Friday, April 21, 2017

Pay your tax

As the media proprietor, the late Kerry Packer, once said when accused of avoiding paying tax, he said, to paraphrase, I pay all the tax I am obliged to pay. Not a penny more. In spite of his richness, why should he? He arranged his affairs so that he paid a minimal amount of tax.

Foreign companies operate in Australia and make nice profits from Australians, but they pay no or little tax. Why should they if they have arranged their company to based in another country there is no tax is due here? Private enterprise is a charity to give money to the Australian government?

I am also sure some very profitable local companies pay no or little tax too.

This is nothing to do with media moguls or private enterprise. It is about our taxation system that allows very rich people and corporations to not pay tax. It can be fixed by government rules, but they won't do it. Yes, it is complex but I am sure they have some very smart people who could do it.

How about the details of this one, from The Age.

48 millionaires in Australia collectively earned 128 million dollars in 2014-15. They paid 20 million to accountants and lawyers who manage their affairs. On the 128 million they earned, they paid no tax whatsoever. That is, they pared their income down by legitimate deductions to zero.  Nor did they pay the Medicare levy. The only money they paid was the Medicare surcharge on the rich, which is based on earnings, not income after deductions.

This is absolutely outrageous and meanwhile the government cuts welfare payments in many areas.

It stinks.





21 comments:

  1. It does indeed stink.
    Sadly too many of our politicians are either very wealthy, or have aspirations to be very wealthy. So they butter the bread they hope to receive.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. EC, nicely put, butter the bread they hope to receive.

      Delete
  2. It is outrageous. I believe a call to Robin Hood is required!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Lee, if I rub my coffee mug from Nottingham, do you think Robin might appear?

      Delete
  3. What about sending all those vicious letters out demanding that debts be paid whether you had debts or not. I bet the million dollar Accountants make sure they don't pay tax as well.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. JT, I am happy to pay a good of amount of tax to ensure Australia is a good country to live, for rich and poor. But there is too much of the poor happening and too much of the rich happening and too many rich leaners who are not lifting.

      Delete
  4. That's all been going on for ever so long and it's not fair, but no one seems to do a thing about it - yet - one day hopefully someone will.
    None of it seems fair at all.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Margaret, one day.......we hope.

      Delete
  5. It's the same in the UK. The only thing one can say for them is that all their employees pay tax, and presumably they also pay VAT. Rich people also buy very expensive things which have to be made by someone; take away too much of their wealth and those people have no more jobs. One world for the rich, and another for the rest of us.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Cro, I am sure like here, cash in hand happens with employees, so there is evasion there too. While we don't want to create tax exiles, as happened in the past, people must pay a reasonable amount of tax. Mine comes out of my pay and I have very limited opportunities there.

      Delete
  6. Not only is the Australian taxation of the rich immoral... the government cuts in welfare payments is even more immoral. But the robo-debt recovery system is the most oppressive and destructive of all.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hels, the robo-debt process is terrible. The target seems not to be the people who cheat the system, but those who have made innocent mistakes, but mostly those who suffer from Centrelink incompetence.

      Delete
  7. Total agreement here.
    Just investigatin' eBay and find the chick stashed $40million in a charity fund years ago which has dispersed $125,000 so far. all the benefits, none of the downside.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Annie, she is in a league way above Warnie.

      Delete
  8. It stinks to high heaven and I can only hope they get their comeuppance one day. While I'm alive to see it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. River, perhaps it will happen in your lifetime, but don't blame the people too much who take advantage of our laws and regulations. This is where the real problem is.

      Delete
  9. The excuse of the Belgian government is that companies provide work, people spend money so it's better to attract them to invest in Belgium than in other countries. That's probably the same reason in your country ! The French government tried once to increase the taxes of rich people and companies, with the result that they moved to Belgium ! I think they had to change again, but I didn't follow up !

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Gattina, yes, companies will go to the most tax advantageous countries. That is why the tax system needs to change so they pay tax on profits they make from various countries to the same country.

      Delete
  10. It absolutely stinks Andrew! I don't understand why they don't just pay the money they pay lawyers to figure ways for them not to pay tax.. did you get that? It's very late here in Perth, or early depending on how you look at it 😊 When do you go on holiday?

    ReplyDelete
  11. Anonymous12:03 am

    Hi Andrew

    I think transfer pricing arrangements have resulted in many multi national companies paying less tax than they should. The recent Federal Court decision re Chevron might stop this a bit for other companies as well as Chevron but I think the current Australian laws about disclosure of financial details to the ATO also need tightening. I won't shop at ALDI because I am convinced they don't pay their fair share of Australian tax. Anyway, if our intelligent well paid pollies can't work out how to deal with transfer pricing, they shouldn't be in Parliament.

    Regarding the Centrelink debts - they result from some seriously shonky data matching between the ATO and Centrelink. The ATO holds ANNUAL income figures; employment income under the Centrelink income test is usually assessed as being income applying to the fortnight when the work was done to earn that income. The robo debts are a disgrace but the decision making to use this data matching was decided in Canberra and endorsed by the Minister who either has no understanding of the tax and social security law or who is a liar.

    Cheers Marie

    ReplyDelete
  12. The rich get away with it here in the states too, big time, and then try to shift all blame for everything to the poor. It's laughable. They're getting practically slave labor for their industries due to lobbying against minimum wage increases, health care cuts, everything goes their way cause they buy people and get of trouble with their money. They're disgusting, many of them, I think, lack any moral standard.

    ReplyDelete