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Abstract

This paper considers the outcome of recent inquiries into mass-marketed tax effective investment schemes in Australia within the broader context of promoting ecologically sustainable development in the agribusiness sector. The recent inquiries have revealed some significant shortcomings in the application of the self-assessment system to agribusiness investors, which have to some extent been remedied by the introduction of product rulings. Whilst product rulings have provided investors with a certain degree of security, there has been a significant decline in agribusiness investment and a convergence in the range of agribusiness ventures being offered. The author concludes that the income tax system is currently providing the wrong market signals, by promoting many agribusiness investment schemes that are not ecologically sustainable. Accordingly, there is a strong case for ecological tax reform, whereby the taxation treatment of agribusiness investment schemes needs to be better integrated with environmental policy.

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