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John Passant

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October 2014



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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)



Treasurer, we need to talk about section 25-90 of the Income Tax Assessment Act 1997

David Crowe refers to the failure of Joe Hockey to follow through with Labor’s proposed repeal of section 25-90 of the Income Tax Assessment Act 1997. (‘Libs must fix credibility gap on tax dodge’ The Australian Friday October 10, Commentary p 14.)

This section breaches normal tax principles by allowing deductions against certain types of exempt income. For example, those Australian companies receiving dividends from their overseas subsidiaries get a double bonus. The dividends are exempt in the Australian company’s hands under section 23AJ and yet the interest on borrowings to earn that exempt income is deductible. Nice work if you can get it.

It is not only that section 25-90 offends basic tax principles and is an undeserved gift to companies. Section 25-90 is at the heart of a number of tax avoidance arrangements.

It is unfortunate in the extreme that the Treasurer and Treasury have listened to a group of rent seekers being unjustly rewarded by not repealing section 25-90. But since this is a government of the 1% that is not surprising and we can conclude in fact that Hockey’s bluster about addressing tax avoidance by his rich mates is just that – complete and utter bluster. As well as abolishing section 25-90, section 23AJ and its ilk should go too.

If Hockey were serious about addressing tax avoidance by the 1%, he’d change a number of tax laws right now to crack down on specific arrangements and increase funding to the ATO to lead the charge. Instead he is sitting on his hands and overseeing the slaughter of the anti-tax avoidance and international tax expertise in the ATO.

Far better from Hockey’s point of view that we pay $7 to doctors than that his mates pay even $7 in tax.



Comment from Kay
Time October 11, 2014 at 7:08 am

I too read the article in ‘The Australian’. It appears that the Coalition has enacted several measures put up by Labor, but not this one. I agree – the Coalition should also follow through with this repeal if it is serious about optimising tax receipts.

Comment from Lorikeet
Time October 11, 2014 at 6:19 pm

Yes, I agree too. I feel like taking a hockey stick to Joe Hockey’s fat backside.

Comment from Aaron
Time October 12, 2014 at 12:41 pm

Which, nut case allowed that to past in the first place?

Comment from Kay
Time October 14, 2014 at 12:27 pm

In today’s The Australian, Judith Sloan argues that Shorten is playing very “loose with the truth” over proposed revenue-producing tax reforms. She says that when the Coalition came to office, “There was a backlog of 92 announced but unlegislated tax and superannuation measures, some dating back several years. After systematically reviewing these measures, the government took the decision to proceed with some, alter a few and ditch most of them.”

She then says that: “One example was Labor’s proposed changes to the thin-cap rules, ostensibly designed to prevent foreign corporations minimising tax by piling high-priced debt on to their Australian subsidiaries. However, because of the way the proposed law was drafted, the main effect was to impose additional tax burdens, amounting to hundreds of millions of dollars, on Australian companies with overseas investments. As a result, any overseas expansion plans of Australian companies would have been put on hold.”

I’m not sure if these are the same provisions you have mentioned here, but they sounds similar.

If so, I hope Hockey can get these redrafted so as not to cause problems for Australian companies, and then legislate them.

Comment from Lorikeet
Time October 15, 2014 at 10:15 am

All companies need to be paying tax in the countries they have made the money, regardless of whether they are Australian or not.

Judith Sloan is a former Chairman of the National Seniors of Australia (albeit briefly). I have seen her on Q&A and I feel certain she is a Coalition supporter.

I consider that part of the reason Clive Palmer formed his own party was to make sure Australian companies got a fair go in their homeland. Our largest Australian mining companies get a constant lampooning in the press, but we never hear similar criticism of foreign miners. This would tie in with the redistributionist agenda of the UN, to crush the western nations.

I think Judith Sloan was wise to speak out against foreign corporations minimising tax by piling high-priced debt onto their Australian subsidiaries.

But let us just wait and see if either Labor or Coalition governments actually do anything about it. Since they work to the UN’s plan, I cannot see it happening.

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