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Emeritus Professor of Taxation, UNSW Sydney

Neil Warren is a Professor of Taxation and Head of School from 2006 to 2009. Prior to joining Atax in February 1998, he was Associate Director of the Centre for Applied Economic Research, UNSW and a Senior Lecturer in the School of Economics, Faculty of Commerce and Economics, UNSW. Prior to that he worked at the Institute for Fiscal Studies in London.

Neil's training is as an economist and his research interests lie in the area of public sector economics with a special focus on taxation policy and distributional issues. His research interests are broad and take in the specific areas of tax and welfare reform issues, tax incidence and fiscal federalism.

He has authored or co-authored many articles on taxation issues in academic journals and conference volumes, as well as having published a number of books, government reports and many discussion and conference papers.

As a consultant, he has been involved in the preparation of numerous reports for political parties, government departments and agencies, welfare and industry groups as well as being an expert witness in a number of tax related court cases.

In the lead up to the 1985 National Tax Summit Neil was seconded to the Economic Planning Advisory Council (EPAC). Between 1989 and 1992, he was involved in the preparation of Fightback Mark I (November 1991) and Mark II (December 1992). Neil was joint author of two reports commissioned by the Senate Select Committee on the New Tax System in the lead up to the introduction of the GST in 2000; undertook a review of the Vanuatu Tax System for AusAID in 1994, and was Director of an AusAID Revenue Services institutional strengthening project in Tonga between 1999 and 2002.

He was also Research Director of the Australian Tax Research Foundation (ATRF) from 1994 to 2006, Research Director of the Committee for Economic Development of Australia (CEDA) from 1988-1990 and been an Advisor to the Business Coalition for Tax Reform since 1998.

In 2002 he co-chaired a Review of Employers Compliance with Workers Compensation Premiums and Pay-roll Tax in NSW and in 2006, prepared a NSW Government report on “Benchmarking Australia’s Intergovernmental Financial Arrangements”. In 2007-08, he was appointed an Independent Regulatory and Pricing Tribunal (IPART) Commissioner in a NSW Review of State Taxation.

In 2006 he undertook a confidential feasibility study and subsequently prepared a major report for government into the estimation of tax gap in Australia. Since 2013 he has been a member of ATO’s Tax Gap Expert Panel and is currently advising State revenue agencies on their estimation and analysis of tax gap.

In recent years, with increasing attention on fiscal federalism in Australia, his expert knowledge and research on this issue has seen him involved in advising Government reviews, Parliamentary Committees and State governments. A significant outcome of his research was the organising of a State Funding Forum in Canberra in late 2011 which involved all States and the Commonwealth and a number of international speakers - the proceedings of which were published in 2012 in the eJournal of Tax Research.

Neil has also been the recipient of a number of large research grants including an ARC Discovery Grant on “Federalism for the 21st Century” (2009-11) and is currently the lead researcher at UNSW in a four University AHURI Grant funded research project into “Pathways for Housing Tax Reform” (2016-17).


  • –present
    Professor of Taxation, UNSW Australia


  • 1984 
    UNSW, PhD in Economics