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John Passant

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April 2015



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My interview Razor Sharp 18 February
Me interviewed by Sharon Firebrace on Razor Sharp on Tuesday 18 February. (0)

My interview Razor Sharp 11 February 2014
Me interviewed by Sharon Firebrace on Razor Sharp this morning. The Royal Commission, car industry and age of entitlement get a lot of the coverage. (0)

Razor Sharp 4 February 2014
Me on 4 February 2014 on Razor Sharp with Sharon Firebrace. (0)

Time for a House Un-Australian Activities Committee?
Tony Abbott thinks the Australian Broadcasting Corporation is Un-Australian. I am looking forward to his government setting up the House Un-Australian Activities Committee. (1)

Make Gina Rinehart work for her dole

Sick kids and paying upfront


Save Medicare

Demonstrate in defence of Medicare at Sydney Town Hall 1 pm Saturday 4 January (0)

Me on Razor Sharp this morning
Me interviewed by Sharon Firebrace this morning for Razor Sharp. It happens every Tuesday. (0)

I am not surprised
I think we are being unfair to this Abbott ‘no surprises’ Government. I am not surprised. (0)

Send Barnaby to Indonesia
It is a pity that Barnaby Joyce, a man of tact, diplomacy, nuance and subtlety, isn’t going to Indonesia to fix things up. I know I am disappointed that Barnaby is missing out on this great opportunity, and I am sure the Indonesians feel the same way. [Sarcasm alert.] (0)



Forthcoming Solidarity magazine article: Selfish corporate giants dodging all the tax they can

My article ‘Selfish corporate giants dodging all the tax they can’ will be published in Solidary magazine next week.

You can subscribe to Solidarity magazine here.




Comment from Mike
Time April 16, 2015 at 11:01 am

When you lodge your tax return do you claim deductions in order to lower your taxable income and therefore pay less tax?

Comment from John
Time April 16, 2015 at 1:28 pm

Yes, but I don’t shift my income to Singapore, or Bermuda, or Ireland or other places.

Comment from Mike
Time April 16, 2015 at 1:47 pm

So you minimise your tax then.

Comment from John
Time April 16, 2015 at 2:32 pm

You have a very strange idea of minimising tax. I will leave you to your bizarre world.

Comment from Kay
Time April 17, 2015 at 7:22 am

I suggest that all that Mike is suggesting is that we ALL minimise our tax as much as legally possible by claiming whatever deductions we can. Hardly a “bizarre world”!!

But you always try to cast aspersions on anyone who makes a valid point that does not accord with your “bizarre world”. No need to start throwing in another issue – like offshore accounts. That is a quite separate topic.

Comment from John
Time April 17, 2015 at 8:34 am

So I claim 8-1 deductions. That isn’t minimising tax. Minimising tax would be claiming those deductions by manipulating myself into getting them when on normal transactions or circumstances I wouldn’t have; minimising tax is when I shift profits offshore; minimising tax is when I am powerful enough to get governments to allow me deductions which go way beyond normal business related deductions or exempt income that should be included in the tax base. (Read Treusry’s tax expenditure statement.) Don’t lecture me on what is minimising tax. Especially when neither of you have even read the article. but hey, stick to your world of ignorance.

Comment from Chris Warren
Time April 17, 2015 at 11:30 am

Deductions can be a bit of a rort.

If as a wage and salary earner, I cannot deduct general work-related expenses. Although there was a deduction available for work-related text books.

However as a contractor with an ABN, doing the same work and for the same fee, I can. I can even pay my spouse a wage.

Accelerated depreciation is a rort.

High rebates for R&D or for Australian Film production when they apply are also a rort.

However low income offsets, family allowances are a form of deduction that enhances equity.

Obviously not everyone should pay tax on their gross nominal earnings. This is simple social equity and has nothing to do with “minimisation”.

People accessing public entitlements are not engaging in so-called minimisation. This refers to additional, concocted, arrangements beyond normal deductions and even beyond normal company structures.

Kay has just exposed herself once again.

Comment from Kay
Time April 18, 2015 at 8:09 am

A quote from ‘Tax minimisation and tax avoidance schemes’ by the Western Australian Department of Commerce:

“You are entitled to minimise your tax liabilities through investment activities and to receive the benefits provided for under the law.

Tax minimisation is when you legitimately arrange your tax affairs to reduce the amount of tax you pay. These arrangements comply with both the letter and spirit of the law.”

And from the ‘Tax planning’ article by the ATO:

“Most taxpayers accept that paying tax provides community benefits, and they meet their tax obligations voluntarily. In meeting this obligation, you also have the right to arrange your financial affairs to keep your tax to a minimum – this is often referred to as tax planning, or ‘tax-effective’ investing. Tax planning is legitimate when you do it within the letter and the spirit of the law.”

And further on: “There are ways to minimise tax, as long as it’s done lawfully.”

And more: “Using your money to try to make more money or gain assets is called investing. Understanding how tax works in relation to your investment helps ensure you don’t pay more tax than you need to.”

That is the tax minimisation that Mike and I are talking about.

But the ATO warns: “Actions to deliberately evade tax obligations or fraudulently use the system to obtain an improper financial benefit constitute tax crime. This includes identity crime, secret offshore dealings, credit and refund fraud, and illicit tobacco growing.” Very different from the ‘tax minimisation’ that we all use in our tax returns – even Chris!

“Kay has just exposed herself once again.” Yes, thanks for that, Chris. I’ve clearly exposed myself as knowing what I’m talking about! I’m glad you appreciate it!

Comment from John
Time April 18, 2015 at 2:09 pm

Ever had to argue a case in the ATO for the application of the general anti-tax avoidance provision Part IVA to big business Kay? Ever advised Treasury that the changes to the law would result in massive abuse? Come back and discuss with me when you know what you are talking about.

Comment from Kay
Time April 18, 2015 at 3:50 pm

Maybe you were involved with these issues whilst employed by the ATO.

But what both Mike were taking about was ordinary, everyday, garden variety tax minimisation. Not that slippery slope that leads to tax avoidance or evasion.

No arguing that the likes of Google, Microsoft, Apple, and probably Ikea, have deliberately engineered their financial affairs in an artificial way to avoid paying tax in the countries in which the income and profit is earned. I just wish some government would successfully legislate to ensure that all income and profits derived from Australian buyers is subject to the full range of Australian taxation. It seems they have smarter accountants than the ATO, and there is zero worldwide cooperation to ensure that this is applied across the board. After all, these companies are not actually doing anything illegal – maybe unethical, but not illegal.

Why hasn’t legislation been drafted to catch these profits and income? Perhaps you can explain that given your ATO experience?

Comment from John
Time April 18, 2015 at 7:59 pm

If you come along to my talk at Wollongong Uni on 23 April you can hear me talk about that. Or to my talk some time after that in Canberra. Base erosion can’t be dealt with unilaterally. It is a consequence of our tax treaties based on 19 century concepts of physical presence meeting the internet. Profit shifting is an endless battle often over the pricing that is appropriate in oligopoly or monopoly situations. I think somewhere on the blog I have explained this. And called for the repeal of section 25-90 for example.

Comment from Mike
Time April 20, 2015 at 6:19 pm

I always engage in tax avoidance when I buy nuts. The salted one’s have GST, the unsalted are GST free.
I buy the GST free ones.

Comment from John
Time April 20, 2015 at 7:38 pm

Dear Mike, I would like a sensible discussion not this stupid trolling. I won’t publish any more of this childish shit.

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