Archive for 'Tax'
Labor’s tax avoidance crack down statement was the old pea and thimble trick. It wants to give the impression of doing something about big business tax avoidance (always a popular issue among ordinary workers) without really frightening the big business horses. Pathetic is the word that comes to mind.
The next time the Treasurer tells you he has to cut pensions, aboriginal services, women’s refuges, health or education funding, ask him why he doesn’t shut down the section 25-90 rort and use the $600 million a year on something socially useful. What about it Mr Hockey? This of course is the same Mr Hockey happy to see Chris Jordan, the former NSW manager of major tax avoidance ‘planning’ firm, KPMG, and current Commissioner of Taxation, destroy the Australian Tax Office and its already meagre capacity to police the rich and powerful tax avoiders and evaders. Regulatory capture is the word I think we are searching for here, Mr Hockey.
Tristan Ewins has written a piece called “Debate on tax and ‘small government’ flares again” in the ALP Socialist Left Forum, with a revised version in Online Opinion. In it he makes some sensible suggestions about tax re-jigging that could raise tens of billions from the rich and powerful although much more could be added to the program such as a net wealth tax on the top ten percent without impacting at all on the capital accumulation process. It is worth a read.
The aim of this paper is to provide readers with an insight into Marx’s methods as a first step to understanding income tax more generally but with specific reference to Australia’s income tax system. I do this by introducing readers to the ideas about the totality that is capitalism, appearance and form, and the dialectic in Marx’s hands. This will involve looking at income tax as part of the bigger pi…cture of capitalism, and understanding that all things are related and changes in one produce changes in all. Appearances can be deceptive and we need to delve below the surface to understand the reality or essence of income and, hence, of income tax. Dialectics is the study of change. By developing an understanding of the processes of contradiction and change in society, the totality, we can then start to understand income tax and its role in our current society more deeply. To do that, we need to understand the ways of thinking and approaches that Marx and others have employed. Only then, armed with the tools we have discovered, can we begin the process of cleaning the muck of ages from the windows into the soul of tax and move from the world of appearance to the essence of tax.
The outcome of neoliberal policy since 1983, when Hawke Labor began implementing it and laid out the red carpet for Howard and then Abbott, has been a massive shift in wealth in Australia from labour to capital. The process of neoliberal regulatory capture in tax policy and tax law has now, if Second Commissioner Mills’ speech is any indication, also successfully infected the administration of the Australian Tax Office. All the sweet words in the world will not disguise the fact that the fox is now in charge of the revenue hen house.
The top ten percent of income earners receive about one third of all the superannuation tax concessions, that is about $15 billion worth of tax expenditures annually. A couple in a similar position to the Arguses, if they stay within the rules, will get payments totaling $1.2 million per year tax free. Far better to slug poor and sick people between $5 and $20 to go to the doctor or put the GST on fresh food than to tax the rich eh Mr Abbott and Mr Hockey? So tell me again about the end of the age of entitlement.
My latest missive to the Canberra Times, prompted by a page one article about solar panels. Given I have a success rate of 0% these days with the Canberra Times letters, I expect this too to go into their rubbish bin of history. _______________________ The article ‘Solar take-up through the roof’ (Kirsten Lawson, The Canberra […]
When announcing that the Abbott government wouldn’t go ahead with the repeal of section 25-90, Hockey said they would introduce more targeted changes to address the issue. They abandoned even this pretence in Monday’s Mid-Year Economic and Fiscal Outlook. Evidently it would be impractical to go ahead with any changes. Impractical for whom Mr Hockey? Your rich and powerful tax avoiding mates.
I have a simple question for the Treasurer. Why don’t you tell us what the ATO thinks about section 25-90?
Joe Hockey is the best friend the big business tax avoiders have.
My letter today to the Australian Financial Review John Without seeing the detail of the so-called ‘Google tax’, as a former Assistant Commissioner of Taxation in the international area of the ATO it appears to me there is one possibly insurmountable problem, Australia’s double tax agreement with Singapore. (Phillip Coorey and Fleur Anderson, ‘Treasurer poised […]
My article (with others) on the taxation of payments for household solar panel generated electricity has just been published in the Australian Tax Review. ‘Are returns received by householders from electricity generated by solar panels assessable income?’ (2014) 43 AT Rev 263. Our answer is yes, where the electricity is fed back into the grid. […]