IT issue top business concern for tax reform: Deloitte

System upgrades and new business strategies are the most critical issues facing business managers dealing with the tax reforms, according to a Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu poll.

Despite the concerns, the tax reforms will not pose IT problems to the same extent as Y2K and the GST, Jim Morrison, Deloitte partner for tax technology said.

"There won't be huge systems implications. It won't be like the GST," he said.

According to the Deloitte Tax Reform Business poll, 60 per cent of business leaders surveyed said systems updates were the most critical issue for reform. The survey said 47 per cent said they would be reviewing their business strategies in light of the tax reforms.

Morrison said he believed the business leaders nominated system upgrades as their major concern because of other IT challenges experienced recently, including Y2K and the GST.

"I'm getting the feeling they're tired of the IT spend," Morrison said.

"I suspect business leaders are highly sensitive to any further IT system upgrades or enhancements after dealing with the Y2K and GST issues," he said.

Systems consolidation will be the major IT issue related to the tax reforms, Morrison said. He said large organisations will be the companies looking to consolidate their systems.

"They'll have to elect to do this . . .so they'll know exactly what it is about," he said.

"It's not like the GST.

"Companies will need to group their companies [divisions] together and lodge one tax return for the whole lot. This means tax lodgement software packages will need to be redesigned, and this won't be able to be achieved until the rollout of tax reform legislation," he said.

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