Tax Planning

Taxation and Federation (1901)

14 June 2017

At Federation in 1901, the Australian Constitution granted the Commonwealth a monopoly of customs duties and excises and the power to levy other taxes concurrently with the States. One of the significant results of Federation was the removal of all duties on goods traded between Australian states.  By Federation, many of the colonies had introduced…

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US Federal Government’s First Personal Income Tax (1861)

24 May 2017

The US federal government imposed the first personal income tax, on August 5, 1861, to help pay for its war effort in the American Civil War – (3% of all incomes over US$800). It was only in 1894 that the first peacetime income tax was passed through the Wilson-Gorman tariff. The rate was 2% on…

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Legal vs Illegal Tax Saving Strategies

17 May 2017

Paying our legal taxes is a small price to pay for the benefits we enjoy in a privileged, prosperous, and safe society such as Australia. The great majority of taxpayers, individual and corporate, pay their taxes voluntarily and in accordance with the law. Smart taxpayers focus on maximising their legal tax savings whilst ensuring 100%…

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Illegal Tax Saving Strategies

10 May 2017

Illegal tax saving strategies damage the fabric of society and Government policy is clearly to minimise or eliminate them. If tax avoidance is left unchecked, the perception of unfairness has the potential to undermine the voluntary ethic in the broader tax system.  Every accounting practice in Australia will have at least a couple of clients…

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Of Course I Am Minimising My Tax

26 April 2017

As the well-known Australian billionaire media magnate Kerry Francis Packer once said in reference to the Australian government, ‘Now of course I am minimising my tax and if anybody in this country doesn’t minimise their tax they want their heads read because as a government I can tell you you’re not spending it that well…

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Introduction To The Modern Income Tax | 1799

19 April 2017

Income tax was first implemented in Great Britain by William Pitt the Younger in his budget of December 1798 to pay for weapons and equipment in preparation for the Napoleonic Wars. Pitt’s new graduated (progressive) income tax began at a levy of 2 old pence in the pound (1/120) on incomes over £60 (£5,696 as…

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Australia’s Ten Most Expensive Legal Tax Breaks

5 April 2017

The Commonwealth Treasury’s 2016 Tax Expenditures Statement (published in January 2017) shows Australia’s ten most expensive tax breaks are: Main residence exemption from CGT: $61.5 billion. Concessional taxation of superannuation earnings $16.9 billion. Concessional taxation of superannuation contributions $16.9 billion. CGT discount for individuals and trusts $9.6 billion. GST exemption for fresh food $6.9 billion.…

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Putting Lipstick on the Pig

22 March 2017

Talk to anyone in the accounting industry and it’s very apparent that compliance fees are falling (and will continue to fall year on year). Rob Nixon in his book Remaining Relevant, has predicted that compliance prices will plummet by 50% or more within 5 years. His predictions may turn out to be very conservative as…

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Infamous Tax Evader – Martha Stewart

15 March 2017

Martha Helen Stewart (c1941) is an American businesswoman, writer, and television personality. As founder of Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia she has gained success (a net worth of US$638 million) through a variety of business ventures, encompassing publishing, broadcasting, merchandising, and e-commerce. She has written numerous bestselling books, is the publisher of the Martha Stewart Living…

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Intellectual Property Box Regime

22 February 2017

An intellectual property box regime is a special tax regime for intellectual property revenues. It is also known as a patent box, innovation box or IP box and was first introduced in 2000 by the Irish as a reduced rate of tax on revenue from IP licensing or the transfer of qualified IP. In Europe…

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"You’d be stupid not to try to cut your tax bill and those that don’t are stupid in business"

- Bono: U2