$9b tax hole linked to Airbnb-style deals

Original article by Duncan Hughes
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 9 : 6-Nov-19

The Australian Taxation Office estimates that some property owners have undeclared income of more than $70,000 a year in earnings from short-term rental platforms such as Airbnb. This has contributed to an income tax shortfall of around $9bn. The ATO has used data-matching technology to compare income from tax returns with financial records provided by rental platforms. The ATO will write to home owners asking them to review their tax return, their income earned and the expenses they have claimed.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIAN TAXATION OFFICE, AIRBNB AUSTRALIA PTY LTD, STAYZ PTY LTD, HOMEAWAY.COM INCORPORATED, FLIPKEY, BOOKING.COM (AUSTRALIA) PTY LTD, IBISWORLD PTY LTD, BNBGUARD

Court says backpacker tax is discriminatory

Original article by Tom McIlroy
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 3 : 31-Oct-19

Arnold Bloch Leibler partner Clint Harding says some backpackers could be entitled to tax refunds after a landmark court ruling on the federal government’s tax on the earnings of working holidaymakers. The Federal Court’s Justice John Logan has ruled that the backpacker tax breaches non-discrimination clause in Australia’s tax treaties with eight countries, including the UK, the US, Germany and Japan. The Australian Taxation Office may appeal the ruling.

CORPORATES
FEDERAL COURT OF AUSTRALIA, ARNOLD BLOCH LEIBLER, AUSTRALIAN TAXATION OFFICE, TAXBACK.COM

Dodgy claims are declining, says Tax Office

Original article by Tom McIlroy
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 8 : 23-Sep-19

Increases to the low- and middle-income tax offset and the federal government’s $158 million income tax cuts package have prompted a jump in the early lodgement of tax returns. However, despite the rush by taxpayers to get their tax refunds as soon as possible, the Australian Taxation Office has noticed a fall in the number of incorrect claims for tax deductions. The ATO issued over 5.4 million tax refunds in the first nine weeks of the 2019-20 financial year, worth a total of $14.5 billion.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIAN TAXATION OFFICE

Baby Boomers put squeeze on the young

Original article by John Kehoe
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 8 : 19-Aug-19

The Grattan Institute contends that people aged 40 contribute twice as much in tax to support older Australians than Baby Boomers did at the same age, after adjusting for inflation. The percentage of households over the age of 65 that pay tax has fallen from 27 per cent in the mid-1990s to 17 per cent, while the Grattan Institute notes that the wealth of households under the age of 35 has barely changed since 2004. It puts forward a number of suggestions to address this intergenerational divide, including taxing superannuation earnings in retirement at 15 per cent and lifting the pension age.

CORPORATES
GRATTAN INSTITUTE, AUSTRALIAN TAXATION OFFICE, AUSTRALIA. PRODUCTIVITY COMMISSION, KPMG AUSTRALIA PTY LTD

Labor review may jettison 2pc tax slug

Original article by Andrew Tillett
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 5 : 9-Jul-19

A spokesperson for Opposition Leader Anthony Albanese has stressed that Labor has not yet formally dropped its proposed changes to the negative gearing and franking credits regimes, after Albanese gave indications that they will be dumped. Labor intends to review all of its policies in the wake of the federal election loss; some Labor MPs have suggested that increasing the highest marginal income tax rate to 49 per cent by reinstating the budget repair levy is among the policies that may be dropped. Several Labor MPs also say there may be merit in Bill Kelty’s proposal to reduce the top income tax rate.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIAN LABOR PARTY, AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF THE TREASURY

Kelty: cut the top tax rate

Original article by Jennifer Hewett
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 1 & 8 : 8-Jul-19

Former ACTU secretary Bill Kelty warns that Australia’s income tax system will remain uncompetitive unless there is broader reform than the federal government’s tax cuts package. Kelty argues that any reforms to the tax system should be in response to the demands of the future, negating Labor’s view that the stage-three tax cuts should have been put on hold due to uncertainty about the economic outlook in five years’ time, when they are slated to take effect. Kelty also says Australia’s top marginal income tax rate is too high, and changes to the enterprise bargaining system are needed.

CORPORATES
ACTU, AUSTRALIAN LABOR PARTY, CONSTRUCTION, FORESTRY, MARITIME, MINING AND ENERGY UNION OF AUSTRALIA

Promised cuts ‘don’t have to wait for parliament’

Original article by Richard Ferguson, Joe Kelly
The Australian – Page: 7 : 22-May-19

Treasurer Josh Frydenberg says the proposed increase in the low and middle-income tax offset will be the Coalition’s top priority when parliament resumes. He has conceded that parliament is unlikely to be reconvened before 30 June to allow the tax cuts to be passed before the start of the new financial year. A spokesman for the Australian Taxation Office has advised that the changes to the tax offset can be applied retrospectively if the legislation is passed after 1 July.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF THE TREASURY, AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF THE PRIME MINISTER AND CABINET, AUSTRALIAN TAXATION OFFICE, AUSTRALIAN LABOR PARTY

Coalition faces hostile Senate if it wins

Original article by Phillip Coorey
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 6 : 2-May-19

A re-elected Coalition government could require the support of the Greens to pass legislation in the Senate, depending on the number of crossbenchers in the upper house from 1 July. Its income tax cuts in particular would be in doubt, given the Greens’ opposition to the package. The government proposes to reconvene parliament before 30 June to capitalise on a crossbench that is likely to be more favourable to its tax cuts than the new Senate. Greens leader Richard Di Natale favours tax increases rather than tax cuts.

CORPORATES
LIBERAL PARTY OF AUSTRALIA, NATIONAL PARTY OF AUSTRALIA, AUSTRALIAN GREENS, AUSTRALIAN LABOR PARTY, THE AUSTRALIA INSTITUTE LIMITED

Top end of town pays $57bn tax

Original article by Michael Roddan
The Australian – Page: 4 : 24-Apr-19

Data from the Australian Taxation Office shows that nearly 430,000 people had taxable income of at least $180,000 in fiscal 2017, an increase of 26 per cent since fiscal 2013. The total net tax they paid increased from $43 billion to $57bn. There was also a 17 per cent increase in the number of people with taxable income of $37,000 to $80,000, with their share of the total tax take rising from $47bn to $62bn. Tax cuts have been a key focus of the election campaign, but economics professor Richard Holden says a simpler option is to peg the tax system to wage inflation.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIAN TAXATION OFFICE, UNIVERSITY OF NEW SOUTH WALES, AUSTRALIAN LABOR PARTY, AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF THE PRIME MINISTER AND CABINET

Tax gamble hits most workers

Original article by Paul Kelly
The Australian – Page: 1 & 4 : 15-Apr-19

The Coalition has released data which suggests that low- and middle-income earners will be better off under the government’s tax policy than that of Labor. The tables indicate that people with annual income of $80,000 in 2024-25 will be $875 a year better off under the government rather than Labor; this rises to $2,125 a yearly for those who earn $100,000 and $5,705 a year for those whose income is $140,000. The figures are based on expectations that all three stages of the government’s tax cuts will be passed, reducing the marginal tax rate for the average worker to 30 per cent. Labor opposes the second and third stages of the tax cuts.

CORPORATES
LIBERAL PARTY OF AUSTRALIA, NATIONAL PARTY OF AUSTRALIA, AUSTRALIAN LABOR PARTY