It’s that time of the year. As professional offices around the country launch into the networking frenzy (and HR disasters) of the festival season, out comes the ATO’s report on corporate income tax payment.
This year’s reporting in the ABC is an improvement on Emma Alberici’s efforts of the past. But still. What purpose, beyond playing to the peanut gallery of its own tribe, is served by linking the use of past tax losses (that is, excesses of lawful deductions accumulated in the past) with issues of tax evasion? Pyrmonter is not so naïve as to assume that all corporate taxpayers voluntarily pay every cent of tax for which they are liable; in fact, in his professional practice area, he thinks standards of what was once termed ‘commercial morality’ have tended to decline over the past two decades, more or less in proportion to the rise in Corportate Social Responsibility and ‘Woke’ culture. But still:
- Corporate Income Tax is essentially a withholding tax; and
- The use of accumulated tax losses is a designed feature the tax system, and not an abuse.