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Greg

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 #1 
What do you think about the tax debates. I think it shows how selfish we are. If we can get money for ourselves it does not seem to matter what the pros and cons of fairness to others are. Have I got that wrong? Let's have your views on taxes and spending.
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Greg

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 #2 
Agreed Daisy. After the election result come out will be the time to look at how to fix efficiency and taxes. One reason that Australia has tax rates higher than other countries is that those countries have more people to share the tax burden and Australia has large distances to cover. I agree with you that a lot could be done to lift our efficiency and re-set tax rates so that they give everyone a fair go. At present they favour the richest 20% whose true incomes are nothing like what they declare. This I know after decades as a tax consultant. It might be fun to form a "Tax and economy" hub to look at what we pay and how it is spent. I would certainly be in that one.
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Daisy1

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 #3 
Great questions and comments on our tax system Greg. 
Agree with you regarding politicians appealing to the electorate.

I am for simplifying our tax system as it is too complicated and therefore inefficient.
There is clearly a transfer of wealth from individuals/corporations to tax accountants because of the complications and continued tax policy changes.

It's not that the company tax rate is too low - I think it's that the individual tax rates are too high. And of course - largely because our public service is run terribly inefficiently.
If we can improve on the performance of our public service, then all tax rates can fall accordingly and not be such a significant focus. We need Australia to be a place where everyone wants to invest and do business in. We cannot be a very attractive destination if our tax rates are so ridiculously high - particularly having regard to the region we operate in.
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Greg

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 #4 
What do you think of the propoal to lift GST from 10% to 15% and impose it on more items? Is it reasonable for voters to pay a GST if companies don't also pay a Turnover Tax?
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Greg

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 #5 
Nor is GST good for inidividual Australians. GST is virtually a turnover tax for individuals. Most Australians spend most of their money. If the turnover tax was offset by reductions in company tax, how would that be Jeff and others?

I have spent most of my life as a tax adviser and so advising business and professional people on how to avoid tax in compliance with the tax act. I think it is unfair that salary and wage earners have none if any of those options. Taxing everyone on gross earnings is the only way I see to beat the tax avoidance industry which makes millions legally depriving the Australian government of revenue. I have run small businesses since I was 21 too, so I agree with your sentiment Jeff and would just like to see a tax system that was fair to businesses, professions and salary and wage earners. I think big business is the culprit and would certainly be happy to see a turnover tax that had minimal impact on small businesses. Open to suggestions.
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Jeff1

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 #6 
Most small business turn over between 1 & 5 Million:
Your suggestion to have a turn over Tax is not good for small business Greg.
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Greg

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 #7 
We have nearly won the campaign against cutting the tax rate for the highest income earners in Australia. Still, can't count chickens too early!

GST should be our next move. Authorities say business would just add it to the cost of goods then put a margin on it so consumers would pay it and more. That is ony true if consumers just pay whatever is asked.

A better move might be a "Turnover Tax" with a progressive rate that increases with turnover levels of up to  $1m 1%, up to $20m 2% ,  up to $500m 4%, $1billion & over 8%
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Margaret3

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 #8 
The existing taxation system would be scrapped. When a company purchases something they would be charged the Goods tax no claim back
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Greg

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 #9 
Thanks Margaret3 but I wonder if you have considered two aspects.
Firstly ordinary voters would pay all the tax and the public companies including the big banks who make billions of dollars profit every year, would pay no tax by claiming back all the gst they pay as Jefff illustrated. How do you feel this would play out?

Secondly you say it would depend on people's honesty. Have you looked at how cleverly big business people are able to avoid paying most of their tax by seeking advice from even cleverer tax advisers to whom they pay millions of dollas for the advice, aided by politicians who pass tax laws with huge lopholes.  Would there be merit in making tax advice illegal except for the tax office giving it oir electing politicians who do not facilitate tax avoidance?
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Greg

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 #10 
Thanks Jeff. Maybe I did not express it well enough, but your example reflects exactly what I meant. A business pays $6k gst then claims it all back. Thus the business does not pay gst whereas ordinary voters do. I regard that as unfair.

I also take your point on payroll tax which I think should be abolished. It is just stupid to tax business people for employing staff. However the fact that NSW now has an unemployment rate of about 3% indicates that businesses have not stopped employing people just because of the 5.45% payroll tax. That illustrates that big businesses are not likely to employ more people just because they get a 5 cents in the dollar income tax reduction.  Family  or small to medium sized businesses should pay about 5 cents in the dollar less tax as they used to do before some politicians changed the law, failing to realise how challenging small business can be due to lack of capital which big business can easily get. If you would like to  campaign for the removal of Payroll tax I will join you and offer some thoughts on how we might effect that change to get the jobs for apprentices.

With technology likely to put out of work many people with skills it replaces, payroll tax is counter productive.
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Margaret3

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 #11 
The suggestion is to remove the existing taxation system and replace it with a goods tax and reduce the cost of government collection of taxes and our political system. We would have a national system with state based offices to avoid duplication of government services at a state and federal level, eg education, health, police etc. etc.

Anything produced in Australia raw and unpackaged foods, fruits, vegetables and food and component parts would not be subject to the tax (or a reduced tax). The ultimate purchaser would pay the tax, Any second hand purchases with the exception of house purchases more than the median house price would not be subject to tax.  If it has an overseas component that would be subject to tax. The idea is to make it cheaper to make things in Australia with Australian components, to reuse, recycle and reduce. Make it cheaper when we are making good choices about what we eat and choose less packaging. 
Of course It would be need to be modelled by an economist in treasury and it is a rather utopian concept but I believe it is superior to our complicated method of taxation which increases employment in paper pushing and bureaucracy rather than food security which is what will ultimately ensure the future of Australia.

It would rely on peoples' honesty. I believe that the majority of people realise that to fund the lifestyle we have, taxes need to be collected to support it. Our current system ties honest people up in bureaucracy and makes very little difference to the few it is trying to stop rorting the system.   
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Jeff1

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 #12 
Greg your post from the 30/5 needs to be corrected:
Im a business owner & I can assure you we dont get all the GST back:
When you do the roll/ count back, you only can claim what you have spent:
If you get it all back & or more than you spent I know your going broke FACT:
I,e basic math
Earnings 110k
10K gst collected
Spend 66K
Claim back 6K still leaves 4k GST to be paid to the Government:
I then have to pay tax on the profit of the 100k left over after costs are deducted etc:

Lets talk payroll tax:
If you dont know what this is I can make it simple for you!
Once any business hits 750K in wages it must pay payroll tax
Payroll tax is a % tax on the amount of money collected from your staff taxable income & this tax paid for by the employer:
So as an employer I get slugged for the privalidge of employing staff:
Currently if we were to remove Payroll tax I could & would employee 2 more Apprentices creating jobs & growth:
I also know there is Companies that would keep the money instead of employing staff so this will be an ongoing issue for a long time to come:  
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Margaret3

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 #13 
It is obvious most of you have no idea how our tax system works.  

If a company earns $1 then it currently pays 30% tax on that.  Eventually this profit reaches a shareholder and they receive a credit for the 30c tax on the $1 that has been distributed to them.  That is the franking credit.  The individual tax payer receives a credit for that tax so that they are not taxed twice on that $1 of income.  Some of you are proposing that on that $1 of income the company pays 30c and then the individual pays for eg 42c.  Is it really fair that the government takes 72c out of every $1 a company earns?  Given that scenario most people will put their money under their mattress rather than take a risk that it is wiped out as companies are risky propositions and not like putting money in the bank.  That will be the end of a lot of jobs in this country as without investment there are no jobs.

Labor party are currently proposing that only low income earners don't receive a tax credit for the franking credit.  Hard to believe they have thought this through.  Self funded retirees and superfunds will be hit the hardest by this.

I won't even comment on the negative gearing comments made here as they are so ill informed it's suprising they are made.  Suffice to say negative gearing does not give a bank $1 of income and a 40c tax deduction.  In fact banks make profits and do not benefit from negative gearing at all.
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Margaret3

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 #14 
What we need is a simpler system by 

Collecting taxes on:
Goods tax - Exemptions on raw fruit, vegetables and food (grains, nuts, seeds etc), all other unprocessed, unpackaged foods and second hand goods and chattels valued at under the median house price, 20% on all other purchases.

The rounding on each sales transaction should be rounded up to a maximum of 5c and given to the government to spend on bettering local services and infrastructure.

Our current system is discouraging people from earning income by taxing it ? Why is there a services and payroll tax? Surely this would reduce the number of people a company can employ?

Cut Government and political spending

(The current government spends 24c in each tax dollar collected) an important factor in a new system is to cut government spending. Simplification would reduce the expense of collecting it. We would also need to reduce the cost of our political system by only paying for travel from the constituency to parliament when it is sitting (no overseas fact finding expenses; everything can be googled these days), no paying for ex politicians to fly all over the place. Politicians salaries should be no more than twice the average salary and they should have the same pension entitlements as regular government workers. Since water is the best drink you can get, only tap water should be paid for on the public purse. The food provided in parliament should use the cheapest cuts of meat(slow cooked) and only use ingredients from the GST free products. The politicians should be serviced by the same hospital system as their constituents. These things should be retrospective so we are no longer indulging the excesses of the past political system. If there is to be a celebratory lunch at least 10% of the people attending should be homeless. 

Government Budgets - If a department underspends on the amount it has budgeted, that money should be put into a pool for future unexpected expenditure or ideas to better the existing system and the department can draw on that when needed. This would encourage government departments to save money. Some sort of incentive scheme should be introduce to ensure that the taxpayer is getting the best value for their taxpayer dollar good quality at a reasonable price.

The tax benefit collected should be put directly into bettering the source from which it stems. Tax on books should go into education and research, tax on petrol should be put into public transport and road infrastructure in the areas it comes from.

The Taxation officers currently employed pushing pieces of paper around could be set to determine where the taxes would be directed rather that conducting audits and assessing income tax returns. Government workers who check on compliance will help the non-complying organisation to establish practices to ensure it complies rather than fining, the emphasis will be helping each organisation to better itself.


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Greg

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 #15 
The current federal government is set to transfer much of the tax burden to modest and lower salary and wage earners.Lower company tax rates are on the way, negative gearing to reduce tax on slaries; dividend imputation to make dividends almost tax free. Tax evasion is rife in public and global companies who should be taxed 5% on total turnover instead of taxing income which they can fiddle easily.
Negative gearing and dividend imputation really benefit banks most because negative gearing involves paying the bank $1 to get a 40c tax deduction and dividend imputation encourages people to put their wealth with the bankers who invest it and take most of the wealth. Negative gearers do not always build assets for their retirement. They often build debts and lose all their assets  because of it. gain the moneylenders gain most. If allowed negative geaering they should be denied pensons. Self-funded retirees should be allowed to earn the equivalent of the aged pension, tax free. Maybe they are already.
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