Tax simplicity, Tax compliance costs, Tax reform, Comparative tax systems, Vietnamese economy, Vietnam's economic reform, Vietnam's tax reform
Fields of Research (FoR)Public Economics- Taxation and Revenue, Public Policy, Public Administration, Economic Development and Growth
I am a professor in taxation with an economics background, having graduated with a PhD from the School of Economics, UNSW in 1982. Prior returning to UNSW Sydney as a lecturer in taxation in 1991, I was a lecturer in economics at University of Auckland (1982-85) and Deakin University (1989-91), and a National Research Fellow in the Centre for Applied Economic Research at UNSW (1985-90). I have also held short term appointments at University...view more
I am a professor in taxation with an economics background, having graduated with a PhD from the School of Economics, UNSW in 1982. Prior returning to UNSW Sydney as a lecturer in taxation in 1991, I was a lecturer in economics at University of Auckland (1982-85) and Deakin University (1989-91), and a National Research Fellow in the Centre for Applied Economic Research at UNSW (1985-90). I have also held short term appointments at University of Technology Sydney, Nagoya City University, University of California (Santa Barbara), Vietnam National University of Agriculture, Ton Duc Thang University and RMIT University Vietnam.
As an academic, I have taught a wide range of courses at under- and post-graduate levels, utilising alternative methods of delivery. In addition, I have successfully supervised nine PhD candidates and two MPhil candidates, all in taxation at UNSW.
My research interests include tax policy, tax administration, international trade, development economics and survey research. I have so far published 54 book chapters and 95 refereed articles in academic journals in Australia, Canada, Germany, Japan, the Netherlands, New Zealand, the UK and the US, including the Australian Tax Forum, British Tax Review, Canadian Tax Journal, Economic Letters, Economic Record, Journal of Development Economics, Journal of Economics, National Tax Journal, Oxford Economic Papers, Sydney Law Review and UNSW Law Journal.
I have obtained research grants from the ARC and other external, peer reviewed and competitive sources. My cumulative income from research grants and commissioned research projects is approaching the A$2 million mark. I have also acted as a consultant to AusAID, the Australian Taxation Office, Australian Vice-Chancellors’ Committee, Board of Taxation, DFAT, Department for International Development Vietnam, NZ Inland Revenue, NSW Taxpayers’ Association, Oxfam Vietnam, UNDP Vietnam, USAID Vietnam, Victorian Community Services and World Bank Vietnam.
In terms of service to the discipline, I have served as a founding co-editor of the eJournal of Tax Research and International Journal of Development and Conflict, an associate editor of Asia-Pacific Journal of Regional Science, and an editorial board member of several other academic journals. I am an International Fellow at the Tax Administration Research Centre (Exeter University-International Fiscal Studies), Adjunct Research Fellow at Tax Law and Policy Research Group (Monash University) and Adjunct Professor at RMIT University Vietnam. I was awarded research fellowships at San Jose State University in 2006 and Curtin University of Technology in 2011, and have also been invited to give keynote addresses at international conferences.
I have sought to engage with the Australian community and government by writing on topics of interest and relevance to tax administration and tax policy making in Australasia. My research has been cited at federal parliamentary debates and in the High Court of Australia. As a former Colombo Plan scholarship recipient, I have also sought to assist Vietnam’s development. My engagement with Vietnam covers a wide range of academic activities including conference organisation, conference and seminar presentations, guest lectures, book editing, policy-oriented articles, joint research, course development and institutional linkage. I have been an advisor/consultant to the Prime Minister Advisory Group, Ministry of Finance and Ministry of Education and Training. Most recently, I helped to establish the International Society of Vietnam Economists (ISVE) and was elected its inaugural Secretary in 2014 and second President in 2020.
ARC Discovery Grant DP150103349, Winners and Losers: Examining Tax Justice in Tax Disputes in Australia (with Michael Walpole), July 2015, $146,000.
ARC Linkage Grant LP110200267, Assessing and Addressing Tax System Complexity in Australia (with Chris Evans, Rick Krever, Jeff Pope and Philip Lignier), 2012-2015, $208,050.
ARC Linkage International Award LX0775993, Personal Income Tax Reform in Australia - Development of a Model (with Chris Evans and Richard Bird), 2007-2015, $17,438.
ARC Linkage Grant LP0560478, Towards Systemic Reform of the Australian Personal Income Tax: Developing a Sustainable Model for the Future (with Chris Evans and Brian Andrew), 2005-07, $286,366.
ARC SPIRT Grant C00106796, Assessing Effects of the Ralph Taxation Reforms on Small Business (with John Glover), 2001-04, $302,000.
ARC Small Grant, Tax Simplification and the Operating Costs of the Australian Federal Tax System, 1999-2000, $8,000.
UNSW Gold Star Grant, The Business VAT Compliance Burden: Global Comparison and Mitigation (with Michael Walpole, Chris Evans and Richard Highfield), 2018-2019, $35,214.
Australian Federal Treasury, An Evaluation Framework for Tax Incentives and Concessions - Stage 1 - Case Study Identification (with Natalie Stoianoff and Michael Walpole), 2017, $30,000.
RMIT University Vietnam Internal Grant Scheme (Round 1), Key Issues and Challenges of IFRS Adoption in Vietnam by 2017 (with Ha Thanh Nguyen and Duc Hong Phan), 2016-17, US$6,100.
CPA Australia Global Research Perspective Program, The Effectiveness of Undertaking Due Diligence Prior to Starting Up or Purchasing a Small Business or Franchise(with Lorelle Frazer, Jenny Buchan and Scott Weaven), 2016-17, $18,000.
Research School of Economics (ANU) Conference Grant, Recent Developments in Trade and Economic Theory, 2016, $1,281.
AusAID and DFID UK Research Grant, Effects of Natural Resource Revenue Sharing and Investment Arrangements on Economic Growth and Poverty Reduction in Low- and Middle-income Countries (with Tom Nguyen and Bhajan Grewal), 2011-13, $60,000.
Australasian Institute of Judicial Administration Research Grant, Access to Tax Justice: How Fees Influence Dispute Resolution Route?(with Michael Walpole), 2011-12, $10,000.
Catalyst Research Grant, Corporate Tax Practice of Australia’s Leading Companies (Taxes Paid)(with Shirley Carlon), 2011-12, $5,750.
Academy of the Social Sciences in Australia/DIISR; International Sciences Linkages Bilateral Program, International Economic Integration, Child Poverty and Transfer Policy in Vietnam (with Ngoc Anh Nguyen), 2010-11, $7,500.
CPA Australia Global Research Perspective Program, An Evaluation of Standard Business Reporting as a Measure aimed at Reducing the Tax Compliance Burden of Businesses in Australia (with Chris Evans and Hanna Zakowsky), 2010-11, $10,621.
Faculty of Law (UNSW) Research Grants Program, Ranking of Tax Journals for ERA Purpose: A Study Using Peer Perceptions and External Indicators, 2010-11, $6,100.
Faculty of Law (UNSW) Research Grants Program, Ranking of Tax Journals for RQF Purposes, (with Kalmen Datt), 2008-09, $4,500.
Faculty of Law (UNSW) Research Grants Program, Australian Tax Practitioners’ Perception of Small-Business Tax Law Complexity, 2007-08, $5,000.
Revenue Review Foundation Research Grant, Development of a Hybrid Flat Personal Income Tax for Australia (with Chris Evans and Yuri Grbich), 2007-08, $30,000.
UNSW Contestable Funding for UNSW International Strategic Projects, Establish Cooperative Links with Law Universities in Vietnam (with Chris Evans), 2006-07, $6,700.
Economic Design Network, Economic Society of Australia, Macquarie University, Centre for Japanese Studies, Kobe University and Nagoya University Conference Research Grants, New Paradigms in Economics of Welfare and Trade under Globalisation and Regionalisation, 2006-07, $11,942.
Faculty of Law (UNSW) Research Grants Program, Accessibility to and Operating Costs of Tax Dispute Resolution in Australia, 2004-05, $6,700.
Australia-Korea Foundation Research Grant, Tax System Reform in Korea and Australia (with Jae Jin Kim), 2004-05, $16,000.
AusAID, Australia-China Institutional Links (ACIL) Program, Tax System Reform in China and Australia: Third Millennium Tax Reconstruction (with Patrick Gallagher, Liu Rong Cang and Zhap Zhiyun), 1999-2002, $195,200.
Faculty of Commerce and Economics (UNSW) Special Research Grant, Patterns of Expenditure and Intrahousehold Allocation of Expenditure by Immigrants in Australia, 1994-95, $3,000.
School of Management (Deakin University), Supplement Survey of the Labour Force Status of Married Women in South West Victoria (with Pasquale Sgro and Mark McGillivray),1990-91, $2,130.
School of Management (Deakin University), Survey of the Labour Force Status of Married Women in South West Victoria (with Pasquale Sgro and Mark McGillivray),1990-91, $15,000.
School of Management (Deakin University), Measuring Engel Elasticities by the Concentration Curve Approach: Some Further Evidence from the 1984 Household Expenditure Survey, 1989-90, $1,000.
PhD in Economics, University of New South Wales, 1982
Master of Economics, Australian National University, 1978
Bachelor of Economics (Honours, First), James Cook University, 1977
Postgraduate Council’s Research Supervisor Award, Arc UNSW Sydney, 2019
Australasian Tax Teachers Association (ATTA)’s lifetime membership in recognition of “important contributions to ATTA over the years,” ATTA, 2018
Australasian Tax Teachers Association’s Justice Graham Hill Medal in recognition of “outstanding contribution to tax teaching and tax policy in Australasia,” ATTA, 2015
Visiting Fellowship, Curtin University of Technology, 2011
Certificate of Commendation for effective contributions to scientific, economic research and international economic integration of Vietnam, Vietnam’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, 2007
International Tax Policy Research Fellowship, San Jose State University, 2006
Achievement Award for outstanding contribution to Vietnam’s national development, VietnamNet, 2006
Commonwealth Postgraduate Research Award, Australian Government, 1978–81
Australian National University Masters Degree Scholarship, ANU, 1977–78
Colombo Plan Undergraduate Scholarship, Australian Government, 1973–75
University Medal, James Cook University, 1976
LG Chuntie Bursary, James Cook University, 1976
Kern Bros. Ltd Medal (for the best overall performance in qualifying for a pass degree in the Faculty of Commerce and Economics), James Cook University, 1975
GG Aslett Prize (Macroeconomic Theory), James Cook University, 1975
NCR Prize (Quantitative Methods), James Cook University, 1974
Sharp Corporation Prize (Advanced Economic Statistics), James Cook University, 1974
My Research Activities
I am currently involved in an ARC funded Discovery project on the accessibility and neutrality of tax dispute resolution in Australia; a project on developing complexity indexes for major taxes on a global scale; and other research projects with international collaborators on tax level determination, tax inefficiency and tax corruption.
My Research Supervision
Areas of supervision
Tax policy, Tax administration, Tax reform, Development issues in transition economies
Ferry Liu, PhD candidate, Assessing the Tax Compliance Costs of Small and Medium Enterprises operated by Individuals under Alternative Business Tax Regimes in Indonesia (jointly with Professor Chris Evans)
Patrick Barackman, PhD candidate, Foreign multinational companies in Vietnam: The impact of limited-risk distributor models (jointly with A/Professor Ann Kayis-Kumar)
Engagement with the Discipline and Profession
- founding co-editor of: eJournal of Tax Research (A ranked in ABDC List) since 2003 and International Journal of Development and Conflict (B ranked in ABDC List) since 2011;
- founding associate editor of Asia Pacific Journal of Regional Science since 2016 (a Springer journal);
- founding editorial board member of Journal of Chinese Tax and Policy since 2011, Public Sector Economics Journal since 2017, Springer New Monograph Series, New Frontiers in Regional Science: Asian Perspectives since 2018, and Fulbright Review of Economics and Policy since 2020;
- editorial board member of Journal of Asian Business and Economic Studies since 2019 and Dalat University Journal of Science since 2020, and
- advisory board member of New Zealand Journal of Taxation Law and Policy since 2013.
International Society of Vietnam Economists (ISVE) (https://www.isve-international.org/): I have helped to establish ISVE, a professional network of Vietnam economists around the world, aimed at promoting economics as an academic discipline in Vietnam through annual conference, research webinars, collaborations with universities in Vietnam, and submissions to Ministries and Government. I was a founding member in 2013, inaugural Secretary from 2014 to 2019, and am currently the President of ISVE (from 2020 onward).
Conference organisation: I have been a member of the Organising Committee of
(i) the biennial International Conference of Tax Administration since 2000
(ii) the Vietnam Economists Annual Meeting since 2014
I have also solely or jointly organised many smaller academic conferences/workshops.
Collaborations with professional organisations: Australasian Institute of Judicial Administration, Catalyst, Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand (CAANZ), CPA Australia, Council of Small Business Organisation of Australia, National Farmers Federation, NSW Taxpayers’ Association and Tax Institute.
Journal reviewing for Australian Economic Papers, Australian Economic Review, Australian Journal of Labour Economics, Australian Tax Forum, Bulletin of Indonesian Economic Studies, Economic Record, eJournal Tax Research, FinanzArchiv/Public Finance Analysis, Fiscal Studies, Journal of Comparative Economics, Journal of Economics, Journal of Public Economics, Journal of Public Economic Theory, Journal of Quantitative Economics, Journal of Tax Administration, New Zealand Journal of Taxation Law and Policy, National Tax Journal, Public Finance Review, Review of Income and Wealth and Review of International Economics).
Thesis examination: I have examined a total of 21 PhD theses, two Master’s theses and two honours theses to date.
Assessment of ARC applications: I have acted as an assessor of ARC Grant applications.
University ranking surveys: I have been invited and have participated in both the QS Global Academic Surveys and the Times Higher Education Global Academic Reputation Surveys.
Engagement with the Australian Community
Member, UNSW International House Company, since 1992
Director, UNSW International House, from 2006 to 2014
Director, Vietnam Foundation Limited, an Australia-based charitable organisation which aims to build schools and bridges, and assist poor students in Vietnam, since 2015
Invited keynote speaker at events organised by the Australian Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and the Australian Institute of International Affairs, 2007, and NSW–Vietnam Chamber of Commerce, 2005.
Engagement with the Australian Government
Training ATO officers on various measures of tax reform
Appraising the Australian Government’s approach to Regulation Impact Statement accompanying new legislation (2001)
Appraising the Australian Governments' Tax Value Method proposal (2002)
Appearing as an expert witness before the Senate’s Workplace Relations and Education References Committee (Small Business Employment) (2002)
Presenting a seminar at the Federal Treasury on tax complexity (2011)
Making submission to the Federal Treasury on the proposed standard deduction for work related expenses and costs of managing tax affairs (2011)
Communicating policy recommendations to the Inspector-General of Taxation (2013)
Membership of the Technical Advisory Panel of the ATO’s Australian Longitudinal Income File (Alife) Project (2016-17)
Collaborating with the Australian Federal Treasury on a joint project on tax incentives and concessions (2017)
Advising the Board of Taxation on its Fringe Benefits Tax Compliance Costs project (2019-20)
Providing consultancy services to the ATO, Board of Taxation and New Zealand Inland Revenue over the years
International Fellow at Tax Administration Research Centre (Exeter University-International Fiscal Studies)
Training of tax delegates from China, Japan and Vietnam
Working with researchers through collaborative grants at the Institute of Finance and Trade Economics, Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, Beijing, Korea Institute of Public Finance in Seoul and DEPOCEN in Hanoi
Assisting in organising international conferences in China, South Korea and Vietnam, especially Vietnam Economist Annual Meetings
Policy advising in Vietnam: Prime Minister Advisory Group on Valued Added Tax and exports (2007), Ministry of Finance on revenue forecasting, land and housing taxation and international harmonisation (2008), Office of the National Assembly on proposed increase in excise tax rates of alcoholic beverages (2014), Ministry of Foreign Affairs on challenges and reforms of the Vietnamese tax system (2015), and General Department of Taxation on taxpayer segmentation (2019). I have also acted as an advisor to Oxfam Vietnam on the issue of tax policy and equity since 2015.
Providing technical consultancy to various capacity building projects involving China’s State Administration of Taxation and Budget Affairs Commission, and Vietnam’s Ministry of Finance and Ministry of Education and Training.
TABL2751 Business Taxation
TABL2793 People and the Environment Challenge
GENC3051 Tax for Professionals
TABL 3044/5544 Comparative Taxation
TABL5575 Tax Policy
TABL5805 Research Methods in Taxation and Business Law
TABL5810 Dissertation Proposal