Big business should pay up
Richard Middleton writes: Re. “Big business offers guide on how to be out of touch on taxation” (Friday). Why is it so hard to tax these untouchable entities? These global companies should be taxed on their income by country, offset against the percentage of their global outgoings that country represents. “Investments” and “loans” etc to these dodgy tax sanctuaries are completely ignored. Wish I could be paid a massive salary to obfuscate this simple approach.
Les Heimann writes: So suddenly some are saying the tax burden is unfair. What a revelation! After working just on 40 years in the ATO doing tax investigations, assessing and reviews as well as litigation covering wage earners up to and including the very largest of the large multinationals I can tell you the tax burden is unfair. The tax paid by companies in the top cohort internationally is minimal. “Minimal — a lovely word and quite respectable , one hears about tax minimisation being legal. Yes, after huge legal fees and massive amounts of electronic and book entries most of the largest multi-nationals pay a pittance in tax — anywhere.
All this massive tax “avoidance” activity is hugely assisted through the existence of double tax agreements between countries and of course “deductions” that are — let’s be direct about this — bullshit. The whole world wide issue is entirely avoidable but this is kept a big secret, not only by wealthy tax “experts” but also by governments all around the free world. Before I let you in on the big secret think about Australia’s GST and the UK and USA and other countries consumption taxes and please include the effect of these taxes on the end consumers. Us poor citizens.
If we want to cut out all this nonsense and at the same time put lawyers and accountants grown fat on tax crap into meaningful work, then tax everyone and every business on gross income at source. What’s this? Is it so simple? Yes it is. Think of it like this: When you spend $200 on your weekly Woolworths food stuffs. Woolworths have to pay $20 tax (this is based on a 10% tax levy). When you receive your fortnightly salary payment of $2000, $200 goes straight to the ATO in tax (the same 10% levy). So at the end of the year you have paid $5,000 tax on your $50,000 salary and Woolworths have paid around $800,000,000.
Any monies received from sales, services, labour or investments in Australia by any person or entity would attract the 10% tax levy. Any monies received by any person or entity anywhere else in the world would also attract the same tax levy. Unless that person or entity paid an equivalent amount of tax in another country. Wait, wait you say. This is a flat tax regime and that’s a regressive tax. Rubbish, it is not regressive when tax is levied on gross income. Think of the benefits, no tax returns, no consumption tax, no waste of human resources in tax minimisation – no deductions of gross income by anyone.
It is a simple elegant tax system and it is just a matter for the G20 to agree on and legislate across the globe. Will it happen? No, no, no. The vested interests of this globe have all of us by the short and curlies and that includes governments. It hurts when they twist, doesn’t it?
The ABC debate
Dennis Pratt writes: Re. “Crikey says: why does does the ABC exist?” (Oct 20) On Monday October 20, Crikey’s editorial and Eric Beecher’s article asked “why does the ABC exist in 2014?” Beecher went on to say “without a detailed consensus answer to that question the emotional debates about ABC funding are futile”. Some seven articles and a few other comments followed before Crikey’s interest in the topic apparently fizzled out without, I suggest, getting us any closer to a “detailed consensus”. So what now? Presumably, we all continue on with the “futile” emotional debates about ABC funding?
Anne Coulthurst writes: Re. “Missing from memorial” (Friday). To those who queried where Mrs Abbott was: why should she necessarily have had to go? Perhaps she was busy, or unwell, or really disliked Whitlam, or just didn’t want to go — whatever. If the spouse of any PM is expected to present him/herself at function after function, fulfilling what some seem to regard as “duty”, then they should be paid a salary, too.