PG Woodehouse’s Jeeves famously had an answer to everything. But when Catsmeat Potter-Pirbright asked Bertie Wooster “You don’t know a way of doing down the income tax people, do you?” he was forced to reply “Sorry, no. I doubt if even Jeeves does.”
So what will happen if Labor fails to pass the Budget tax cuts for low income earners scheduled to come into force on 1 July? They need to be legislated for – but Labor and the minor parties can block them in the Senate until the new Senators take their seats.
The Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry is calling for the cuts to be passed in time for the new financial year. Chief executive Peter Hendy says if that does not happen and the government insists that the cuts be implemented, thousands of small business owners will suffer. “If small business is to change its PAYG payments to facilitate as of 1 July and there is no legislative backing, that would be a red tape nightmare for small business,” he warns.
An impasse is looming – but is there a solution? Is this a real crisis, or just brinkmanship? Someone in the media should ask the Tax Office or a respected tax practitioner (pick your favourite) whether or not the Commissioner of Taxation can alter the Pay As You Go rates. If the answer is yes, then there is no tax delay debate, just political posturing.
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Jeeves mightn’t be able to help us – so what about ATO boss Michael Carmody? A lot of business people would love an answer.