Unravelling the Mysteries of the Oracle: Voice of the Experts
32 Pages Posted: 27 Feb 2007
Date Written: January 24, 2007
The paper explores key outcomes relating to personal income tax (PIT) reform in Australia derived from the use of a Delphi methodology conducted during 2006. The Delphi methodology combines quantitative and qualitative techniques to explore future possibilities in systematic and iterative rounds of anonymous testing involving a panel of international experts in the field of personal taxation. The experts have been drawn from Australia and from countries with comparable PIT regimes, such as the UK, the USA, Canada and New Zealand. Over a four month period the panel members responded to a series of open-ended propositions relating to the design and operation of the PIT, with a view to establishing whether a consensus on key PIT reform issues could be developed.
Studies comparing the Delphi's results with other methods have confirmed the effectiveness of the methodology on the basis of both its capacity to generate ideas and its effective use of participants' time. This paper considers the methodology used and also focuses on the outcomes of the process, showing how these outcomes are being used to inform the final phase of a broader research project into personal tax reform in Australia which is being conducted with funding from the Australian Research Council and support from CPA Australia.
Keywords: taxation, personal income tax, Delphi methodology, tax reform
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