Labor is coming for your tax refund

This morning Bill Shorten said something interesting (emphasis added):

Bill Shorten has attacked the ability of wealthy people to claim a tax deduction for their accountancy fees.

Mr Shorten singled out deducting accounting fees as “one of the rorts we want to shut down”, arguing Treasury had wrongly calculated the closing down of tax loopholes as tax increases.

“Did you know that if you want to deduct millions off your tax, you get your accountant to do it. Did you know you can also claim as a tax deduction the hundreds of thousands of dollars you give to your accountant to deduct millions out of the tax system,” Mr Shorten said.

“You can even claim what you pay the accountant as a tax deduction. Most Australians will never access that system.

“Why on earth is this government defending the ability of the super wealthy to pay their accountants to minimise their tax and then even claim the cost of paying the accountants? It is a sweet deal but it has got to stop.

Seriously? The superwealthy use tax accountants and the cost of the accountant is tax-deductible? Shocking!

Well. Unbeknown to Bill Shorten – who has an MBA – Australia is a very egalitarian nation. Lots of people have tax accountants. Not-so-wealthy people employ tax accountants.  Here is the historical data on use of a tax agent from the ATO’s own data.

What else do we know about these wealthy rorters claiming millions out of the tax system? Turns out they’re not so wealthy, and they are not claiming millions.

So first – some basic data (again from the ATO tax stats).

So the actual millionaires – people with an income over $1 million – are claiming, on average, $7655 for managing their tax affairs. Not “hundreds of thousands of dollars” as Bill Shorten MBA (Melb) claimed.  Their total deductions are, on average, $83,388. Not “millions” as Bill Shorten claimed. This is data from the ATO – it is their job to track this information.

So why am I claiming that the ALP are coming for our tax refunds?

Because I first crunched these numbers a decade ago when there was a proposal for a “no-returns tax system”. Andrew Leigh – then at the ANU – the now assistant shadow treasurer is a fan on no-return tax systems (emphasis added).

In August of each year the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) — knowing how much each taxpayer earned from various sources — could send out tax statements, setting out each person’s income and tax liability. In other words, the tax forms could be ‘pre-populated’ with the information already held by the ATO. If a taxpayer then wished to claim certain deductions, they would be free to fill in a tax return. But if not — and provided the taxpayer’s only income is from wages, dividends and interest — they would have the option of not filing a tax return. All the taxpayer would then have to do is let the ATO know that he or she agrees with the assessment, and then claim a refund or pay the excess tax. Plenty of taxpayers may choose to forfeit deductions to which they are entitled in exchange for avoiding the hassle of filing a tax return. Indeed, the rise in tax revenue from these forfeited deductions is likely to outweigh any increase in administrative costs for the ATO in moving towards a system of pre-population.

So save yourself the ‘hassle’ of filling out a tax return and save the number you pay your accountant to rort the system.

My paper was a response:

Certainly the idea of trading off work-related deductions for a simplified tax-return system would not be in the financial interests of the taxpayers and buying them out would be very expensive for the authorities. …

The analysis presented in this paper, however, suggests that [Leigh’s] argument is wishful thinking at best. Few taxpayers would want to give up their work-related deductions to save the cost of an accountant or tax agent.

It seems the ALP want to re-open that debate and proposal by softening up the electorate with talk of millionaires rorting the system.

This entry was posted in 2019 election, Taking out the trash, Taxation. Bookmark the permalink.

76 Responses to Labor is coming for your tax refund

  1. Tintarella di Luna

    Has Mr Shorten provided a definition of who is a wealthy person? Anthony Pratt? or anyone that owns an investments property? or is it someone that can’t understand the 5000 page tax act?

  2. Craig

    I use a tax agent because I want to LEGALLY use the legislation as enacted and ratified in parliament, to reduce the amount of tax I pay and perhaps get some back. Perhaps the next incoming government should consider REDUCING public spend and outlay on social programs and then perhaps this ‘concern’ about debt and deficit becomes a redundant conversation.

  3. John Constantine

    All your money bilong us.

    Their shorten raskols end cash, end tax deductions and make the system simple, work for the state and collect your rations.

    Comrades.

  4. PB

    They are employing every disinfo trick in the book to enable massive tax increases under the guise of loophole closing amid the politics of envy. They will get away with it because we no longer have an informed populace (as called for long ago).

  5. Karabar

    Would Billie BS dare to suggest that he completes his own tax return?
    Is Billie of the same school of economic thought as Emma Alberici, in that ‘revenue’ and ‘income’ are the same thing?
    It is indeed a tragedy that this nonsense continually issues forth from Billie lips and that there are a whole slough of the stupid, the ignorant, and the gullible that believe it.
    And he, of course, is not the only one.

  6. Overburdened

    shorten is relying on the disconnect between the majority of tax payers (cross reference endangered species due to the churn that means a significant number of people pay no net tax) who use an accountant once a year for a couple of hundred dollars and corporate accounting.

    In any sane place he should have just signed his own electoral death warrant for being so insulting to the intelligence of the voter.

    With their economic illiteracy and pie in the sky ideas, as well as their pathetic politics of envy and demonstrable hypocrisy (eg the big end of town riff), labor should have no chance of getting to govern.

  7. PB

    Craig said: “Perhaps the next incoming government should consider REDUCING public spend and outlay on social programs”

    The only question that will be asked is how big the increases in spending will be.

  8. Tim Neilson

    This was spoken about at The Tax Institute’s recent annual convention.

    From what was said it seems likely that whoever was advising Labor on this may have misunderstood ATO data on tax related expenses thus massively overestimating the amount people actually spend on tax advice.
    There’s nothing improbable about Labor having no clue. Remember it was Andrew Leigh who railed against four foreign controlled companies supposedly controlling most of Australia’s ASX 200, without stopping to think that the word “Nominees” in the names of those four companies might have some significance.

    And of course most money spent on tax advice is money spent simply complying with the law, not trying to find a cleverer cheaper way to comply with it. (Not that there’s anything wrong with that.)

    Stuart Robert was even more definitive, saying that Labor was talking about a total of 48 people, and pointing out that imposing a deprivation on over 24 million Australians to deal with the supposed sins of 48 people did not seem like sound policy.

  9. Tel

    Few taxpayers would want to give up their work-related deductions to save the cost of an accountant or tax agent.

    Those who wish to, can do this under the current system.

  10. Exit Stage Right

    BS=Billy Liar.
    Thats all.

  11. Percy Popinjay

    I had to engage a tax agent over a decade ago to put a stop to the frigging unacceptable harassment I was being subjected to by the f*cking ATO.

    shorten is a vile loathsome hypocritical piece of excrement and he can f*ck off.

    HOP time draws ever nearer, you dickhead.

  12. RobK

    Unbelievable. I think shorten is trying to conflate accounting and tax accounting. Is he actually aware of what can be deducted. Bill, can we get paid to collect your gst?

  13. RobK

    If tax laws were simple enough and consistent, your average book-keeper type would be able to do it. Twit.

  14. RobK

    So to Bill book-keeping is not a cost of production.

  15. Percy Popinjay

    They will get away with it because we no longer have an informed populace

    If this country no longer has an informed populace (and I’m under no illusions on that score) then they should not be compelled to vote.

  16. Cynic of Ayr

    Well, when I was sixteen, I did my own Tax Return. Form S, was it? One piece of folded paper – four pages. Most didn’t apply to me as an “average” wage earner. I did put in my medical bills.
    For some years, even after marriage and a couple of purse absorbing brats, I did my own Tax Return. I used a few more lines than I did before, with the aforementioned burdens added. As well, Doctors, Chemist and a few other expenses were listed as deductions.
    Not any more! Somehow it all changed, and the Tax Package came out. 100 pages of “How to fill out your ten page Tax Return.” Most of the 100 pages were listings of the penalties you would incur, if you were a bit out. I think this was Costello’s personal rort. He removed individual medical expenses, lying through his teeth with some bullshit about it being deducted as a matter of course for everyone.
    It all became too hard! It became too hard intentionally! The Government wanted people to use Accountants, because they thought the Accountants would be less inclined to take a risk, and claim false expenses.
    Now, this fucking idiot still insists you use Accountants but it’s not a legitimate expense!
    As for that other “No-return Tax System” that’s nothing but a tax grab! And a dishonest one at that.
    If Morrison wasn’t such an unaware moron, he’d be all over this with facts and figures, as above. But all he’ll say is,” Well, we won’t be stealing as much as that!”

  17. RobK

    Bill is doing his best to be, not just antagonistic but also devisive. A shit-stirrer.

  18. mh

    “You can even claim what you pay the accountant as a tax deduction. Most Australians will never access that system.

    Here is something to mess with Bill’s mind:

    You can also claim the travel costs of visiting your accountant if it is an irregular visit, such as for tax return preparation.

  19. rickw

    Dirty stinking Communists.

  20. RobK

    Small firms pay thousands for IT and thousands for upto date tax advice to facilitate an easy digital grab for the ATO. In my case the relative cost of compliance has increased with the onset of the digital age, over the last 3 decades.

  21. Dr Faustus

    Shorten’s parliamentary declaration of pecuniary interests show that he owns a mortgaged house, a life insurance policy, has superannuation – and that’s it. Nothing else. Nada.

    As at the very simplest sort of PAYE person, his tax return must cost less than $100.

    Given he earns $376,000 pa. + expenses he must also be a very profligate consumption spender – or a truly fucking awful money manager.

    It will be unaccountably amazing if, after a couple of years as PM, he ends up owning a pig farm and his net worth turns out to be millions.

  22. Zulu Kilo Two Alpha

    Bill Shorten is convinced he’s already got the next election in the bag. Mrs Shorten has chosen the new curtains and booked the removal truck.

  23. mh

    There should be little need for tax accountants in Australia because the legislation is brief and straightforward. For example:

    Income Tax Assessment Act 1997

    https://www.legislation.gov.au/Details/C2013C00082

  24. A vast number of Australian’s use tax agents, be they fully fledged accountants or the H&R Block type that set up in shopping centres to do their tax. Because the tax system changes so frequently, the average worker has no idea what they may be eligible to deduct or how much.

    Is Bill now going to disadvantage all those newly arrived refugees, who don’t understand our tax system, by making it difficult for them to claim what is legally right for them to claim? And by not allowing the agent fees to be claimed, make them pay more than necessary.

  25. Dr Fred Lenin

    Did shorten fall out with the Pratts ? Or dont they pay accontants to minimize their tax .?
    Shorten has the leftie disease,he dug a hole with the tax credits on shares , dug it deeper with the electric cars , destroying reliable coal for unreliable ruinables then creating more demand for power with cars ,now hes still digging. Who in their right mind doesnt have an accountant in these days of crippling taxes .
    I suppose MPs and public employees are exempt fri]om the stupidity they impose ?
    Do they give MBA s away at nelbourne uni these days ,can you buy one with a coffee at the Caff?
    Was ge like giliard ,they give them a degree to get rid of them .
    New definition of stupid ,someone who is a leftwinger .

  26. feelthebern

    How about we give 100% of our income to the ATO & then let the government give it back to us each according to their needs?

  27. Sinclair Davidson

    How about we give 100% of our income to the ATO & then let the government give it back to us each according to their needs?

    Ha! Modern monetary theory.

  28. Dr Fred Lenin

    Mh ,interesting ,looked it up ,do you know how many million words are in the legistlation ?
    Must have been witten by a team of lawtradespersons, being paid by the word ,the old legal adage “, never use one word when 156 will do “.

  29. stackja

    We are the ALP. Give us all your money. We will look after it. Trust us.

  30. OldOzzie

    Bill Shorten’s class war against ‘accountant tax rorts’ and real estate industry

    Richard Ferguson
    Reporter

    Bill Shorten has doubled down on his plan to stop wealthy people claiming high accountants’ fees on tax and has taken a swipe at real estate agents.

    In a sign of a fierce “class warfare” campaign ahead, the Opposition Leader today said he was sticking with a cap of $3000 on exempting accountancy fees despite scepticism his plan will raise the $1.8bn he predicts it will.

    “I’m 100 per cent confident that Labor is right, to stop allowing people deduct hundreds of thousands of dollars off their tax for what they pay their accountant,” he said in the Liberal electorate of Bennelong.

    “I’m 100 per cent confident that what we can do is make sure that this is a fairer system.

    “Why should someone who pays $1 million to their accountant to minimise their tax for millions more, why should we pay for the double dip?

    “I mean, it’s a sweet deal. It’s not illegal, but enough’s enough.”

    Last month, Tax Commissioner Chris Jordan said he was sceptical the savings claimed from Labor’s policy were all sourced from managing tax affairs instead of other exemptions.

    “When people see a quick headline, ‘millionaires paying millions not to pay tax’, there might well be some other reason entirely, like GIC (general interest charges) and I think we’re trying to break that box down now,” he told the Tax Institute in March.

    “If you’ve got all that GIC and you’ve paid an enormous settlement, you can claim the GIC as a tax deduction so yes you might have millions of dollars of income but I can’t see any rational or even irrational person, spending over a million to not pay tax on a million.”

    Mr Shorten refused to answer questions on whether the difference pointed out by Mr Jordan would affect the revenue raised by his policy.

    But he did hit back at a national campaign led by real estate agents against his negative gearing policies.

    “Well, the real estate agents, it’s obviously in their financial interest to keep taxpayer money flowing to their business model?” he said.

    “You’ve gotta ask yourself, why are they campaigning? They’re campaigning because they like to have people bidding for houses who are getting a taxpayer subsidy.

    “Because the more people they have bidding for houses, the more they can charge their percentage on the sale.”

    The Real Estate Institute of Australia, which represents about 95 per cent of the 36,000 businesses that employ about 120,000 people, is leading the push to coincide with the election campaign.

    The industry-backed campaign will harness social media platforms including Facebook, Instagram and Twitter to promote key attack lines against the Labor policy, arguing that it will reduce property prices in a cooling market, fail to raise the forecast revenue and pose a danger to the Australian economy.

    From the Comments

    769 Comments

    Sunil
    3 minutes ago
    This guy is from Victoria and suffering from Daniel Andrews syndrome!

    M M
    2 minutes ago
    I am sure this point has been made before given the number of comments.
    BS – include union dues, and then lets have a discussion and analysis of the impacts.

    Haig
    2 minutes ago
    and still no RED tie

    strong>Paul
    3 minutes ago
    So how is he going to distinguish between accounting fees to manage the business and advice on tax minimisation. This is classical BS propaganda.

    GRAHAM
    4 minutes ago
    So is BS and his cohorts that all own houses and shares doing their own tax returns. I doubt most of them have the mental capacity. I would also think that most people that go to an accountant claim the bill, for forsake it’s the ATO that allow it.

    Damien
    2 minutes ago
    Wouldn’t it be simpler to have a flat rate of tax of say 20% and tax-free threshold of $50,000 pa and not allow any deductions?
    Most people would either not need to file a tax return or would be able to do it very simply.

    Rowena
    3 minutes ago
    TAX, TAX ,TAX ,TAX ,TAX, That’s it TAX-A-BILL TAX, TAX,TAX, TAX……….
    The Other (heavily taxed) Half

    Peter
    4 minutes ago
    Bill is so over confident that he is trotting out all the crazy stuff. No excuses electorate.
    Neville
    6 minutes ago
    (Edited)
    Shorten off on his “Class War” tangent again.
    Any Small Business people, Tradies and others including Mums & Dads with shares, super & property are wise to use accountants.
    You don’t have to belong to the Big End of town to employ one.
    Shorten knows his constituency and they pay little or no tax anyway.

    Scott
    7 minutes ago
    Shorten and Bowen are numpties. Do they know anything about how business works? Obviously not!!!

  31. Fred

    I’ve been waiting for a political party to set their sights on tax refunds. Remember the outrage on the left when News Limited got a tax refund of $800 million.

    Last time I looked (which was a few years ago), the total of tax refunds was well over $20 billion.

    I dare say its now a fair bit higher.

    Imagine how much more government will have if they stopped the ‘rort’ of ‘handing out’ tens of billions of dollars each year in the form of ‘refunds’.

  32. Iva Right

    First they came for the wealthy and I did nothing. Then they came for me!

  33. tombell

    Maybe Bill can get Unions to pay tax – lol. Better still, why doesn’t Scomo propose it ? Along with getting Turnbull expelled from the Liberal Party. Won’t happen of course….

  34. mh

    Bill you union bastard. Pay up!

  35. OldOzzie

    Election 2019: Dole ‘has to’ increase, Bill Shorten says

    Rick Morton
    Social Affairs Writer

    Bill Shorten has said for the first time that there “has to be” a rise in the rate of the dole which has not been lifted in real terms for a quarter of a century.

    The Opposition Leader made the call while speaking with media on the election campaign trail in Sydney, acknowledging first that the party’s sole commitment to “review” the payment — which is less than $270 a week for a single person — was not an exercise in keeping it at the same “low levels.”

    “I think there has to be (an increase). But let’s see what happens with the review,” Mr Shorten said.

    “We’re not holding a review to lower it. We’re not holding a review to forget about it, like they did with the energy payment.”

    In its budget submission this year, the Australian Council of Social Services said it would cost about $3.3 billion in the first full year to “raise the rate of Newstart, Youth Allowance and related payments for single people by a minimum of $75 per week and index these payments to wage movements.”

    The Australian reported today that two of the most marginal federal electorates in the country — Herbert and Longman, both in Queensland and both held by Labor on margins of less than 1 per cent — have above average numbers of Newstart Allowance recipients.

    There are more than 7400 people on the dole in Herbert, held by Cathy O’Toole, and 6600 in Longman which Labor’s Susan Lamb held in a by-election last year.

    New data from the Department of Social Services has revealed there are now almost 200,000 people out of the 720,000 on Newstart Allowance who have some incapacity to work but who are not deemed unwell enough to qualify for the more generous Disability Support Pension.

  36. Buccaneer

    BS wants to make understanding the rules around tax so difficult that ordinary people pay more tax, this change will not make one bit of difference to wealthy people, they already pay more to get the best advice, deduction or not. This change will slug working class Australians not his wealthy mates.

  37. Fred

    Rich people will just get their accounting fees invoiced to their family trust, where there will be no limit on accounting fees.

  38. Mark A

    I can’t see the logic in this. (silly me seeking logic in politics)

    If a business gets professional advice from a consultant, it is a service that is tax deductible.

    Seeking advice about tax return is a service as far as I can see.

    Not talking here about wealthy peeps trying to minimise tax, nothing wrong with that BTW, but ordinary people, small business too busy or not savvy enough to do the complicated forms.

    Why treat this service differently?

  39. OldOzzie

    Bill Shorten’s class war against ‘accountant tax rorts’ and real estate industry


    BATTLELINES

    Labor is accused of going after:

    High income earners — restoring the “deficit levy” on the top marginal tax rate holders
    Accountants — capping deductions for the cast of managing tax affairs at $3000.
    Property investors and agents — restricting negative gearing to new dwellings.
    Retirees — abolishing cash refunds for franking credits.
    Coal companies — committed to a 45 per cent emissions reductions and 50 per cent renewables target.
    Banks — hit with a levy to pay for a $640 million fund to support victims of misconduct.
    Mortgage brokers — proposing a fixed-rate commission to brokers and the abolition of trailing commissions.


    The Coalition government has been accused by Labor of cutting funds for:

    Schools — reduced the rate of funding growth promised by the former Labor government.
    Hospitals — reduced the rate of funding growth promised by the former Labor government.
    Universities — cut more than $2 billion through a freeze in commonwealth grants.
    Welfare recipients — cut family tax benefits, increased reviews of people on the disability support pension, means tested the carers allowance.
    Pensioners — strengthened asset tests which brought 300,000 Australians off the pension.

  40. Habib

    The fact Shorten apparently has an MBA proves the utter worthlessness of that qualification (and a myriad others), and the infiltrated institutions that issue them.

  41. Dr Fred Lenin

    This clown shorten is showing complete idiocy ,if he wins just imagine what the nong will get up to ,he will make the krudster look almost human and giliard and turnbull statepersonlike
    This reinforces my plan to put every sitting member last ,no matter what party its time we pulled the career polliewankers into gear and showed them who is boss
    The replacements couldnt be much worse, and they would have an element of fear of the electorate,fear works even with nongs .

  42. Tim Neilson

    Bill Shorten has said for the first time that there “has to be” a rise in the rate of the dole which has not been lifted in real terms for a quarter of a century.

    What is the argument that welfare per person should be increased “in real terms”?

  43. Petros

    In most countries one doesn’t need an accountant to do their tax return. It’s a simple process, unlike here.

  44. Squirrel

    The TaxPack, and its online equivalent, are not exactly user-friendly (in spite of regular claims to the contrary) with language and jargon which is complex and confusing, even for people with relatively simple tax affairs and who have the benefit of being very fluent in English.

    For those who do not yet have the latter benefit, both means of submitting an annual tax return would be a nightmare without considerable assistance. Surely the proposal from Labor would be, at worst, to cap deductions for accountants’ fees? – if it’s a blanket abolition of this deduction, there will be a lot of cranky punters, including quite a few True(ish) Believers.

  45. The BigBlueCat

    Bill Shorten is … well, any decent words fail me here.

    I wonder what he thinks might be reasonable for people given how extensive some of their income-producing assets and efforts are. Bill must think everyone has one or two sources of income, and that’s it. Yet it’s those in Canberra who have set up the taxation rules and regulations (along with associated case law), and for many it can be a nightmare negotiating through a tax return on their own, and so must resort to expert tax advisors (who also take on the liability of giving their advice) who don’t come cheap.

    The ALP bang on about equity all the time, yet when it comes to those in higher tax brackets they want different, more putative rules to extract even more of their hard-earned. And to all those who are aspirational – watch out, Bill will come for your money and wealth as well.

    I wonder if those union leaders who themselves would be caught up in Bill’s ideas are happy about it. Maybe John Setka needs to send some boys around to Bill’s place to set him straight ….

  46. stackja

    Squirrel – Voters who trust ALP will get what they don’t expect. Will they still believe?

  47. Tim Neilson

    Squirrel
    #2986177, posted on April 12, 2019 at 4:44 pm

    I believe it’a a cap, not an outright abolition.

    In a sign of a fierce “class warfare” campaign ahead, the Opposition Leader today said he was sticking with a cap of $3000 on exempting accountancy fees despite scepticism his plan will raise the $1.8bn he predicts it will.

    I’d suspect a lot of businesses are too small to do all their compliance in-house, and this will affect them (As was pointed out above, untangling tax compliance from accounting compliance will be fun for someone.)

  48. The BigBlueCat

    The other point I should make is that one person’s expense is another man’s income … is Bill advocating double taxation on tax advisory costs?

  49. Nob

    Tim,
    Big Government hates Small Business.

    Labor loves Big Business whatever their rhetoric.

  50. stackja

    The BBC – ALP could arrange ‘help’ for mates.

  51. stackja

    Nob – Yes. ALP likes big business, big unions. ALP had a big everyone accord under Hawke. ALP lost in 1949 to small business under Menzies.

  52. David Brewer

    “You can even claim what you pay the accountant as a tax deduction. Most Australians will never access that system.”

    Well, first of all, this is wrong. 71% of Australians DO access that system.

    Second, they access it for two very good reasons – first the tax code is so complex that for most people it’s a nightmare to do the return yourself; second the same complications mean that if you get a tax accountant to do it, s/he is very likely to find enough perfectly legal deductions to offset his/her fee.

    Shorten obviously does not know either of these things. And the only plausible reason he does not know is that he is totally cut off from the ordinary working people whose interests he claims to represent. He has been living high on the hog on an annual salary of over $300K for many years, and also knows that he does not have to save as his compulsory super assures him of an extremely comfortable retirement. He has no money worries in the world, and has no idea of the world of those who do, which is practically everybody.

    BS has given himself away – again. His line here will turn off precisely the middle ground of voters that he needs to attract.

    This is a big misstep for Shorten, which if the Libs had any brains they would expoit to the hilt.

  53. Bazinga

    The tax return is a lie.

  54. Nob

    David
    They don’t and they won’t.

  55. Pyrmonter

    Given most tax litigation occurs in a generally non-costs tribunal, abolition would involve the taxpayer not only wearing the costs of successful arguments before the AAT, but also doing so from after tax income. Think about the incentives to skirt the rule of law that creates. Note that few, if any, matters that go before the AAT do so at a cost lower than the proposed $3,000 cap.

    I’ll add, I don’t see why tax management outlays should be treated much differently to any other professional advice, that is, in accordance with the general deductibility provisions; and can see a case that much personal work might be excluded as a ‘private’ outlay; but the cap is yet another of Labor’s ‘bright ideas’ imagined either by staff with lingering resentment at the fact others chose better remunerated careers; or those too young to understand what they’re doing.

  56. OldOzzie

    Bill Shorten’s class war against ‘accountant tax rorts’ and real estate industry

    From the Comments

    1098 Comments

    Neil
    9 minutes ago
    First they came for the accountants and I said nothing, because I wasn’t an accountant. Then they came for the real estate agents, and I said nothing….the car salesmen….the mortgage brokers..
    Welcome to Veneztralia.

    Janis
    14 minutes ago
    Everything about Shorten reeks of being a union rep, all bosses are evil, people who make money through hard wise persistent innovation, ventures , daring business initiation or small business or those with savings for old age are evil . Shorten has never risen to be above the level of a union rep in mentality , he is just an Australian version of UKs Corbyn.

    Peter
    27 minutes ago
    We just don’t deserve this man… he represents everything I escaped the UK for. His class warfare rhetoric is totally against everything I love about Australia. Spare us from him please!

    – Anthony
    27 minutes ago
    (Edited)
    Bill, who prepares your tax statement? What a dumb way to get to introduce a tax, all done with spite and envy in the name of a “fair” go. Anyone who votes for the Labor-Green-Union deserves to suffer the downfall of the economy and Australia.
    Bill the handout you will provide from this tax will get you nought in revenue.

  57. Zulu Kilo Two Alpha

    He has been living high on the hog on an annual salary of over $300K for many years, and also knows that he does not have to save as his compulsory super assures him of an extremely comfortable retirement.

    Would this be the same Bill Shorten that spends all his time whinging about the “big end of town?”

  58. John Constantine:

    All your money bilong us.

    I’m waiting for a resurrection of that curious brainfart that the poms came up with a few years ago.
    The employer paid all the wages/salaries/commissions to the taxman, and the taxman then deducted your tax due and sent you the rest.
    I still cannot believe the idiots wanted to carry this out.

  59. Robber Baron

    I am an accountant but l do not prepare tax returns; this is a specialization because the tax laws are unnecessarily complex and requires years specialist training.

    I hire a specialist to handle my tax affairs and my fee is in excess of $3,000 and l do the majority of the preparation of the financial statements. If you have a Family Trust or a Self Managed Super Fund you are certain to pay more than $3,000. Shorten is determined to crush the small business sector.

    If lndividuals were required to prepare their own tax returns there would be numerous errors and the Australian Tax Office is not forgiving of errors, it charges you a penalty and interest.

  60. Rob MW

    The stupidity involved in winning an election is only matched by the stupidity of the really stupid informing the racegoers that the really stupid are in fact, really stupid.

  61. John Stankevicius

    Ralph Clarke, the ALP politician in S A took his grievance about his Constitutionally Protected Super pension (day govt pension that pays no tax) before the judges who had a vested interest, they also have accounts in constitutionally protected super funds.

  62. mh

    Australians can lodge their individual tax returns via the ATO MyTax software. Payment summaries pre fill, and it’s all free. If you have a basic return it’s great.

    What Shorten is doing though is total madness. He is basically saying that tax professionals that help ensure the government’s revenue system operates effectively are scammers.

    He is out of his depth and is certainly not PM material.

  63. Zulu Kilo Two Alpha

    He is out of his depth and is certainly not PM material.

    Yes, but he’s a past master at playing “the politics of envy” card.

  64. John A

    Dr Faustus #2986054, posted on April 12, 2019, at 2:02 pm

    Shorten’s parliamentary declaration of pecuniary interests show that he owns a mortgaged house, a life insurance policy, has superannuation – and that’s it. Nothing else. Nada.

    As at the very simplest sort of PAYE person, his tax return must cost less than $100.

    Given he earns $376,000 pa. + expenses he must also be a very profligate consumption spender – or a truly fucking awful money manager.

    Dear Mr Opposition Leader,

    Qu 1. Do you lodge your annual tax return yourself, or do you have someone else do it for you?

    Qu 2. Is your Parliamentary statement of pecuniary interests up to date and correct?

    Qu 3. Who prepared the statement? You or your accountant?

  65. Tator

    John A,
    from memory about the TURC and Tits rush to declare a $40k donation of services by a company he presided over negotiations means he probably doesn’t reach into his own pocket very much and probably most of the investments etc are in Chloe’s name. Not sure if spouses pecuniary interests are required to be disclosed separately.

  66. Rabid Koala

    There is no reason for the tax act to be more than a hundred pages and it should ideally be less than ten pages.

    If Shorten pitched a completely simplified tax system instead he would easily win.

  67. Nighthawk the Elder

    Shorten’s idea of a simplified tax system is to disallow all deductions and you pay what he and Bowen demand you pay.

    Simples.

  68. Ƶĩppʯ (ȊꞪꞨV)

    110%!!! this is the ultimate tax rate and will bring us one step closer to the true Darkness!

    Kneel before the most equitable Lord Marx you plebeian scum

  69. Biota

    In the comments there is a lot of ‘Shorten doesn’t know some basic facts about the tax system’. I think he knows full well and this is all part of his war of envy. Appealing to the weak of head voters to get even with all the rich bastards that keep them dragged down. This is the evil cynicism of the left in general at play. That’s why BS is not trusted by most people because he perpetually looks guilty- a bad poker face.

  70. mundi

    You are all missing what Bill Shortens comment was based on.
    49 people with >$1m in gross income paid no net tax.
    Of those, 29 claimed an average of $1m (not $100k as shorten claimed) in the category of “cost of tax affairs”.

    However digging deeper, the category “cost of tax affairs” includes dedications for legal costs of court cases. Basically the deductions for paying out layers in large legal battles.

  71. Tezza

    This disgrace follows logically from the complete misrepresentation of the foundation of negative gearing of rental properties. Sinc and Judith are among the few to explain the general principle that expenses necessarily incurred in gaining or producing assessable income are properly deductible in defining taxable income. Others just fold and start offering ‘compromises’ on Labor’s proposals that still traduce the principle.
    I can’t recall ever hearing a Liberal politician explain the general principle. They are completely incompetent.
    Having won the negative gearing of rental property argument without a fight, Labor will of course move on to disallowing the deduction of other expenses necessarily incurred in gaining or producing assessable income.

  72. J.H.

    The Socialists deceiving again…. Everything they say is a lie, deliberately intended.

  73. J.H.

    …. actually in an orderly, free society of laws run by adults, we shouldn’t be being extorted by bureaucracy for our money. There should be no compulsory tax, just voluntary tax. Aside from that, you pay for services you use, not for what others are using.

    Bit radical though, eh?….. So instead we’ll keep doing what human society has done since year dot…. Pay money demanded by a self imposed privileged class who then use that money to oppress and further extort.

    If we were any smarter, as a society of people, we’d be fukin’ embarrassed. But it would appear we’re not that smart.

    ….. Oh woe. The world will end if we stop giving these people our money….. Well that may well be, but only because they will kill you if you try….. not because looking after yourself is impossible.

    …. So anyway. Who’s voting for Bill Shorten’s Aussie Venezuela?

  74. Up The Workers!

    So Bull Shitten, the eponymous Leader of the Australian Liars Party, has an M.B.A.?

    Well fancy that!

    Given these days of highly competitive Lefty self-victimhood declarations, I suspect that in Bill’s case, this could actually be: “Man-Boobs Affliction” (M.B.A.)

    I saw awful vision of him attempting to run (at least I think that’s what he was attempting to do) the other day for all the assembled toadies, grovellers, crawlers, back-scratchers, propagandists, presstitutes from the A.L.P.B.C./Fauxfacts who, as they say, are currently “embedded” up him, and he looked like a full bowl of jelly in an earthquake. Even when he eventually stood still, there were far-flung bits of him that were still jogging 3 minuted later.

  75. David Brewer

    This disgrace follows logically from the complete misrepresentation of the foundation of negative gearing of rental properties. Sinc and Judith are among the few to explain the general principle that expenses necessarily incurred in gaining or producing assessable income are properly deductible in defining taxable income.

    They do, and it’s a sound principle. However, negative gearing DOES NOT produce assessable income, and is in fact a scheme to reduce taxable income.

  76. Politenessman

    Seems fair, after all the tax code is relatively short and written in plain english…

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