Crikey Worm

Jul 12, 2018

Crikey Worm: ATO crackdown on lost taxes

Good morning, early birds. The ATO claims taxpayers are dodging significantly more tax than corporations. Plus, Queensland take a consolatory win in the State of Origin. It's the news you need to know, with Chris Woods.

Chris Woods — Freelance journalist

Chris Woods

Freelance journalist

ATO tax

FEAR THE TAXMAN

Australian wage earners are dodging tax to the tune of $8 billion per year, according to new estimates from the Australian Tax Office. 

The Australian Financial Review ($) reports that the ATO’s estimated gap between tax collected and owed by Australia’s 9.6 million taxpayers — a relatively-high 93% of whom comply with the law — is more than three times the estimated loss from large companies. The ATO says companies were short $2.5 billion in 2014-15, although that 2017 report did not include legal tax avoidance.

While audits and increased digitisation can reportedly alleviate $750 million of the lost revenue, Deputy ATO Commissioner Alison Lendon intends to target work expenses, rental claims, and unreported cash wages.

QUEENSLANDER!

Queensland has prevented a NSW series whitewash at the State of Origin, taking out last night’s Game III 18-12.

The ABC reports that, while NSW’s win in June still gave them a series win, the match sent retiring Queensland-captain and fullback Billy Slater out on a winning note. Slater even took out the Wally Lewis Medal for player of the series, despite missing the first game in Melbourne.

THE JOKER SUES

A man recently cleared of wrongdoing over an incident in a swingers party, in which he was shot by Victoria Police officers, is now suing for defamation. The Age reports that Dale Ewins, who was engaged in a sex act at the Inflation nightclub when shot by police on July 8 last year, has filed a defamation lawsuit over comments made soon after the shooting to media allegedly presenting him as “aggressive, threatening, dangerous and uncooperative”.

While parties have offered conflicting claims over the incident, Victoria Police announced last week they would not press criminal charges against Ewins, who was dressed as supervillain The Joker at the time and has denied pointing a toy gun at officers.

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THEY REALLY SAID THAT?

I join a long list of American public personalities who have fallen victim to the evil, exploitive, sick ‘humour’ of the British ‘comedian’ Sacha Baron Cohen, enabled and sponsored by CBS/Showtime.

Sarah Palin

The former governor of Alaska and almost vice president reacts in a completely normal fashion to a bad prank.

CRIKEY QUICKIE: THE BEST OF YESTERDAY

“The weeks-long effort to locate and rescue a dozen boys and their soccer coach from a flooded cave in the far north of Thailand has helped to illuminate any number of qualities present in different groups of human beings. Children are extremely resilient, Thais are outrageously hospitable, rescue divers are unbelievably brave, and journalists are desperate to get an edge.”

“The arc of the electricity sector since the ’80s matches the broader arc of neoliberalism in Australia: it initially delivered wins for consumers and the economy, but also paved the way for ever-more dominant companies to exercise market power in their own interests, at the expense of consumers and other businesses, with little in the way of regulation to stop them.”

“Let me start with a quote: ‘The ABC is a vital part of our nation’s polity. It is one of the great foundations of journalism and news gathering and broadcasting in the country. It has a very special place in Australia.’ That was Malcolm Turnbull in January 2014 when he announced a cut to the ABC’s budget of $254 million.”

READ ALL ABOUT IT

Croatia to face France in 2018 World Cup Final after knocking England out in semi-final thriller

60,000 sheep saved from ‘furnace’ after dramatic midnight intervention

‘King tide’ brings flood risk for Brisbane suburbs until next week

Perth teenager ‘threw’ herself in front of truck to save nephew

Child protection staff say kids in state care are missing out on visits because of a shortage of vehicles ($)

‘It’s time to go out into the Western world and have a say’: rainmaker, gatekeeper and now political candidate

Turnbull weighs coal fix for energy wars ($)

Thai cave rescue: Video shows Wild Boars players chatting, making victory signs

World Cup activists stage ‘hidden’ rainbow flag protest around Moscow to champion gay rights

WHAT’S ON TODAY

Brisbane

  • Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull is expected to visit a childcare centre ahead of the Longman byelection.

  • Opposition Leader Bill Shorten will be campaigning on Bribie Island at the local ambulance station.

  • Journalist Peter Greste will discuss his book The First Casualty as part of the Lord Mayor’s Writers in Residence series.

Adelaide

  • Cotton industry officials are expected to appear at the Murray-Darling Basin Authority royal commission.

  • SA Unions are expected to appear at the Independent Commissioner Against Corruption public hearing into SafeWork SA.

  • Former Centre Alliance MP Rebekha Sharkie will hold a Macclesfield community forum ahead of the July 28 byelection.

Sydney

  • ICAC will resume its public inquiry into allegations concerning the former Canterbury City Council. MP Daryl Maguire and Abdullah Osman are scheduled to give evidence.

  • TWU Acting National Secretary Michael Kaine and truck driver John Waltis will give a press conference ahead of their presentation to the Industrial Deaths Inquiry.

Melbourne

  • A funeral will be held for Australia’s top Islamic cleric Grand Mufti Sheikh Abdul Azeem al-Afifi after he died on Wednesday.

  • Community group ABC Friends will hold a campaign rally in Burwood.

Hobart

  • Anthropologist and geographer Professor Marcia Langton AM will deliver “The Scholar as Educator, the Educator as Disruptor” for the University of Tasmania’s Japanangka errol West Annual Lecture.

  • A NAIDOC Forum at the University of Tasmania will be chaired by Governor of Tasmania Kate Warner and feature both Indigenous and non-Indigenous women from across Tasmania, including Aunty Patsy Cameron, Clair Andersen, Alderman Helen Burnet, Fiona Hughes, Yvette Breytenbach and Erica Maynard

Perth

  • WA Police expect Commissioner Chris Dawson to make a significant announcement as part of a NAIDOC Week flag-raising ceremony.

Darwin

  • Opening night for the Comedy Garden, held as part of the Darwin Fringe Festival.

Myanmar

  • Australian publisher Ross Dunkley will appear at a Yangon court on drug charges with six other people.

THE COMMENTARIAT

Warming oceans are changing Australia’s fishing industry — Alistair Hobday, Beth Fulton and Gretta Pecl (The Conversation): “A new United Nations report on fisheries and climate change shows that Australian marine systems are undergoing rapid environmental change, with some of the largest climate-driven changes in the Southern Hemisphere. Reports from around the world have found that many fish species are changing their distribution. This movement threatens to disrupt fishing as we know it.”

#BecauseOfHerWeCanJanine Mohamed (IndigenousX): “Social media can be overwhelming and downright distressing sometimes. But at this time of the year, it makes my heart sing to tune in on social media. NAIDOC Week is one of THE highlights of my year. The celebration of our peoples and our diverse and strong cultures always feels me with joy. But this year is extra special — thanks to the NAIDOC Committee people who came up with the #BecauseOfHerWeCan theme.”

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