: Administrative law making in China

Nolan Sharkey

Nolan Sharkey secured funding under the Business School Faculty Research Grants Scheme for a 2011 project to study the Chinese approach to administrative law making in the context of taxation. The project involves extensive research interviews and discussions with Chinese Tax Administrators in order to establish an understanding of the approach to tax administration and rule making in that jurisdiction.

AusAID funded project on revenue sharing and investment effects on economic growth and poverty reduction

Binh Tran-Nam (with Tom Nguyen)

Binh Tran-Nam and Griffith University colleague Tom Nguyen have secured Aus Aid funding for a project to review and evaluate the effects that revenue sharing and investment arrangements have on economic growth and the reduction of poverty in low income and middle income countries.

AIJA funded project on access to justice in tax disputes

Michael Walpole and Binh Tran-Nam

Michael Walpole and Binh Tran-Nam have secured funding from the Australian Institute of Judicial Administrators to investigate the effect that changes in court and tribunal fees can have on the number and nature of disputes taken by taxpayers to the appeal and review stage.

ARC Linkage funded project on assessing and addressing tax system complexity

Chris Evans, Binh Tran-Nam (with Rick Krever, Jeff Pope, Phil Lignier and CAANZ)

Taxation and business law experts on tax compliance costs and tax system complexity Chris Evans and Binh Tran-Nam have joined forces with a formidable team of academic experts nationally in an ARC Linkage project involving the Universities of NSW, Monash, Curtin and Griffith and the Institute of Chartered Accounting Australia and New Zealand. The project will work with CAANZ and its members to explore the causes, indicators, costs and effects of tax system complexity, and to identify and evaluate means through which the complexity can be reduced and monitored. The project responds to calls for fresh empirical research to underpin efforts to simplify the tax system, using surveys and other data gathering techniques. Reducing tax system complexity will improve government, business and personal productivity, increase compliance and improve interaction between tax agencies, practitioners and taxpayers. The comprehensive business and personal indices of tax system complexity that the project will produce will be a world first.

Tree and building

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