Friday, March 20, 2009

Annual Australian Tax Statistics 2006-7

The annual report on Australian tax collections has just been published by the ATO. It's just crazy that "the vast majority of people use a tax agent" to submit their tax return in Australia. The Moomin household is in the 11.8% who submitted a paper return (well we didn't pay tax in 2006-7 of course, so in 2007-8 that percentage would likely be even lower). That's because e-tax only runs on Windows (and I think you also needed to have submitted a return in the previous year).

Otherwise, I'll confirm that we don't live in either the richest or poorest postcodes mentioned in that article :) In our neighborhood mean taxable income was $61,000 which was more than taxable income, let alone mean taxable income (see Moom's taxable income and Snork Maiden's taxable income - there is no such thing as a "joint return" in Australia). The raw data is available here.

4 comments:

Chris said...

That the "vast majority of people use a tax agent" is about the clearest possible message that Australia's tax system is too complex. Unfortunately, it seems that the main consultation group for any tax simplification measures is the tax professionals... Talk about a biased consultancy group!

mOOm said...

I agree - in any sensible tax system the majority of people who are wage earners and have simple investments shouldn't need someone to do their taxes for them.

enoughwealth@yahoo.com said...

Any wage earner with relatively 'simple' investments does NOT need to use a tax preparer. eTax is very simple to use and leads you through the steps. My only gripe is that although you simply answer 'no' to most of the questions, a lot of people who use tax preparers wouldn't understand the question and know that they should simply say no.

The tax office should bring out a 'lite' version of eTax that is promoted to wage earners who don't have any real estate, share or other investments (ignoring their super) - it could exclude all the superfluous and confusing questions and just ask the basic items.

mOOm said...

In the paper Taxpack you have to read through a load of stuff to understand what some of the questions mean (and I'm an economist and aware abut investments etc.). So I can imagine they are hard to understand in the e-tax application too. The Australian taxpack is more user friendly than the US one but still many things are obscure. The point is that the language etc. just makes it too hard for a lot of people to do for themselves even though their tax affairs are very simple. This is really crazy.