Labor pledges to crack down on family trust rort

The ALP wants to impose a 30 per cent tax rate on family trusts.

Labor pledges trust crackdown

The ALP has pledged to crack down on wealthy Australians who use family trusts to avoid paying income tax.

research paper by The Australia Institute (TAI) has revealed that billions of dollars of tax revenue is being lost due to wealthy Australians abusing family trusts.

According to the report’s author David Richardson, tax avoidance using private trusts (mainly discretionary trusts) is estimated to cost the government at least $3.5 billion in lost taxes every year.

To try to address the issue, Opposition Leader Bill Shorten outlined a plan to impose a 30 per cent tax rate on distributions from family trusts.

To use a trust to minimise tax, a high income earner funnels all of their money into a trust account, to be split among family members with the lowest incomes, who are taxed at a lower rate. Instead of being taxed at 45 per cent, on all income above $180,000, all members of the family receive up to $18,200 tax free and after that they are then charged at a lower tax rate than the original 45 per cent.

Australian Taxation Office (ATO) data reveals there were 642,416 discretionary trusts in Australia in 2014-15, almost twice the number from two decades earlier.

The Labor proposal would target high-income earners who use trusts to split money to other family members in lower tax brackets.

"Every year in Australia there are some fortunate high-income earners who use discretionary trusts to park their money in a lower tax bracket. And the rest of the community are left to subsidise this," Mr Shorten said.

"Most of this is completely legal, but that doesn't make it right, that doesn't make it fair.

"Our system should not be subsidising upwards."

The ALP estimates that its changes to family trust taxation would raise $17 billion in revenue over the next decade.

The Federal Minister for Finance Mathias Cormann, attacked Mr Shorten’s proposals as the politics of envy.

“We can't fall for the proposition that a tax grab here and a tax grab there, increasing the overall tax burden in the economy and targeting those who are seen to be more successful, will help solve all our individual problems,” Mr Cormann said.

Opinion: Government can’t condone tax avoidance

The Government’s response to Bill Shorten’s proposal is worrying. The use of family trusts by the wealthy to avoid paying their fair share of tax is a well-known problem, and this is a legitimate opportunity to address it.

Unfortunately, it appears the Government would rather play politics and score points than address the issue and work collaboratively with the Opposition on a solution that could be a huge boost to the budget bottom line.

The family trust problem is only going to grow in the coming years. The Government has taken significant steps towards closing superannuation tax minimisation schemes for high income earners recently, but there is a risk that those people will now turn to private trusts to avoid paying their share of tax.

The proposed changes make the tax system more transparent and equitable but the Government’s response seems to run contrary to these goals. It borders on condoning tax avoidance.

The use of family trusts to minimise tax is heavily skewed towards the wealthy. The Australia Institute’s research revealed that people on incomes above $500,000 a year received 51 per cent of the benefit from trusts while representing just 0.43 per cent of the population.

In contrast, people earning less than $180,000 a year – 96 per cent of the population – received just 13 per cent of the benefit generated by trusts.

What do you think? Have you used or do you currently use a family trust? Do you support the ALP’s proposed tax changes?

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    COMMENTS

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    4b2
    2nd Aug 2017
    10:22am
    Politics of envy from the Libs/Nats and Class warfare from Labor. I think the stats say it all. Tax the 0.04 percent and reduce the debt levy for the 96%. A few suffer for the benefit of the many.
    Old Geezer
    2nd Aug 2017
    10:39am
    There are many ways to skin the same cat so they will just move on to another strategy instead. As one loop hole closes another one opens.
    TREBOR
    2nd Aug 2017
    10:47am
    How is it 'politics of envy' to view that the calculated theft of tax money ONLY by those with a mass of excess cash inflow, by handing it around to their less well-heeled relatives - something NOBODY else can do - is wrong?

    As for 'class warfare' - that was evident the moment the concept of the trust came into being many years ago - from the 'top' and not the bottom.

    It is an outdated and self-serving mechanism for the rich, and deliberately set up as such, a clear example of the discrimination in favour of the rich - so any 'class warfare' involved was begun by them years ago...

    Don't blame the forces of good for finally reaching the castle walls and demanding surrender...
    Anonymous
    2nd Aug 2017
    11:22am
    And all the ways to skin the cat should be addressed. ALL the loopholes need to be closed. And anyone who opposes that should be tarred and feathered. We have a deficit. The wealthy have been rorting for years, refusing to pay their fair share of the costs of maintaining a healthy society and economy. It should NEVER have been allowed and it's way past time to put an end to it. Good for Shorten. I don't like him or Labor much, but they are right on this point and the LNP are SCUM for disputing it.
    Old Geezer
    2nd Aug 2017
    11:46am
    When is enough enough Rainey the top 20% of income earners pay nearly all the tax as it is? If taxing them further is not a disincentive then I don't know what is. Looks like the Macquarie Bank is now going overseas as the government has taxed them out of staying in Australia. No wonder we re in such a mess.

    Yes the trickle down effect works but the poor have turned the tap full on as they can't wait for the tank to full so it's always empty. Way too much welfare in this country now and not enough people willing to work to help full the tanks. It is as simple as that.
    TREBOR
    2nd Aug 2017
    12:16pm
    They can afford it and still have massively higher discretionary income than anyone else... it's their own fault if they rip too much out of the nation... and actually have to pay some of their way....

    Your position shows clearly how much vast discrepancy there is, since all those fat cats can write off countless deductions before ever paying tax, so their incomes are massively higher even than that....
    GeorgeM
    2nd Aug 2017
    1:27pm
    You are right, Rainey, all loopholes should be closed. A simple Minimum Tax should apply to all Individuals and companies on Gross Income without deductions, otherwise there will always be loopholes. Also, no income splitting should be allowed, as it is not available to normal families without trusts, company (fake) set-ups.
    MICK
    2nd Aug 2017
    1:51pm
    OG: you continue to defend the indefensible. It seems you are in the tax avoidance game yourself.

    This issue is much much bigger than Trusts. The figure of 642,416 Trusts in a country of 25 million pretty tells the story and our conflicted can crow all the 'envy' it likes but the problem is clear.

    I call on Shorten to go much further. He needs to widen the net to include offshore tax shelters, one of the most offensive accommodates frauds going to evade tax big time.

    You might be right about Australians leaving OG. We have seen the rich systematically pit one country against another to drive down taxes FOR THEMSELVES. It's a great game when you have your fangs into governments around the planet.
    Personally, if the rich want to go then all I can say is p*ss off and good riddance to you. I hope that Shorten sweetens the pot bu enacting NEVER TO RETURN legislation so that those who have betrayed us for so long are denied re-entry into the country they likely love. That would be a fitting punishment for the bastards who think nothing as they p*ss on us all.

    Apologies for the language ladies. Not me but sometimes it is appropriate.
    Rae
    2nd Aug 2017
    2:23pm
    They just need a tax on all offshore money transfers. A teeny one at that.

    I think it tragic that we have not only sold off and privatised everything but that now those companies can leave here and with them go not only taxes but good jobs for locals as well.

    Macquarie bank has helped many a business with a loan when it was needed to get off the ground.

    If I was a farming enterprise still I'd be selling up pronto. Or a family business. Too much risk from angry in laws forcing sales to get revenge. I've seen it happen.

    And all those family members being supported by the business. Do they now rock up to Centrelink for their income? I suppose they do.
    MICK
    2nd Aug 2017
    2:49pm
    An exit tax would be perfect and needs to be levied on balances over AU$100,000. That'll get some tax out of the bastards.

    Yes, everything is for sale. I took notice when governments of both persuasion started allowing our farms to be bought up by foreign governments. Are we kidding? China last night stated that its property is its alone last night. That should be a clear warning for our deadbeat governments as we WILL be invaded if any government tries to repatriate our farms in future. China NEVER sells land back!!!
    Old Geezer
    2nd Aug 2017
    2:59pm
    I hope you don't leave the country Mick or they will get you with your exit tax too.
    Rae
    2nd Aug 2017
    3:09pm
    I was thinking more like 0.5% on every dollar MICK. Yes I would pay it on overseas asset buys and when travelling and on most purchases but a lot of money would be raised as well. It would be easy and help stop some short term speculations.

    We are all but a satellite of China now thanks to our politicians and their lack of any consideration of consequences.

    Then again a drought like the last big one in the 60s might persuade them to give up and go home. I still have nightmares about that drought all these years later.
    Old Geezer
    2nd Aug 2017
    3:29pm
    Rae with a lot of super invested off shore it would not be good for our economy and those will the least will suffer the most with a transaction tax on our dollar. Short term speculation is actually good for our economy not bad as it makes it easy to tract overseas and get the goods we need as we produce very little here now. Not too sure I would want to see our borders closed in our present economic conditions as it may not be pretty at all.
    MICK
    2nd Aug 2017
    4:03pm
    0.5% is not even a slap on the wrist Rae.
    Those who seek to transfer their Australian wealth to another country need to pay something back to the country where they made good, not just take the loot and leave. I would advocate tax at the top marginal rate. Same deal as for foreigners who earn money through investments. Tough but does not allow the top end to decimate our country worse than it has already done.
    I'll take that as a comment OG. If I go then I'll pay the same rate. Fair is fair!
    TREBOR
    3rd Aug 2017
    12:47pm
    Funds transferred in from known tax havens should incur a 'top-up' tax. For example Talcolm Murnbull (an unidentified Oz personality) has a few lazy million residing in the Payman Islands.... every time Talcolm sends money there or brings money here - he pays that top-up tax on it.

    One way to curtail the activities of 'tax havens' - something which dodos have shown do very little for the ground zero residents of those island by serve only to enrich the bankers there - is to tax money in and money out of them..

    For those who start to quibble - it matters not if Talcolm uses a trust or company or whatever to transfer that funding in or out - that entity will incur that tax.

    Using 'cut-outs' such as sending it to France first is simply resolved - France is required to state where that cash came from and if it (France) attached tax to it in 'top-up'.... if YES , no further top-up is extracted.. if NO then Oz takes its top-up.

    Perhaps in the interests of safety first, Oz should simply take Top-up (I'll work out an acronym for that) and Talcolm (etc) can show why it should be refunded.

    Well.. boyz... easier to keep you money HERE and help your own far ken economy, eh?

    Now all we need is the Trebor Benevolent Diktator Government and we'll be home in roses.... or is it home on the pig's back (I always thought that was state revenuing based on traffic/parkng fines.. but I could be wrong - there still remain vestiges of that culture from Ages Dark and Past that police are out there to fine people, not enforce the law)....
    MICK
    3rd Aug 2017
    3:36pm
    Methinks you mean tens of millions of dollars Trebor.
    Great post. Bill Shorten please read!!!!!!
    TREBOR
    5th Aug 2017
    1:24am
    My apologies for the spelling mistakes.... I'm not well at the moment and have no patience...
    Old Geezer
    2nd Aug 2017
    10:38am
    Looks like you all will have to consider those testimony trusts you have in your wills. Good luck as the outlaws will get the lot now.
    Anonymous
    2nd Aug 2017
    11:23am
    Shorten specifically excluded testamentary trusts and special disability trusts, as he should.
    Old Geezer
    2nd Aug 2017
    11:32am
    So there are loop holes already Rainey. Better gets the kids to set up that testimony trust when I leave this mortal world then. Maybe a disability one for the disabled son as well. Pity he does so well now but he could still do with some more tax free dollars for some extra spending money.
    MICK
    2nd Aug 2017
    1:52pm
    Not really OG. Estates are not exactly the same as income splitting to avoid your annual taxes. You would know that.
    Are you conflicted??????
    Old Geezer
    2nd Aug 2017
    2:12pm
    No.
    Anonymous
    3rd Aug 2017
    2:47am
    Testamentary trusts distribute deceased estates, so should not be taxed as long as death duties don't apply to other ways of distributing. However, I fully support taxing income earned on the assets bequeathed via testamentary trusts if the trusts are left in place and assets used for investment. Similarly, disability trusts should have any income earned taxed, but preferably at rates that take fair account of the circumstances of the beneficiary. Surely not too hard to tax income to the trust - but NOT the invested funds that have already been taxed - at the rate that would apply if the beneficiary's marginal tax rate?
    Anonymous
    3rd Aug 2017
    2:47am
    Testamentary trusts distribute deceased estates, so should not be taxed as long as death duties don't apply to other ways of distributing. However, I fully support taxing income earned on the assets bequeathed via testamentary trusts if the trusts are left in place and assets used for investment. Similarly, disability trusts should have any income earned taxed, but preferably at rates that take fair account of the circumstances of the beneficiary. Surely not too hard to tax income to the trust - but NOT the invested funds that have already been taxed - at the rate that would apply if the beneficiary's marginal tax rate?
    MICK
    3rd Aug 2017
    3:34pm
    Agree.
    TREBOR
    2nd Aug 2017
    10:39am
    Income earned by a trust is income earned - pure and simple. You don't get a tax deduction or reduction for giving your kids money when they attend Uni etc, or when they are doing it hard out there with little to no work and are trying to get by.

    Why should trusts be exempt from this simple rule?

    Another outdated concept set up by those WITH for their own benefit that is not shared by those WITHOUT.
    Old Geezer
    2nd Aug 2017
    10:41am
    Family trusts are great for kids with big HECS debts as they never earn enough to pay them too.
    Tom Tank
    2nd Aug 2017
    10:47am
    Yes Old Geezer but only those earning higher incomes than most of us can set up a Family Trust. Obviously you are speasking from a different vantage point to most of us.
    TREBOR
    2nd Aug 2017
    10:48am
    So - it is fair that rich kids should be subsidised by parental tax dodging, but poor kids can eat cake?

    Great - just great... that really works for the better future of this nation and its people.
    Anonymous
    2nd Aug 2017
    11:25am
    OG would think so, Trebor. Because he's suffering from the greed disease. Nothing is ever enough for him and his stinking rich mates. In his view, the poor should starve so he can hoard tax free dollars and gloat.
    Old Geezer
    2nd Aug 2017
    11:40am
    No Rainey I am very healthy and only live on good food, fresh air and clean water. No other vices at all. If anyone is starving in this country then they only have themselves to blame as there is soo much food now available for free for those who need it. I know because I donate it myself.
    Anonymous
    2nd Aug 2017
    1:09pm
    Oh you have vices, OG. Claiming superiority and entitlement and denigrating and promoting cruelty to those who haven't enjoyed your good fortune, and chest beating and lying to claim it's all down to ''management''. That's the most vile and contemptible vice of all.
    GeorgeM
    2nd Aug 2017
    1:47pm
    Agree, TREBOR. In fact, trusts should be taxed by assigning all income back to the contributors (just like shares) without any income splitting - simple really. Otherwise, it is a sham to avoid taxes, unfortunately allowed by law and with both major parties colluding in this for decades. Maybe, for their personal benefits as well as for getting party donations.
    MICK
    2nd Aug 2017
    1:58pm
    Tom: good post. Personally I see Trusts which protect assets from deadbeat partners as being in another category altogether. That is not what is being discussed here. The offending instruments are used specifically for tax evasion and I would have thought the ATO would have, or should have, Arm Length's Legislation to permit it to disallow such deductions and not have to go through the courts, a favourite of the rich to get their way.

    Rainey: easy on mate. OG clearly is a wealthy individual who uses some to the products which offend ordinary citizens. I feel sorry that OG has no conscience but that has come out over the past few years. I feel sorry for his lack of empathy but the bigger issue is that the current government is a player in this fraud and responds with accusations of 'envy' rather than fixing a broken model put in place for the top end of town which believes it is special and needs discriminatory rules for itself. Sad.
    Old Geezer
    2nd Aug 2017
    2:12pm
    Mick I can assure you that taxing trusts will have no bearing what so ever upon my financial situation. However I see it will hurt others far less fortunate than myself.
    Rae
    2nd Aug 2017
    2:33pm
    Yes OG It won't effect me as I have no businesses anymore. I can see a lot of families weighing up the benefits of continuing in business if this gets through though. SME business is hard enough at the best of times and we are not entering the best times are we?

    It will be the employees and the family members forced to fend for themselves who will suffer and I suppose that is fair enough. They can always fall back on welfare like the rest have to if they can't find work.
    MICK
    2nd Aug 2017
    2:52pm
    Those who enter into Trusts arrangements because their accountant tells them it is a way of paying less tax deserve what they will get. AT least they will have escaped all but the previous 6 years if that happens.
    I feel no sorrow for tax cheats when they are caught. They deserve what will happen to them as crooks in suits are still crooks.
    Old Geezer
    2nd Aug 2017
    2:55pm
    Mick they are not tax cheats as it is legal. You probably cheat on your tax more than they do. Who the crook there then?
    Triss
    2nd Aug 2017
    5:22pm
    The fact that something illegal has been deemed legal doesn’t make it legal except by self-serving rationalization, OG.
    Old Geezer
    2nd Aug 2017
    6:28pm
    I certainly wouldn't like you to be a judge Triss with such silly statements like than one. Legal cannot be anything but legal.
    Triss
    2nd Aug 2017
    7:25pm
    Oh yes it can, my naive friend. Corruption has always been rife through the ages with illegal practices being deemed legal... Stoning women,
    pedophillia for a start.
    Old Geezer
    2nd Aug 2017
    7:40pm
    Triss that will all be legal when the Muslims take over too.
    Triss
    2nd Aug 2017
    7:46pm
    As I've just said, OG, the fact that something illegal has been deemed legal doesn't make it legal except by self-serving rationalization.
    KSS
    3rd Aug 2017
    8:00am
    Triss, Triss, please. If you are going to define what is legal or not, please make your comparisons with a single legal system and given we are in Australia that system should be the one in operation in Australia. Please explain when and how stoning women for example was ever legal here.

    Because you think something should/ought to be illegal does not make it so. Something may be immoral in your eyes but that also does not make it illegal. The use of trust funds, overseas bank accounts or any other tax minimisation schemes are NOT illegal even if some consider them immoral and people using them are NOT tax cheats.
    MICK
    3rd Aug 2017
    8:22am
    You are cleansing your conscience KSS. Just because 'outs' for paying tax have been put into place does not make them legal. Just because crooks get away with corruption does not make that legal as well.
    The issue is that the fraudulent laundering of money is ALWAYS understood but is let run until the voices get too loud to ignore. Then the crooks move onto the next scam.
    The issue you need to talk about is whether laws have been enacted for the masses to follow and the beautiful people to ignore. That is the question.

    By the way how's the Cayman Islands tax shelter working for you these days?
    KSS
    3rd Aug 2017
    9:16am
    Mick please provide a list of people who have been prosecuted for legal tax minimisation, and a separate list of those who have been prosecuted for illegal tax avoidance including 'money laundering' and fraud.

    I would suggest that the latter will be significantly longer than the former which will be non-existent.
    Triss
    3rd Aug 2017
    10:17am
    Maybe not stoning, KSS, but you don't have to go back far in Australian Law to find that wife bashing was not considered an illegal act.
    TREBOR
    3rd Aug 2017
    12:52pm
    Simple response - it may be 'legal' now, but since it is out-dated, it needs to be made illegal or at least less legal.
    MICK
    3rd Aug 2017
    3:33pm
    You would have those lists at your disposal KSS.
    You continue to sidestep the issue which is that the top employ highly paid accountancy firms to use the well established tax avoidance channels. The reason they rarely ever go to the courts is because the system has been put in place FOR THEM.
    Average citizens have neither the wealth to use the right tax avoidance professionals nor the income to pay them.
    I would bet my house that if 100,000 average taxpayers all paid top end of society tax accountants to pool their earnings and use the same schemes then they would be closed down IMMEDIATELY. Same methodology but when the herd starts to use the rorts they always end.
    Remember the Bottom of the Harbour Scheme? Great (crooked) tax lurk. The only reason it was closed down was too many people were getting in. Same thing is now happening with offshore tax shelters and these will be closed in the near future. On to the next 'legal' scam.......
    TREBOR
    5th Aug 2017
    1:29am
    OG - your forgot that 'legal' is based on the interpretation by the court of a piece of legislation at its first glance, which then becomes prededent - where that can be seen to be in error - the door is ALWAYS open for a new interpretation by a court adequately informed that supercedes the original.

    That NEW interpretation then becomes the precedent.

    Courts must NOT be bound solely by precedent, since to do so may be to perpetuate installed injustice and illegality..... but must at all times review precedent according to the Rule of Law, and where required, establish a new working precedent in accordance with the Rule of Law.
    Pamiea
    2nd Aug 2017
    10:46am
    100% support Labor on this rort. Its been going on for absolute years and its time it was stopped. The family never receive the money allocated to them. A classic case of this is Gina Reinhart.
    MICK
    2nd Aug 2017
    2:00pm
    Labor will win a lot of support with this real policy. But remember the media is controlled and/or owned by the top end of town....so the next propaganda campaign is less than 2 years away.
    arbee
    2nd Aug 2017
    2:27pm
    Mick, that statement is just not totally true. The ABC is as far left as anything could ever be and even you could not deny that. There is also a major newspaper chain that leans far to the left as well. Murdoch has also been known to throw his editorial support behind Labor in the past as well.
    MICK
    2nd Aug 2017
    2:59pm
    The ABC WAS the last major outlet which gave both sides of politics a fair go. What you are unhappy about is that when the crooked right is exposed by the facts it becomes unfair. Can't tell the public the truth can we?
    Your comment about being a left wing outlet is the normal sour grapes you get from the right when it cannot buy or control what passes as news....and the propaganda campaigns which the right runs every election.
    But don't worry arbee because the Turnbull government sacked the previous CEO and put one of their own in....an ex Murdoch and Google director. The changes are being slower brought in so that the public does not see what is being done. Did you notice that in the lead up to the last election the colour scheme changed to Liberal Party blue, which has persisted since. Funny that. I have also noticed that presenters like Tony Jones and Leigh Sales no longer seem to be full time presenters so am willing to bet they are being slowly squeezed out.
    You can run but you can't hide arbee. We're not all on blond planet and your spiel is BS for purposes unknow. Sorry mate.
    TREBOR
    2nd Aug 2017
    5:30pm
    I clearly recall the ABC holding Gillard and Co up to scrutiny when Labor was in government.... no mercy was shown for stupid ideas and idiotic utterances...
    MICK
    3rd Aug 2017
    8:26am
    arbee's right wing lambasting of the ABC is what the right does whenever it does not control a media outlet. Offering both sides free speech and then going after policies which defy logic is what the ABC does and which the coalition cannot tolerate because that means it si brought to account.
    You are correct TREBOR, the ABC also goes after Labor.
    I support real journalism and we need to enact laws to end the right wing propaganda reporting you get with the other major outlets and the gagged journalists who are told what not to air.
    HDRider
    2nd Aug 2017
    10:46am
    Just a load of bollox, half of the labor party are involved in these trusts , and most of the libs are. Why did not the shorten labor govt do this 20 years ago befor it got out of hand????
    Opposition Govt always promises crap doesn't deliver and are NOT made responsible for their blatant lies/promises to the people!
    Does Shorten really believe himself? Does he believe he will be elected on such a pathetic promise? I say he is doing what these scumbag pollies have been doing for years, taking us the public for granted while they get a free ride!
    Tom Tank
    2nd Aug 2017
    10:50am
    The Libs have tried twice, or at least talked twice about tackling trusts both one can only assume it was defeated in the Party Room due to the number of Libs, plus their donors, who have these tax minimisation methods in operation.
    TREBOR
    2nd Aug 2017
    10:54am
    Yes - they are - so it will most likely be all sound and fury signifying nothing...
    Old Geezer
    2nd Aug 2017
    10:55am
    I can't see it getting past the party room of either party myself. Too much vested interest.
    Rod63
    2nd Aug 2017
    11:48am
    There was no shorton (sic) labor (sic) government 20 year ago, HDRider.
    GeorgeM
    2nd Aug 2017
    1:34pm
    Good points, HDRider, Labor (without "U") had 2 terms recently, and several with Keating, and they never bothered to address either rich individuals or companies (including multinationals) avoiding taxes by a plethora of loopholes. They have really let down their (real with "U") labour / working class supporters. Even David Cameron, a Conservative PM in UK, brought in the Google Tax on multinationals before "Labor" here bothered about it.
    MICK
    2nd Aug 2017
    2:01pm
    HD: If Labor MPs had their fingers in this pie then SHorten could not get this out there. Unlikely HD.
    arbee
    2nd Aug 2017
    2:31pm
    George, Keating would never had done anything about addressing rich individuals, he was making too much money out of his pig farms.
    MICK
    2nd Aug 2017
    3:01pm
    Keating? You must be desperate arbee. Fraser anyone? Any information on the dismissal where the public is still being stopped from from viewing correspondence to/from the queen. I wonder why.
    Old Geezer
    2nd Aug 2017
    3:06pm
    You'll have to wait until "London Bridge falls down" to read that Mick.
    MICK
    2nd Aug 2017
    4:04pm
    So the guilty are hiding their crime. How unsurprising.
    Old Geezer
    2nd Aug 2017
    4:26pm
    Mick I guess I should enlighten you. "London Bridge falls down" is the code to be used when the Queen dies so those that need to be will know before the rest of the world.
    Triss
    2nd Aug 2017
    10:09pm
    Isn't it 'London Bridge is down'?
    TREBOR
    3rd Aug 2017
    12:56pm
    Free Beer at the Mess is the recall for 22 SAS... they might need to prevent a coup if Her Maj (heaven forbid) falls down..

    Aye, mony a mither thought her wee boy were bein' made inter a drunk by them fancy boys at Hereford...
    David
    2nd Aug 2017
    11:17am
    If a small business or farm is so dependent on the tax breaks gained by setting up a trust structure, then it shouldn't be in business.
    TREBOR
    2nd Aug 2017
    12:17pm
    Spot on there...
    Janran
    2nd Aug 2017
    1:06pm
    David, a lot of farms don't make much money at all, as they grow their own food and don't need a lot of disposable cash. There are always boom years and drought years, so they need to have savings to survive through the drought and have enough to invest in seed for crops for when the drought ends.

    While I agree Family Trusts are primarily formed to dodge paying tax, some farms have a legitimate reason to form a Trust, besides tax dodging. That is, the original farmers want to make sure the farm stays in the family when they die. If there's more than one child of the farmers, normal inheritance laws will have one of the children wanting to farm while another child wanting a cut in cash, forcing the farmer child to buy out the sibling(s) or sell the farm, the likely outcome. And that's not mentioning divorced children's Ex's wanting a cut as well - people who have never worked a minute doing any work on the farm.

    However, I know a very wealthy retired business couple who bought a farm, now set up as a family trust. While the children legitimately work and live on the farm, it is all for tax dodging purposes for the (self-funded) retired parents.

    I'm glad Shorten excluded farms from the proposed Trust bans. Maybe they should close the loophole for "Pitt Street farmers".
    David
    2nd Aug 2017
    2:31pm
    Hi Janran
    I am a retired tax accountant, so I fully understand that there are many other reasons for setting up trusts than tax minimisation, including the asset protection example you have given.
    The issues that you mentioned about the boom years and drought years for farmers are already covered in the averaging provisions in the Income Tax Assessment Act.
    The changes that Labor has proposed will still enable small businesses to set up trusts to protect their assets. It’s just that they won’t be able to benefit from splitting their income, so they will be on a similar level playing field to you and I?
    But why should farmers be exempted? Years ago the Liberals proposed changes that would tax trusts more fairly, but the Nationals objected. I think that Labor has exempted farmers for this reason.
    Why should a farm selling its products be taxed less than a small business selling its products?
    Anonymous
    3rd Aug 2017
    3:05am
    Thanks David. Good to have someone with genuine knowledge on the subject weigh in. This is the kind of comment that is genuinely helpful. I agree. Trusts can and should protect assets. That's their purpose, and it's a legitimate one. But they should NOT act as a shield to avoid paying fair tax on income - no matter what type of trust is established.

    If I bequeath $500K to my children in a will, it's distributed untaxed under current law. If I place it in a Testamentary Trust or a Disabled Trust, it should be exempt, because I paid tax on it when I earned it. But if it is invested in the Trust and earns ongoing income, that income should be taxed at the marginal rate of the beneficiary(s). That may be difficult while the income remains in the Trust, but certainly taxing it on distribution is fair. However, I would say the tax should be at the beneficiary's marginal rate in the case of Disability and Testamentary Trusts, because they are not being used to avoid tax in the hands of the person setting up or contributing to the Trust. For discretionary trusts, a flat tax rate is reasonable - but even 30% is almost certainly providing a tax dodge for the high income earner using the Trust to reduce tax obligations.
    TREBOR
    3rd Aug 2017
    12:59pm
    Janran - I'll reconsider my blank statement in regard to your statements.... I can see much virtue in keeping Australian farm land in Australian hands, and I am aware of the difficulties of keeping families on the land these days. Friend of ours has two farms and he's into his eighties now - none of his kids etc want to take over tending the land... but they're happy to take the money for that land that his mother ran on her own for years into her old age before him... sadly, it will pass from the family, methinks, who were original settlers in that area, too.

    2nd Aug 2017
    11:30am
    LNP have really shown how disgustingly selfish they and their rich supporters are. The greed disease is well entrenched in this vile mob.

    “We can't fall for the proposition that a tax grab here and a tax grab there, increasing the overall tax burden in the economy and targeting those who are seen to be more successful, will help solve all our individual problems,” Mr Cormann said.

    Really? But we CAN fall for the proposition that starving pensioners and the unemployed and persecuting the aged and disabled will fix everything - as long as the rich get to keep rorting!
    Old Geezer
    2nd Aug 2017
    11:35am
    Anyone starving in this country Rainey has only themselves to blame. There is free food everywhere if you would only look instead of whinging about it.
    Anonymous
    2nd Aug 2017
    12:55pm
    I don't need free food, OG, but I know some who do and nobody should have to beg to survive while the greedy exploit the tax system.

    Cormann is a prize hypocrite! It was fine to slug the more successful retirees and take up to $20K of their income, because it was ''only 92,000'' and ''most pensioners would be better off or the same''. But it's NOT okay to tax a minority of wealthy people who have been rorting the tax system and stealing from society for decades because that's attacking those who ''are seen to be more successful''. Well, the part pensioners were ''seen to be more successful'' too, and for them that was a crime. If you are rich, you are applauded and rewarded for succeeding. If you are a battler, you are denigrated and punished.
    Old Geezer
    2nd Aug 2017
    1:59pm
    Yes Rainey those 92,000 should never have been on the OAP in the first place as they had more than ample to look after themselves without it. What about all those who are wealthier who look after themselves? These 92,000 are no different than those. Most would have organised their financial affairs to qualify anyway. They are certainly not battlers.

    No body is begging for food Rainey as it's available to those who need it. If they are too proud to get it then that's their loss. I'm well aware of how these food outlets work and I can't see why anyone would starve today at all.
    MICK
    2nd Aug 2017
    2:26pm
    OG: the real issue is FAIRNESS, a word the rich do not understand as they legally defraud the tax system and push the burden onto average income earners who earn little by comparison. THAT IS THE ISSUE. All the rest is just noise to deflect attention to the very real problem which never gets fixed.
    Old Geezer
    2nd Aug 2017
    2:58pm
    Agree Mick it was only fair that those 92,000 lost their welfare as they simply didn't need it.

    The normal every day worker defrauds the tax system more than the rich do. There is nothing illegal about using a trust or any other acceptable tax structure.
    MICK
    2nd Aug 2017
    3:05pm
    No arguments there Geezer. Guess who the ATO catches? Not the top end because the crooked schemes are 'legal', set up by the money for the money.
    Trust structures are intentionally left with faults for the top end. It was the same deal with the superannuation rorts. Everybody knew about the rorts but nothing was ever done.
    Tell me about 'legal' Geezer. Crooked is crooked is crooked!
    Old Geezer
    2nd Aug 2017
    3:09pm
    Mick the rich ring the ATO if anything is unusual to get a ruling but the rest just wing it and wonder why they get caught. If in doubt I too ring the ATO myself and they are very helpful.
    Anonymous
    3rd Aug 2017
    3:16am
    OG, the poor aren't accountants and don't know the right language to use in talking to the ATO. You misplace a word and you get the wrong answer. I've had rulings from the ATO that were later declared invalid because I didn't know there was yet another clause that contradicted the one they quoted, and because I didn't ask about the other clause, the ruling on the issue I raised was declared invalid.

    Recently, I took up a fight with the ATO as executor of a deceased estate. Yes, they were helpful. They ruled against me three times, and on a ''final'' appeal a very nice gentleman apologized profusely, telling me this was the last time they would look at it and the tax levied was correct. Two days later, that diligent fellow phoned me at 5:30pm on a Friday to tell me that just as he was leaving the office something struck him and he had to go back and check. It took some hunting for the reference he was vaguely recalling but it confirmed that the computer system was wrong and the tax DID NOT APPLY. He was therefore crediting $8000 in excessive taxes paid to date and voiding the notice claiming more was due.

    Now, how many struggling workers, with very limited knowledge of tax law, could even contemplate making that many appeals and putting together some 60 pages of argument and evidence to substantiate their claim?

    This is how the rich and privileged constantly justify the unjustifiable. It's all so easy. I do it right, why can't you? Because your a bloody trained accountant, OG, and they are NOT. Show some respect now and again. Deal in FACT instead of fairly tales.
    TREBOR
    3rd Aug 2017
    1:03pm
    You'll have to pardon OG, people - he has some rellies who are the old-age equivalent of 'dole bludgers' in his eyes, so he feels that everyone should be tarred with the same brush... he also has a tendency to label everyone not inside his own little sacred circle as being somewhat useless and feckless, with no knowledge or consideration of their real life stories....

    I'll make a bald statement - I'm not rich in retirement - I KNOW I've done more than most even imagine in this life. Dedication, loyalty and hard work do not always bring riches.... though according to some it should, though they often bring the exact opposite in this rather unenlightened society. Riches seem more likely to accrue to someone adept at shining his suit pants on a seat....
    Anonymous
    4th Aug 2017
    12:07am
    OG, the National Commission of Audit declared the assets test grossly inequitable and said it should be abolished. But of course you would know more than any of the researchers who compiled that report, apparently just based on unverified stories you are ILLEGALLY told by Centerlink employees who don't respect the rules of their employment!

    The National Commission of Audit report rightly recommends that the assets test should be abolished and replaced with an income only test, with income including deemed income on assets. They add that the family home SHOULD be included in assets for deeming purposes, but only that part of the value that exceeds a given threshold (currently recommended to be $750,000 for couples).

    I agree with the report recommendations, except that I think people should be treated as individuals to remove the unfair benefits to singles, who can and do cohabitate to save costs just as easily as legally recognized couples. I also don't agree with their recommendations re raising the qualifying age because they haven't considered the reduction in capacity to work that results from excess strain working in certain professions. And because it won't help the economy for the old to take jobs from the young. I also think the Commission should take care in recommending deeming rates and consider the risk that some people may have assets but be unable, through no fault of their own, to achieve the deemed rate of return. I would prefer to see income assessed at the higher of the current average rate of interest on ordinary bank deposits or actual income earned.

    In relation to pensioner assets, the Commission says:

    ''The current system of means testing for the Age Pension is complex and inequitable. Various asset classes are assessed differently under either the income test or the assets test. As a result, people with the same means may have different pension entitlements.

    Treating asset classes differently creates incentives for people to invest in assets that maximise their pension entitlement rather than broader considerations such as whether the investment gives an appropriate return or would improve the person’s quality of life.
    Consistent with the recommendation from the Australia’s Future Tax System (Henry) Review, the Commission recommends replacing the current income and assets tests with a single comprehensive means test based on a comprehensive measure of income. This comprehensive means test would combine income earned from sources such as employment with income deemed from assets.
     
    The assets test should be removed as it assesses means on a less comprehensive basis. This has the benefit of encouraging self-provision for retirement and reducing the overall complexity of the means test. An assets test is only necessary when income from assets is not assessed on a comprehensive basis.''

    The bottom line is that the assets test is WRONG, and tightening it was cruel and unfair to thousands who planned their retirement around the current rules. There should have been a proper overhaul of the pension system to recognize a very different economic environment from that that existed when the rules were drafted. Fiddling at the edges is NEVER the right way to go.

    A universal aged pension and tax on all other income would be much more practical and fairer, in my opinion, but if that isn't to become a reality, then abolishing the assets test is essential to maintain a workable system and restore some equity - which, in turn, reduces manipulation and cheating.

    Punitive measures and suppression will only ever make cheating and manipulation worse.
    TREBOR
    5th Aug 2017
    1:33am
    Well put, Rainey.
    oldtrack123
    2nd Aug 2017
    12:00pm
    Very definitely this tax rort should be closed
    But do not expect the LNP to support anything that affects them or their rich mates
    Old Geezer
    2nd Aug 2017
    12:07pm
    Do you really think Labor would close it? I think not myself. It's just a big political beat up nothing more.
    MICK
    2nd Aug 2017
    2:26pm
    That is what Shorten said OG. Please stop playing the politics of deceit.
    Old Geezer
    2nd Aug 2017
    2:37pm
    ...and you believed him? Oh dear.
    MICK
    2nd Aug 2017
    3:07pm
    You voted for Abbott and Turnbull. Tell me about honesty and credibility. You are comparing a splinter with a tree.
    Shorten is yet to be tested whilst the electorate knows what the current batch are. Who you gonna vote for.......yeah, the crooks AGAIN.
    Old Geezer
    2nd Aug 2017
    3:11pm
    I didn't vote Mick as it's just not worth the effort any more as neither party do anything for me.
    TREBOR
    3rd Aug 2017
    1:05pm
    Traitor!!
    maelcolium
    2nd Aug 2017
    12:11pm
    Well overdue taxation reform.

    2nd Aug 2017
    12:11pm
    There is another way to use a family trust to avoid paying tax altogether. The Obeid Family Trust made loans to family members and by doing this no tax was paid.
    TREBOR
    2nd Aug 2017
    12:18pm
    Falls under my concept of 'fraternal loans' being not loans at all...
    TREBOR
    2nd Aug 2017
    12:19pm
    If you loan your son $50k to buy a truck for his business - do you get a tax deduction?
    MICK
    2nd Aug 2017
    2:29pm
    ARM'S LENGTH TRANSACTIONS Old Man. The ATO needs a government of any persuasion (it won't ever be a coalition government) to make the legislation water tight so that court challenges become a thing of the past and litigants end up with significant costs should they try it on.
    It is possible but it takes guts and determination.
    LiveItUp
    6th Aug 2017
    11:06am
    Yes Trebor it is not how someone got the money but what the money was used for that determines whether it is tax deductable. A truck to tow a caravan for holidays is usually not but a truck used 100% for business purposes is.

    2nd Aug 2017
    12:20pm
    What I would like to know, and there are many in here who seem to have a lot of knowledge on trusts, is why some trusts will be exempt and others not. Either people are using trusts to avoid tax or they are not. Shorten has made sweeping generalisations with much rhetoric and very little detail. As trusts are legal, although some are being abused, legislation will need to be put before the Parliament to define who can use a trust and under what circumstances. I can see this being an election promise which will fail because legislation to sort the wheat from the chaff will prove too difficult.
    Alufool
    2nd Aug 2017
    12:31pm
    Spot on - this isn't a real response if you exempt farming trusts - oh what do you have to do to be a framing trust - another lawyers picnic?
    Old Geezer
    2nd Aug 2017
    12:35pm
    No mention has been made of religious trusts either. About time they got taxed too as they are just loop holes too.
    GeorgeM
    2nd Aug 2017
    1:38pm
    Good points, Old Man. No tax exemptions should ever be given except for specific activities which have a direct, proven benefit for this country, and not to let people avoid taxes. I don't think this will be too hard if the will is there. Is it there? That is the real question.
    MICK
    2nd Aug 2017
    2:30pm
    "Either people are using trusts to avoid tax or they are not."

    That is the question OM. The ATO needs to have the freedom to decide which it is. If tax avoidance by another name then it should not be allowed. Done.
    Old Geezer
    2nd Aug 2017
    3:32pm
    Mick trusts are used for many situations not just to save tax. Some make no money but cost to set up and manage.
    MICK
    2nd Aug 2017
    4:07pm
    So why are we having the argument about good and bad trusts when their purpose determines if they are tax avoidance vehicles or otherwise/ Pretty basic I might have thought.
    Anonymous
    2nd Aug 2017
    4:18pm
    MICK, while people go on about the "rich" avoiding their tax obligations, it might be time to bring forward the fact that the top 10% of incomes from working age persons pay 50% of personal income tax collected.

    LINK: http://theconversation.com/factcheck-is-50-of-all-income-tax-in-australia-paid-by-10-of-the-working-population-45229
    MICK
    3rd Aug 2017
    8:32am
    No arguments there OM but please state the average income of the top 1%, 5% and 10%. That is where the real story is and where your comparison falls flat on its face.
    It is basic mathematics: people earnings millions will pay many multiples of what an average earner pays in tax. It is just not logical to try and compare the dollars rather than the percentages. You'll likely not finda link where PERCENTAGES are compared because that will expose the facts.
    Anonymous
    3rd Aug 2017
    3:15pm
    Tax reduction by use of discretionary trusts alone is estimated to be costing Australia $3.5 billion annually. Another $6 billion per year is estimated to be lost in corporate tax avoidance. That's $9.5 billion, and only the richest are able to make significant savings using these devices, so most of that $9.5 billion is money morally owed by the wealthiest 10%. It would take an awful lot of welfare cheating to make up that amount, given that such activities can't yield more than a minimal income anyway, while tax avoidance yields each cheat immoral gains in the millions. Let's stop the lies, shall we. The rich are rorting, and it needs to stop.
    Old Geezer
    3rd Aug 2017
    3:46pm
    Rainey those numbers are chicken feed to the welfare budget of approx. $180 billion every year and rising rapidly. Just over 5% of the welfare budget in fact. It would not take much cheating to by those on welfare for it to be 5% of the welfare budget. That robo debt collection system was over 95% right so those on welfare must be cheating the system of well over 5% of the welfare budget.

    Me thinks they are looking in the wrong place for extra revenue looking at those numbers.
    Anonymous
    3rd Aug 2017
    11:41pm
    And superannuation tax concessions - 80% of which benefit the well off - cost MORE than the pension, OG. But the double-dipping well-off aren't content to take more than $180 billion unfairly. They have to use trusts, negative gearing, CGT, offshore transactions, grey-area business deductions, and goodness knows what other devices to keep hoarding their mega-millions, and then they tell us all to look over there at that battler taking $20,000 a year he shouldn't be getting. Don't look at the rich taking millions each! Just focus on the little guy!

    The robo debt collection system was NOT 95% right at all. That's crap. But if welfare cheats are taking 5% of the welfare budget, that's less than we know is being lost to trust tax avoidance and corporate tax dodging alone. And those are only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to tax reduction and avoidance by the rich. And the bottom line is that welfare cheating is caused by the punitive, suppressive and unfair pension system and the gross injustice to the struggling masses. When the unfairness stops, the cheating will reduce to next to nil. Personally, I don't blame any persecuted battler for setting out to even the score a little, having suffered gross injustice for a lifetime. I wouldn't, but I don't blame anyone who does. And pigs who demand pensioners repay pensions from their estate are guaranteed to make cheating worse - because pensioners are going to rightly say ''Well if Joe Rich and his mates can cost the nation $180 billion in superannuation tax concessions they don't need, and another $3.5 billion in tax reduction through trusts, (not to mention CGT and negative gearing, and all the other rorts) and I get ZERO concessions because I earn too little, but he gets to keep his ill gotten gain while I have to give up my house to repay a pathetic little sustenance payment, I'll damned well take my rightful share any way I can.''

    No, they are not looking in the wrong place for revenue. They are FINALLY looking in one of the right places. At last! They've been persecuting the have nots for far too long. Now let's see if they can own up to all the other places they SHOULD have been looking.
    Dave V
    2nd Aug 2017
    12:42pm
    I don't think it helps anyone to be getting abusive about people who have earned a lot of money, and saying they should be doing even more to pay for the running of our country. Don't forget that, with our progressive tax system, a huge proportion of the population pays no tax and a relatively small proportion of the population pays a large amount of tax - so that those at the bottom of the scale don't have to pay tax.

    I don't have a problem with such a progressive system. However, given that the high income earners cough up near on half their marginal income in tax, maybe it would be better to lower the highest tax rates. At some point then, there would be no incentive for the wealthy to keep finding new ways to avoid paying tax, as the money they spend in setting up these trusts and paying accountant/lawyers fees, would be more than what they'd save. Then the net return to the Government (us) in tax would be higher than the short-term return gained by just closing one loophole, only to find that the wealthy have found another loophole down the track and we're back to square one again.

    Mind you, I think it would be better to grow a culture where people want to pay more tax to look after the poorer people in our society, as seems to happen in some of the Scandinavian countries. But I won't hold my breath about that, particularly when I read so many comments abusing people who've worked hard to make a quid.
    Anonymous
    2nd Aug 2017
    1:03pm
    The problem, Dave, is that the progressive tax system no longer operates as it should. It slugs the struggler who earns a little overtime or works hard for a promotion and small pay rise, but as soon as one gets to high-earner status, all the rorts and dodges ensure that they pay virtually nothing. And dropping the tax rate won't help unless EVERY SINGLE RORT is eliminated. There will always be incentive for the wealthy to dodge tax because their greed is insatiable, and that's not being abusive about people who have earned a lot of money. That's just stating fact. A relatively small portion of the population pays a large amount of tax so those at the very bottom don't have to pay any. That's true. But the small proportion who pay a lot are the lower to mid-middle income earners - NOT the wealthy, who, pay NOTHING.

    Nobody is abusing or punishing people for earning a lot of money - just declaring that they should finally start paying their dues to the society that has so blessed and endowed them and ENABLED them to earn so much. Reform is long overdue.
    Anonymous
    2nd Aug 2017
    1:06pm
    BTW. I worked damned hard to make a quid - and did it far tougher than most. But as a member of the upper working class or lower middle class, I never had access to tax rorts.

    My niece works very hard as a cleaner and nanny for a barrister who earns nearly $1 million a year. She earns about $33,000 a year, and pays more tax than her employer. The gardener also pays more tax that his barrister employer. Tell me there's anything fair about that.
    Old Geezer
    2nd Aug 2017
    1:49pm
    What a lot of rubbish Rainey? How would you know how much tax that barrister pays? Your niece should consider herself lucky she has a job and same for the gardener. Maybe she wont have a job if her employer has to pay more tax as he could simply employ an au pair for so much less instead.

    Rainey we have all had it tough and I sometimes wonder if you really know what tough is from your comments. It could not have been that tough as you would never have got to where you are today.

    Of course you are abusing and want to punish people who have more than you otherwise why go on about it at all. I couldn't frankly care less.

    Some of the biggest rorts today are the NDIS , Gonski, aged care, RTOs and home care. Some people are making zillions out of them instead of the money going to where it was intended. There are a few more but in the interests of them being political sensitive I'll leave them alone.

    You know why I no longer work? There is simply no point in trading my precious time for money I don't need or want. How many more highly skilled people are choosing the same path today? Why because it is just not worth the effort to earn extra money just to pay the majority away in tax. That's what taxing the rich to pay the poor does to an economy.
    MICK
    2nd Aug 2017
    2:34pm
    Dave: the issue has nothing to do with a progressive tax system and everything to do with 'outs' put in place over the years spefically for wealthy Australians. Trusts, offshore tax shelters and ridiculous deductions.
    The issue of high taxes for the rich may be abhorrent to the rich but it is only fair that the wealthy should pay high taxes....and still bank a lot of money every year. A win/win where the greedy rich should not be using their side of politics to pervert fairness. That is where we are at.
    Anonymous
    3rd Aug 2017
    3:25am
    OG, you are a very nasty, presumptuous old fool who has no capacity to deal in fact. People who come from ''the wrong side of the tracks'' and have done it VERY tough often end their lives comfortable. It took me until I was 55 to achieve even modest comfort. Until then, an occasional hamburger was an enormous extravagance. But I worked hard and I lived frugally and I educated myself, and I am reaping the rewards. But because I've done it tough, I have empathy for those who are still struggling. I am not vile and disgusting and cruel like you. Your attitude betrays the truth of your privilege, no matter how many lies you tell to try to deny it.

    The difference between those who lost part pensions and those who were already self-supporting was that the already self-supporting had some $300,000 MORE, you idiot! Or they had high incomes. Many of those who were hurt in the assets test change saved well but have low incomes and very little investment expertise. If they are younger retirees, and particularly if they have health issues, they may be very hard up by the time they reach their 80s. The change was morally indefensible because it pulled the rug from under people who genuinely needed and deserved the benefit. Yes, SOME it hurt were manipulators and very well off. The older folk had plenty to last them through the rest of their lives, and then some. But many were hurt unfairly and cruelly and in a manner that will result in a much heavier burden for taxpayers over time. We are seeing higher lump sum withdrawals from super and reduced super savings - because people are seeing that there's limited or no benefit in a system that is constantly being fiddled with to crucify those who do what's responsible and right.

    Simplistic assumptions will ALWAYS result in bad policy. Governments need to investigate realities and consider psychological reactions before making STUPID policy that cannot achieve the stated goals. Or else we have to just assume that they are actually cloaking policies designed to feed more to their rich buddies and lying about their objectives.
    Anonymous
    3rd Aug 2017
    3:36am
    BTW. The barrister himself commented on his tax compared to his employees'. That's how, stupid! And no, if his tax rate was fair he would NOT be unable to employ people. He'd just have less to stash in idle bank accounts, because his earnings are downright obscene and definitely NOT EARNED by moral standards.

    As executor of an estate, I recently used his services. He charged $3000 to sit in a room for 6 hours drinking coffee and have a two-minute conversation with the other side's lawyers after which he told me I needed to agree to settle because the estate couldn't afford the cost of exposing evidence and there was really no point in even raising the issues with the other side given the low value of the estate. I'm disputing the account from his similarly overpaid lawyer partner who charged for 5 hours of re-drafting an Affidavit I had already drafted CORRECTLY because his dumb clerk couldn't add up the numbers. I had prepared totally accurate financial statements in the proper form, but the lawyer had to justify his fees by having them redone and his clerk got them wrong no less than 4 times.
    Frankly, I'm fed up with the overpaid incompetent fat idiots who rort this country and I wish a lot of them would leave. There would then be fair opportunity for the more competent who were denied the opportunity to get bits of paper and letters after their names that allow them to rip off the rest of us stuffing up jobs they are totally incapable of doing properly, and manipulating to avoid tax.
    LiveItUp
    3rd Aug 2017
    8:19am
    Rainey if a person gets tnemselves in this much trouble then they need to get their facts straight before they go any where near such professionals. Everyone knows they play on ignorance and that's how some make thier money. I have a solicitor who I can ring for advice at no charge and he only charges me a very reasonable fee for any work he does for me.

    I once had to have another solicitor sign a document but they refused unless they refrafted the document. So I said if you don't sign it then you are not acting in my interest. They refused and their secretary handed me a bill on which I wrote no setvice no fee and banded it back to her. I haven't heard any more since.

    You are in control of these people so excercise it.
    Anonymous
    3rd Aug 2017
    1:24pm
    I didn't say I paid these inflated-ego incompetents, Bonny. I described what they did. But most people do pay them, unfortunately. And they do have a lot of power to force payment even when it isn't fairly due. And nobody ''got themselves into trouble'' you nasty egomaniac! Why don't you stop gloating for a minute and pay attention to the posts and see if your poor little brain can actually understand some of what's being said!
    jackyd
    2nd Aug 2017
    1:10pm
    Does it really matter?
    Labor have shown no inclination to balance the budget so no doubt any extra revenue will be lost on a socialist agenda that covers for a redistribution of wealth, often to those that contribute nothing, employ no one while claiming to be victims of the entrepreneurial society.
    The current Liberal mob would be no better at putting extra revenue to a more productive cause rather than shovelling into deep black holes of no return such as the elitist UN.
    Conclusion currently ....the greater the revenue the greater the waste.
    MICK
    2nd Aug 2017
    2:37pm
    I am in raptures at your latest offering jackyd.
    Do yourself a favour and have a look at the HUGE debt the Abbott and Turnbull governments have run up in the past 5 years. Much more than Labor which governed during the GFC.
    There is no debt retirement from the government. Only talk and lies. And then the Class Warfare transferring money form battlers to those who have no need.
    Old Geezer
    2nd Aug 2017
    2:52pm
    Mick you forget Labor put in place time bombs that didn't have the revenue to service. Now the Senate is grandstanding and won't let the government defuse these time bombs. Hence the big government debt.
    jackyd
    2nd Aug 2017
    3:07pm
    Well well Mick..it must be so hard to see the big picture when one has his whole head stuck up one's own proverbial!
    MICK
    2nd Aug 2017
    3:14pm
    The NBN Geezer? The project which Turnbull ruined and which has now cost more than the original?
    Or maybe Gonski? The project which funded public schools rather than let them fail?
    Medicare? Public health for citizens too hard to swallow OG? Let them rot in the gutters like happens in America. The only civilised country on the planet where the middle class and rich are happy to see their countrymen die young.

    It's the senate's fault now? So who started getting rid of senators with the citizenship BS....which its own now does not have to comply with.

    I can see you are Liberal through and through OG. Corruption, dishonesty, congenital liars? No worries. I am not a prostitute and cannot live with what passes for government on the right during the past two parliaments. The sooner it is over and all the old MPs are shown the door the better for the country.
    Old Geezer
    2nd Aug 2017
    3:24pm
    Mick the NBN is great and I love it! Not too sure what your problem is but most people love it but with everything there are whingers.
    MICK
    2nd Aug 2017
    4:11pm
    I was simply responding to your claim that Labor put bombs in place. The only bombs I can see is the landmines the current lot put in place for future Australians which do nil for the country but just take from the poor and give to the rich. And then there is the debt.....huge. No media coverage about that either.
    The NBN is problematic because Turnbull ruined it. It cost us much more for a third rate system but it is still better than broadband. Don't worry a Labor government will put the pieces back together again and then we will get the NBN most of the developed world already enjoys. Come on in third world Australia................
    Old Geezer
    2nd Aug 2017
    4:28pm
    Good luck with that Mick as the rest of the world will have moved on to a better internet by that time anyway.
    TREBOR
    2nd Aug 2017
    5:58pm
    I believe I've asked before - what EXACTLY are these 'time bombs' set in place by Labor?

    Plenty such set in place by the privateering LNPs at State level these days... any move to resume a 'privatised ' utility so as to cut the costs to the consumer will cost the government many billions, since the privateering LNP guaranteed their mates a payout in the event of failure.

    Dumbest business move I've ever seen - you 'sell' a business but you guarantee the buyer of no loss in the event of failure.... with public money ....meaning the privateers can rip the cream off the top every day in the certain knowledge that if the 'business' goes belly-up - they will still be paid out....

    What utter nonsense...
    KSS
    2nd Aug 2017
    1:12pm
    This is Mr Shorten grandstanding and playing to the peanut gallery as usual. This is clearly not tax reform at all, it is simply yet another grab for dollars from those who have done well. 'Politics of envy' is right, it has nothing to do with saving money, paying down debt or even helping those less fortunate. It is nothing more than a 'promise' to get elected at the next election.

    Mr Shorten is very adept at playing general populace for fools, consider his performance towards some of the lowest paid worker he was meant to represent when he stitched them up for lower wages in favour of gaining higher donations to the Labor Party from the Unions under the guise pf Training and Education that no worker ever saw! Or his objection to the independent umpire HE chose to review penalty rates and swore he would uphold the decision only to jump ship again when the decision did not go his way. Or what about the latest promise of a Plebiscite to be held to determine whether Australia should become a republic when for months he has been campaigning against a plebiscite for same sex marriage on the grounds of the expense to hold it. We now see his opposition and prevention of Australians having their say as nothing more than grandstanding for the minority.

    Mr Shorten is clearly of the opinion we should all be 'equal' and by that he means to the lowest common denominator.
    Old Geezer
    2nd Aug 2017
    2:14pm
    I agree except some like him are more equal than others.
    MICK
    2nd Aug 2017
    2:40pm
    Really KSS. Run a few lines on pink batts and school halls maybe.

    Grandstanding? I thought Shorten was right to the money on Trusts. He has already made it clear the tax cuts for the wealthy are not happening. What else do you expect?

    Your posts are normally right wing troll comments which seek to find fault with Labor and never identifies the glaring crookedness of the current regime and its predecessor.
    arbee
    2nd Aug 2017
    2:20pm
    Before the Labor party attacks family trusts (I don't have one) and the LNP attacks pension entitlements (lost mine on 31st December), I think they should both have a damn good look at their own entitlements and the gravy train they travel on.
    Start cutting their own entitlements first.
    Try leading by example. Make their parliamentary pension subject to the same assets and income tests that we have to abide by.
    MICK
    2nd Aug 2017
    2:42pm
    Agree, but what the pollies skim off for themselves pales into insignificance compared to the Class Warfare transferring money to the rich and the waste which treats us all like mugs.

    2nd Aug 2017
    3:08pm
    Shorten voted against clampdown on trusts when Costello and Hockey wanted to introduce it.
    Slimy 2 headed snake
    MICK
    2nd Aug 2017
    3:22pm
    Have a close at Turnbull before you spit your normal right wing venom Raphael. Climate Change? Remember that one? Not the only turn about but I guess you are happy to cherry pick.
    Shorten's credentials are yet to be seen and I'll reserve judgement until the time he loses credibility. Your lot lost that when Abbott was put in and it has been only one way since then. Downhill!
    Old Geezer
    2nd Aug 2017
    3:51pm
    Climate change Mick is real as no one would be alive today without it. However carbon trading and it's derivatives is just a get rich scheme for the rich. Repealing that legislation was a good things for most Australians as many would have not used the get rich scheme.
    MICK
    3rd Aug 2017
    8:35am
    1. I was putting your "two headed snake" comment into perspective Raphael. If you want to slaf Shorten for something he has not yet done then please slag you Fuhrer for what he already has done. That is fair.

    2. The point I was trying to make TREBOR is that Turnbull used to be a Climate Change champion. He has now prostituted himself to the coal industry.
    TREBOR
    3rd Aug 2017
    3:27pm
    Ah - money talks all languages.... thanks You, Mick.
    floss
    2nd Aug 2017
    3:37pm
    If somebody doesn't start to pay tax in this country it will become a third world country ,we all know the wealthy seem to avoid paying their share. I wish I could access neg . gearing plus a family trust. Perhaps a move to the Cayman Islands may be the way to go it is recommended by our P.M. Your thoughts O.G. you know every thing.
    Old Geezer
    2nd Aug 2017
    3:48pm
    You can floss no problem there. ]

    However I prefer to positively gear not negative gear as I can't see the point in making an actual loss to save tax myself. If you have enough income then set up a family trust but you'll need some free loaders to make it work. I don't have any free loaders so it's not an option forme. Cayman Islands well there are too many crooks out there for my money.
    MICK
    2nd Aug 2017
    4:14pm
    You have to have a certain level of income to set up the schemes floss and wage and salary earners do not earn enough to make tax shelters worthwhile. If they did they would be shut down tomorrow. These sorts of scams are only allowed to run until too many people are using them. Then they end and the next one pops up.
    You are right about the crooks in the Cayman Islands OG. Those who have their tax shelters there.
    Anonymous
    3rd Aug 2017
    3:09am
    OG's BS is typical of the excuses the rich make to try to justify their immorality and greed. ''Anyone can do it'', so it's fair! No, anyone CAN'T do it. By law they can. In practice, it's impossible and it's ridiculous and insulting to suggest they can. But that's the rich. They have to justify their gross immorality and disgusting greed and self interest somehow, and any lie will do!
    LiveItUp
    3rd Aug 2017
    8:00am
    Rainey it therfore for eveyone to use and is quite easy to set up.
    MICK
    3rd Aug 2017
    8:36am
    And you milk it for all it is worth don't you Bronny?
    Anonymous
    3rd Aug 2017
    1:29pm
    But it's not worth setting up if you don't have a high income, Bonny. It yields no benefit. So it's NOT there for everyone at all. It's the rich mans' rort, stealing from society. And it's disgusting to condone it.
    Old Geezer
    3rd Aug 2017
    3:30pm
    Rainey that depends on why you might want to set up a trust.

    I recently set one up for a young fellow so he get himself a house using his super money. Yes it is legal if it is done right.
    TREBOR
    3rd Aug 2017
    3:32pm
    Forgive Bonny - h/she's intelligence rich but has low intellectual deficit syndrome..... LIDs on the thinking processes....

    You see countless examples of that in politics and 'business', with the educated at our best universities trotting out the most stupid ideas, comments, and thought bombs with absolutely no merit or meaning to anyone but the four people in the room with them at the time.....

    (yardle, yardle, yardle)....
    floss
    2nd Aug 2017
    4:57pm
    I think we should give Labor a try the country is in big trouble and getting worse for the average family. We have d one well and would like younger families to do the same. Some people are making a killing but most workers are really doing it tough, this is not the way Australia should be.
    MICK
    3rd Aug 2017
    8:44am
    Labor is not perfect but nothing could be as bad as a government conducting blatant Class Warfare like the current one is doing.
    Labor has in the past governed fairly for the rich as well as average citizens but comes under constant fire for spending money on things we all need.
    My only caveat with Labor is that it needs to ditch coal funding and dump all support for the industry leaving it to fend for itself. Of course that leaves us with declining national income because governments of both persuasion have sold out our industries and our jobs to the third world and digging up minerals is our bread and butter. Damned if you do, damned if you don't though. Personally I'd rather live on a clean planet rather than a cesspit where my health is affected and my lifestyle degraded.
    I think Australians need to vote the current batch of rats out of office. Who they put in is up to them. I'll be voting for an Independent candidate who has a Labor preference in the lower house.
    libsareliars
    2nd Aug 2017
    5:12pm
    I support Labor 100% on this. The rich have had it too good for too long.
    MICK
    3rd Aug 2017
    8:44am
    A PM with an offshore tax shelter says it all. The rest is obvious dear Watson.
    Macca
    2nd Aug 2017
    7:12pm
    Here's the rort.1person working +5 dependents earning $180000.00 pays $54232.00.6 working pay total $13452.00.2 working +4 dependents pay $41864.00.3working +3 dependents pay a total $33141.00.Family 10 not earning more than $18000.00 ea pay wait for it nothing.Also you don't need a trust to income split but a partnership or limited partnership.
    Old Geezer
    2nd Aug 2017
    7:24pm
    Yes all the family can be part of a partnership with similar tax outcome to a trust. It's a great way to pay for kids and grandkids to go to uni with tax free income.
    Anonymous
    2nd Aug 2017
    10:42pm
    No a silly way
    They won't be able to get newstart then
    LiveItUp
    3rd Aug 2017
    7:58am
    They don't get Newstart until they are 22 any way so that's not an issue.
    MICK
    3rd Aug 2017
    8:50am
    Somewhat illegible Macca and not sure what you are actually saying. I am assuming your example is for somebody with a Trust arrangement in place but you need to clarify.
    I have never met a family of 10 and unemployed people do not pay tax.
    You might want to run this through again.
    Anonymous
    3rd Aug 2017
    11:27pm
    There you go again, OG! So you think the privileged should be able to send their kids to uni with tax free income but struggling workers' kids should have to pay their own way. No wonder some struggling workers decide they are entitled to cheat the welfare system and claim a OAP despite having a little too much to qualify. They are just evening a very uneven score. Stop the unfairness and the cheating will likely reduce dramatically.
    Old Geezer
    4th Aug 2017
    1:28pm
    Rainey the struggling worker's kids get paid to go to uni too. Normally the rich get no welfare for their kids and have to pay all their living expenses etc. But with the use of trusts they can do it with tax free income. So is it fair some kids get paid to go to uni and others do not? Trust just level the playing field a little bit.
    Anonymous
    5th Aug 2017
    10:39am
    ''the struggling worker's kids get paid to go to uni too.''
    How's that, OG. Mine didn't. They left with huge HECS debts. And they worked to pay their living expenses. But unlike the rich, they had no opportunity to use trusts, and we never had the chance to use negative gearing or CGT either. Nor did we collect superannuation tax concessions. NO, it is NOT fair that the rich get benefits at every turn and the poor get very little. Trusts don't level the playing field. They make it appallingly UNFAIR. But of course the greedy rich will make up any lie to justify their greed and demand the rorts continue in their favour.
    LiveItUp
    6th Aug 2017
    11:00am
    Today the struggling workers kids get paid youth allowance and get to keep it even if they earn some money. Rich peoples kids get nothing so it is more than fair they can get an allowance without it being taxed. So trusts level out the playing field a bit. There is also no discount for paying fees up front which is very wrong too.
    Anonymous
    8th Aug 2017
    3:39am
    What a pathetic attempt at excusing greed and selfishness, Bonny!
    Keep youth allowance even if they earn some money? Not likely. That's what's wrong with our welfare system. It beats up on anyone who tries to escape the welfare trap.

    Trusts DO NOT level the playing field. They make a very unfair system 1000 times more unfair, and it's way past time the unfairness was properly rectified so the economy can recover.
    Old Geezer
    2nd Aug 2017
    7:17pm
    It would not surprise me that the black economy was actually more lucrative for the government than going after the income in trusts.

    Here is an example.

    The number of tradesmen using Bunnings ABN on their tax invoices is very large indeed. They estimate 40% of tax invoices of NT tradesman have the Bunnings ABN on them. And is quite high in other states as well.

    That's an awful lot of GST the government is not collecting.

    In case you are wondering a tradesman gets the Bunnings ABN off the Bunnings invoice when he buys goods from them. When say a builder asks the tradesman for a tax invoice for the work he does for them The tradesman puts the Bunnings ABN on his own invoice. The builder then claims back the GST from the tradesman's invoice from the ATO. However the GST was never paid by the tradesman.

    Bunnings itself is doing nothing wrong.
    Anonymous
    3rd Aug 2017
    2:52am
    Sounds like a fairy story to me, OG. If it were happening on any scale, there would be an investigation and prosecutions. It's illegal to use someone else's ABN on an invoice, and someone would blow the whistle if it was happening often. Why haven't you? Suppliers are required by law to check ABNs belong to the person quoting them, and it's very easy to do. Larger building companies employ full-time bookkeepers who routinely make checks to verify the company is compliant - because penalties fall on the building company if they allow this sort of rorting.

    There is just no factual basis to the crap you keep posting. It's BS driven by greed and determination to retain a system that feeds the insatisable greed of the ''entitled'' wealthy.
    Anonymous
    3rd Aug 2017
    2:52am
    Sounds like a fairy story to me, OG. If it were happening on any scale, there would be an investigation and prosecutions. It's illegal to use someone else's ABN on an invoice, and someone would blow the whistle if it was happening often. Why haven't you? Suppliers are required by law to check ABNs belong to the person quoting them, and it's very easy to do. Larger building companies employ full-time bookkeepers who routinely make checks to verify the company is compliant - because penalties fall on the building company if they allow this sort of rorting.

    There is just no factual basis to the crap you keep posting. It's BS driven by greed and determination to retain a system that feeds the insatisable greed of the ''entitled'' wealthy.
    LiveItUp
    3rd Aug 2017
    7:57am
    Rainey the story is in some of the major newspapers.

    http://www.heraldsun.com.au/business/companies/tradies-using-bunnings-in-abn-tax-scam/news-story/8fb53b7ec6620d6a8199d27393173c85

    Couriermail another one and our local paper printed it too.

    Maybe you should check before critising OG and others on ths forum instead of being high and mighty and thinking you know better.

    I shake my head at some of tbe things people do today to cheat the system. I don't even tell people about most of them because it is just cheating the system and I don't want others coping them.
    MICK
    3rd Aug 2017
    8:53am
    You won't have too long to wait for the black economy to be killed off OG. Digital currency is coming soon and that will be the end for the cash economy. The average people will have to hire the same accountants the wealthy use or better still pool into groups to make the scams accessible to everyone. Can't have that though.
    Be careful what you wish for though.
    Anonymous
    3rd Aug 2017
    1:27pm
    So a few cheats were caught out, Bonny. I said it was a fairy story that it was happening on any grand scale, and of course it isn't. And it will be stopped now. There will always be a few cheats in any civilization, but the fact is that it's just not worth the risks to cheat the system very much when you are a battler. It's only the rich who have access to low-risk rorts and legal schemes, and it's the RICH who are causing our economic problems.
    Old Geezer
    3rd Aug 2017
    1:28pm
    Mick I use the digital world now myself and don't even carry cash now so the sooner the better it comes in as far as I am concerned. What really surprised me that in remote areas they prefer plastic instead of cash now too.
    Old Geezer
    3rd Aug 2017
    2:20pm
    Rainey I'd say with that sorts of number it is far more than a few cheats. Do you check your tradesman's quotes and invoices to see if they are registered for GST if they have added it to your bill? I reject any tradesman that does this as I feel how I can I trust them to do a good job when they have already showed me they are cheating the system. Many people wouldn't even know how GST works and how to check this. Ignorance is bliss I guess for these cheating tradesmen.
    Anonymous
    3rd Aug 2017
    3:32pm
    Yes OG, I do check. And so do the bookkeepers for all the substantial building companies and contracted bookkeepers working for smaller builders. But if there is substantial cheating going on, it's because the system was poorly designed. Government's fault! In any case, it wouldn't come remotely anywhere near the $9.5 billion lost in tax minimisation through the use of trusts and corporate tax avoidance - money morally owed by the WEALTHY CHEATS WHO ARE THE CAUSE OF OUR ECONOMIC PROBLEMS. At best, a tradie rorting the GST system will make a few thousand a year. Chicken feed, compared to the millions going into the bank accounts of greedy rich tax evaders.
    Old Geezer
    4th Aug 2017
    1:34pm
    All I'll say Rainey is that must not get many different invoices as it takes quite a bit of time too look them up. Do you also check the bank account details on the invoices too to make sure the money is going to the right person?
    Anonymous
    5th Aug 2017
    10:36am
    It takes seconds to do an ABN check, OG. No, I don't check bank accounts because if it's on the invoice, my only legal obligation is to pay to the nominated account. It's not my fault if a supplier puts someone else's account details on his invoice, though I'm sure I can't imagine who would. I do, however, email suppliers evidence of bank transfers to their account, so they know where the money went and can advise me if there is any error.

    2nd Aug 2017
    7:29pm
    how I love reading labor mick's comments, say anything favouring labor, especial if you agree with his beloved, his adored and his so admired saviour shorty and the alp party, if any of you don't know shorty he is the bloke who changes his mind more than his undies, you can smell him a mile away, just ask former prime ministers rudd and gillard, you are safer trusting and cuddling a grumpy tiger snake or a hungry salt water crocodile than being complimented by shorty and our brainwashed, the only wash he knows, labor mick will kiss him as being the next coming, yet don't agree and our labor gushing micky will become a labor fury, oh those damned rich people yet conviently forgetting his comments when the plight of renting pensioners was mentioned in an earlier article of ylc, he stated, after having upped the rent of his properties, they did not know what they were talking about unless they had rental properties they should go and live in the middle of no-where where the rent was cheaper, to top it up he has not stopped boasting about his 3 months vacation overseas, France, and telling us he is planning another three months vacation to Italy next year, not bad for a poor old pensioner claiming to belong to the poorest denomination of this great country and to state he is abiding by the tax laws of this country, just pull my other leg.
    these are the persons attempting to take over these columns for their own benefit without regard to the overall benefit of the people in this great country,
    believe him and his beloved labor party and you will reap the results, not just yourselves but also your children and your grand children's will scorn you for the stupidity you brought on them, You think it is hard living now-a-days, wait for the future when labor finishes this country off, may be I look back to much to the past but I still repeat, God loves his soul, the rot started when whitlam was voted in,
    Hawkeye
    3rd Aug 2017
    1:26am
    WTF?????
    Anonymous
    3rd Aug 2017
    2:41am
    Well, we could all applaud the LNP's policies of taking from the battlers to inflate the coffers of those who, like you beloved Malcolm Turdball, stash hundreds of millions in a tax-haven in the Caymans and declare that the poor who can't afford bread should eat cake. ''Trickle down'' BS! Fill the glasses of the privileged and the overflow will feed the poor. Except the glasses of the privileged can never be filled. Fill 'em, and they get a bigger glass. Their greed is insatiable. I hate the Labor party, actually, but the Lieberals are very much on the nose and definitely wrecking what used to be a great country.
    Anyone got any real solutions, other than bashing another poster for having a political preference? Personally, I don't find Mick at all offensive. Now you, heemskerk99, and Bonny and OG - they really do offend! Not a constructive comment from any of you. Just vile denigration of the less fortunate and egomaniacal chest-beating.
    LiveItUp
    3rd Aug 2017
    7:43am
    Rainey trickle down does work but too many people want too much for nothing so have turned the tap full on. We all know a tank will never fill if you leave the tap turned on and after all the water gushes out after tap is turned on then you have to close it so it fills up again.

    Problem therefore is too many people now on welfare and not prepared to work and not enough rich people making enough money to support them all. So if you squeeze the rich further by more taxes it will only make the situation worse not better.

    Greed is far worse in the poorer people of our society than the rich. One has only to see how many cheat the welfare system.

    I'll give you another example. The manager of Aldi served me about a few months ago as it was busy. I gave him $20 and he gave me change of $50. Now I said is that right as I only gave you $20. He thanked me very surprised and said that other people today would have just taken the money instead. Since then he greets me by name and tells me to ask him if I need any help. That just shows what sort of society we live in today with greed over honesty.
    MICK
    3rd Aug 2017
    8:56am
    Arrrrr....shiver me timbers! Sip ahoy..... Arrrr. Get off the drugs heemsjerk.

    You missed the usual pink batts, school halls and leftie bit this time around. At least you give me a good belly laugh every time you post.
    Anonymous
    3rd Aug 2017
    1:17pm
    Bonny, you need to get off what ever it is that's addling your pathetic little brain. Firstly, Aldi uses computers to make change and it would have go be a very stupid and incompetent ''manager'' who couldn't correctly input that you gave him $20, not $50. And very few people would take advantage of such a situation (one that wouldn't arise often anyway unless staff were totally incompetent) but the rich would be far quicker to do so than the poor. It's honesty that keeps many people struggling.

    Greed is NOT worse in the poorer folk. Welfare cheats will always be among us to some extent, and more so because greedy rich folk insist on a welfare system that promotes cheating and punishes honesty and endeavour. It's the rich man's greed that is stuffing this nation. The poor just want to eat and keep a roof over their heads. They don't hoard idle dollars in overseas bank accounts and pay fancy accountants to dodge tax obligations. Only the GREEDY RICH do that, and that's what's stuffing the nation.

    No, trickle down DOES NOT WORK. We've proved that conclusively. We've given the rich more and more and more and the poor have become poorer and unemployment has risen. The glass will never fill because the rich just keep demanding that another, larger glass be filled before anything is allowed to overflow.
    MICK
    3rd Aug 2017
    3:09pm
    Rainey: anybody who googles 'Trickle Down Economics' soon realises this is a scam because it works nowhere on the planet. The wealthy would be at the Club having a right royal laugh at the stupidity of ordinary citizens and how easily they are swayed with lies.
    Next one.....'Clean Coal'. I'd better not get started.
    Old Geezer
    3rd Aug 2017
    3:25pm
    Rainey You have got it the wrong way around we tax the rich more and more and give it to the poor more and more but it makes no difference. Reason is there are just too many bludgers and not enough people working to make trickle down economics work.
    Old Geezer
    3rd Aug 2017
    3:26pm
    Mick it's either a choice between clean coal or nuclear power so what's it to be?
    TREBOR
    3rd Aug 2017
    3:40pm
    Forgive heemie - he's a one trick phoney ...... (neat turn of phrase there).. who actually imagines Mick and I are Siamese twins.... what a joke....

    Bonny - 'trickle-down' does NOT work - if you reckon it does - where is our national 'trickle-down' from all those offshore corporations currently raping this nation?

    You are living in dreamland.... don't worry - you'll wake up soon and it will be a new day...
    Ausdigga
    2nd Aug 2017
    9:40pm
    As usual we have a politician promising something that they know they cannot deliver.
    MICK
    3rd Aug 2017
    8:58am
    That is a poor way to write off ANY politician who exposes a problem and says he is going to fix it. We both know the media will not relent on Labor if it does not dot every 'i' and cross every 't'.
    Delivering? Ask the PM about his NBN: cost more, does not work properly and totally butchered.

    3rd Aug 2017
    8:50am
    how about an enquiry into seniors who are; hoarding money so as to get the OAP; putting money into childrens' names; have bank accounts overseas etc.

    not much difference to my way of thinking.
    MICK
    3rd Aug 2017
    9:01am
    I have a bank account overseas Radish but the ATO has access to the details. Perhaps there are countries where the crooks can still stash their money (Switzerland?) and be invisible though.
    You cannot put sizeable amounts of money into a child's bank account either.
    Old Geezer
    3rd Aug 2017
    1:19pm
    Good idea Radish and that is already happening with bank notes being micro shipped to find out who is hording them.

    I could write a book on all the things people do with their money just to get the OAP. Some of the story I get told from Centrelink are very ingenious indeed.

    There is probably many times more money to be gained here than what they would get out of taxing trusts more.
    Old Geezer
    3rd Aug 2017
    1:19pm
    Good idea Radish and that is already happening with bank notes being micro shipped to find out who is hording them.

    I could write a book on all the things people do with their money just to get the OAP. Some of the story I get told from Centrelink are very ingenious indeed.

    There is probably many times more money to be gained here than what they would get out of taxing trusts more.
    TREBOR
    3rd Aug 2017
    3:48pm
    Hoarding money overseas....you may have a point....

    People putting money into children's accounts - already covered under 'gifting' rules....

    Mick - an Old Aussie, is honest about his overseas account - many a mama and-a papa from-a da old-a country no' have da same-a principles...

    Let us know when you have the solution to the owners of Mediterreanean seafront blocks of units who are copping OAP in Oz.... they're supposed to be declared items, but we all know ()wink, wink, nudge, nudge) how it's all-a done with blinds and cut-outs...

    Aussie's-a bloodeh stoopid, mete!

    Simple OG - accept the Trebor Benevolent Diktatorship Party policy and pay everyone the OAP, and tax all income, deemed income and fringe benefits over and above that at the income tax rates..... with close scrutiny of 'deductions'....

    that's bring your super fat cats to heell - no more free rides for Harry Fudger on the Fudger Airlines private jet... fringe benefit in retirement....

    If you're getting inside information from Colonel C'Link, OG - you are in breach of Federal law and are liable to two years imprisonment.....

    I may have, as a matter of honour, to report you to the Guv, and they can trace you through your internet connections.

    Not my problem... you brought it on yourself...
    Anonymous
    3rd Aug 2017
    11:17pm
    Radish, I agree, but once again its the HAVES rorting, stealing, and cheating. Not the have nots. They don't have to lie and cheat to get the OAP. And the more one has, the more - it seems - they feel entitled to cheat and steal.

    No, there wouldn't be a tiny fraction of the yield from attacking pensioners that can be achieved by killing of unjust tax reduction methods. It would be a drop in the bucket by comparison. There's over $3 billion being lost to tax reduction through trusts. Superannuation tax concessions cost more than the aged pension, and 80% of that money benefits the same greedy pigs who are using trusts and offshore accounts and ''grey area'' tax deductions to avoid paying their dues.

    And the simple fact is that if the aged pension were paid fairly and not designed as a punitive and suppressive measure, there would be no need for anyone to cheat and no benefit from doing so. Re-structure the pension system to be a help and not a punishment and you'll pretty much end the cheating once and for all.
    Anonymous
    3rd Aug 2017
    11:21pm
    I agree, Trebor. I think a formal complaint to Centrelink about OG's invasion of privacy and wrongful access to confidential information is in order. Nobody should be getting this kind of information from Centrelink, and both OG - and more so his informants in Centrelink - need to be dealt with. We simply cannot tolerate Centerlink employees exposing confidential information about clients. It's a serious offence by employees and one that should and does result in instant dismissal. Let's get rid of the worms!
    Old Geezer
    4th Aug 2017
    1:22pm
    Rainey as Clint Eastwood said "Go ahead and make my day".

    I certainly would get a good laugh out of your complaint so please humour me by sending me a copy.
    TREBOR
    5th Aug 2017
    1:41am
    Ah - so you admit you DON'T get privileged information from centrelink employees?

    Or are you just dreaming again?
    Anonymous
    5th Aug 2017
    10:32am
    Either he's complicit in illegal activities by Centrelink breaching peoples' privacy, Trebor, or he's an out and out liar. I wonder which?
    Old Geezer
    5th Aug 2017
    10:55am
    Just maybe it comes from people on welfare bragging about what they do to defraud Centrelink Rainey. It is not that hard to associate with such people who think you are one of them and they open up to you. I won't even bother talking about my welfare family and their antics who think work is a dirty word. Whatever they get enough is never enough.

    The stories these people tell are legendary.
    Anonymous
    6th Aug 2017
    7:22am
    And just maybe you are a liar, OG. Because you specifically referred to stories you hear from Centrelink employees.
    Erik Bloodaxe
    3rd Aug 2017
    12:29pm
    Family trusts have been in operation during my lifetime and my career started in a Chartered office in the 1950's. How come Shortar.. has now discovered this loophole in the tax laws when Labor obviously condoned such tax arrangements since the Curtin/Chifley/Calwell days.
    TREBOR
    3rd Aug 2017
    3:51pm
    Only when forced to the wall with a gun at their head do politicians ever do something about anything that is so blatantly obviously a rort, and you can fairly credit the online community and expanding knowledge in the electorate for that pressure beginning (sic) to be applied to the bellies of those bastards with the oxy torch they deserve.

    The internet and instant access to news and information and data are the politician's worst enemies...

    Keep them keystrokes coming.....

    3rd Aug 2017
    3:19pm
    823,448 trusts in Australia share assets of a staggering $3.1 trillion and revenue of $349.2 billion. 78% of those trusts are used by high income earners to split income among family members to reduce tax. You think this should be allowed to continue? Seriously? While one in four pensioners are living in poverty?
    Old Geezer
    3rd Aug 2017
    3:22pm
    So 3 out 4 pensioner live very well then. Interesting statistic Rainey.
    TREBOR
    3rd Aug 2017
    3:54pm
    Not 'live very well', OG - just 'not live in dire poverty'.

    You may stop grasping at semantic straws any time you wish - they won't keep you afloat, you know..

    BTW - you heard from government in-house security yet over your unlawful access to privileged information from Centrelink?

    I have an in-law who is a Deputy Commonwealth DPP, and HE can't access certain information without a court order.... (though he may think he can)...
    Old Geezer
    3rd Aug 2017
    3:56pm
    Rainey revenue can equate to a profit or a loss so revenue is not a good figure to use when looking at tax savings. So to me it means nothing without knowing what it cost to produce that revenue. I often laugh at those in internet marketing that state revenue figures without stating loss figures.

    Remember it is easy to have a revenue of $1 million just spend $2 million to get it.
    Old Geezer
    3rd Aug 2017
    4:02pm
    Go ahead Trebor see if you can find any leaks.
    Anonymous
    3rd Aug 2017
    11:07pm
    OG, you really are pathetic! Any BS will do to excuse the filthy dishonesty and immorality of the stinking rich cheats who are ruining this nation and you'll find any way possible to blame the victims of this vile behaviour. These high income earners wouldn't be using trusts if they weren't achieving major tax avoidance by doing so. That's the reason they operate that way. And most are in high-revenue service industries that have low operating costs.

    Why can't you deal in facts? Billions are being ripped out of our economy by tax avoidance, artificial tax reduction schemes, and grossly unfair tax legislation. Superannuation tax concessions cost more than the aged pension, and the benefit goes to the wealthy. The poor are actually penalised financially for contributing to super. Yet you then claim they should surrender the house they worked for decades to buy to repay a pension. Why shouldn't the rich have to repay their superannuation tax concessions? Why should the greedy be favoured and pampered and the needy abused?

    I will agree with you that there are rorts by the battlers. There are welfare cheats. Of course there are. But that's a result of the way the system is designed, and the nasty and cruel attacks you propose will make cheating 1000 times worse. When people are desperate, they cheat. When people suffer gross injustice, they seek ways to even the score a little. The rich just CHEAT AND STEAL. They are neither desperate nor victims of injustice. They are just SCUM. Not all, but those who engage in tax reduction or exploitation of others and those who justify such behaviour.

    Rupert Murdoch was widely applauded for saying people should minimize their tax because the government wastes money. That's a cop-out used by many rich. But it's a stinking greedy cop-out. Because regardless of how the government spends, someone has to foot the bill. For every cent the greedy rich avoid, someone with far less - maybe living in poverty - has to make up the difference. So what Murdoch is saying is that if the government isn't operating optimally, the poor should suffer and the rich should not.

    Bring on the changes you want to see, OG. Let's bring them on quickly. I can't wait for the day when the struggling majority have finally had enough and take a stand. I'm not among the battlers any more, but I'll stand beside them every inch of the way.
    Old Geezer
    4th Aug 2017
    1:40pm
    Rainey if the rich just cheat and steal why aren't they courts full of rich people instead of welfare people charged with stealing and fraud?

    What you are saying lacks a lot of sense I'm afraid.
    Anonymous
    5th Aug 2017
    10:30am
    Because the law is made by rich people for rich people, OG. It makes their cheating and stealing legal. And because they can afford fancy lawyers and accountants. It's you who makes no sense. Even the dumbest understand that money buys you favours under the law, and the poor are at a huge disadvantage.

    See, just for example - it's ''fraud'' to claim a pension Centrelink says isn't due to you (even if Centrelink is actually wrong - and they often are because they calculate incorrectly!) but it's not 'fraud'' to use a trust to claim unfair tax benefits on a high income by distributing it to lower income relatives who have nothing whatever to do with your income earning activity. Why is it not ''fraud''? Duh! Because the rich wrote the law to favour the rich. As is ALWAYS the case.
    Old Geezer
    5th Aug 2017
    11:00am
    Rainey as I have said before anyone can do what the so called rich do so I really can't see what you are on about.

    However if you don't learn the rules and play the game according to the rules and defraud Centrelink then that is inexcusable. That is outright fraud.

    What about all those who form partnerships and distribute income to all their relatives so one person does not have to pay tax on the lot? These are no different than trusts. How many wives are partners in businesses they never work in? A trust is just an incorporated form of a partnership with asset protection.
    Anonymous
    6th Aug 2017
    7:20am
    I agree a partnership an be just as dishonest as a trust, OG. That doesn't make either right. Nor does it change the fact that the rich have far more scope to defraud and cheat ''legally'' than the poor, because the rules are made by the rich for the rich.

    Apparently you still think as the British aristocracy did in the early 1700s - that if the wealthy cheat and defraud and exploit, that's their right, but if a poor man steals bread because he's starving, he should be fed to the wolves.

    You are a hypocrite and an arrogant and nasty egomaniacal SNOB, OG. And a blight on our society.
    Anonymous
    6th Aug 2017
    7:20am
    I agree a partnership an be just as dishonest as a trust, OG. That doesn't make either right. Nor does it change the fact that the rich have far more scope to defraud and cheat ''legally'' than the poor, because the rules are made by the rich for the rich.

    Apparently you still think as the British aristocracy did in the early 1700s - that if the wealthy cheat and defraud and exploit, that's their right, but if a poor man steals bread because he's starving, he should be fed to the wolves.

    You are a hypocrite and an arrogant and nasty egomaniacal SNOB, OG. And a blight on our society.
    Anonymous
    8th Aug 2017
    8:14pm
    tremor,[micky]
    you scathingly mentioned the bob menzies era, as I recall it we never had it so good in Australia at that time, we all had jobs, we all earned good wages or salaries, we all were able to buy a home, a car, remember cars were at least dubble the price as those of to-day, schools were free, schoolcamps, at least once a year, were free, women had a choice to work or stay at home and look after the kids instead of having to put them in childcare as is now the norm or if they are lucky give them to the grandparents to look after, migrants were only accepted when proved they would integrate and would work, not rely on the handouts of the government as is the norm to-day, to-days conditions began when the whitlam era started after knifing their leader Arthur Caldwell, a real man of the people, as is normal in the labor party, you may remember the tune played and sang by all those so called actors, artists, t.v personalities, very few have been heard of since, do gooders, those who never lived in the real world,"it is time", well it changed the face of Australia allright, within weeks and we are still trying to fix the mistakes of that era, parents now have to pay for their kids to go to school, their schoolcamps, house prices gone through the roof as is childcare, where mothers now work for nothing so they can pay for the care of their children, migrants entering Australia left right and centre, they, so called refugees,heaviest task is holding up their hand and our governments dropping in the money, yet our tremor[micky] still blames to-days government, it does not matter that under the last labor government rudd and gillard thousands of boat people arrived illegal, hundreds died at sea including kids, yet both or as I call them the siamese twin, same comments, same sequence, micky, trebor, micky, trebor, their only intention is to spread the labor message which is their right if it being the truth which is furthest of their small mind, as for an apology of me to you, you must have your head right up your a..., then again that is where it is most of the time!
    Anonymous
    8th Aug 2017
    8:14pm
    tremor,[micky]
    you scathingly mentioned the bob menzies era, as I recall it we never had it so good in Australia at that time, we all had jobs, we all earned good wages or salaries, we all were able to buy a home, a car, remember cars were at least dubble the price as those of to-day, schools were free, schoolcamps, at least once a year, were free, women had a choice to work or stay at home and look after the kids instead of having to put them in childcare as is now the norm or if they are lucky give them to the grandparents to look after, migrants were only accepted when proved they would integrate and would work, not rely on the handouts of the government as is the norm to-day, to-days conditions began when the whitlam era started after knifing their leader Arthur Caldwell, a real man of the people, as is normal in the labor party, you may remember the tune played and sang by all those so called actors, artists, t.v personalities, very few have been heard of since, do gooders, those who never lived in the real world,"it is time", well it changed the face of Australia allright, within weeks and we are still trying to fix the mistakes of that era, parents now have to pay for their kids to go to school, their schoolcamps, house prices gone through the roof as is childcare, where mothers now work for nothing so they can pay for the care of their children, migrants entering Australia left right and centre, they, so called refugees,heaviest task is holding up their hand and our governments dropping in the money, yet our tremor[micky] still blames to-days government, it does not matter that under the last labor government rudd and gillard thousands of boat people arrived illegal, hundreds died at sea including kids, yet both or as I call them the siamese twin, same comments, same sequence, micky, trebor, micky, trebor, their only intention is to spread the labor message which is their right if it being the truth which is furthest of their small mind, as for an apology of me to you, you must have your head right up your a..., then again that is where it is most of the time!

    3rd Aug 2017
    5:34pm
    sorry trebor if I upset you by not coupling your name with that of labor mickey, however we all know you as the siamese twins in these columns being the same person, one moment signed labor micky next it is trebor, who else could come up with the same inane comments?
    TREBOR
    5th Aug 2017
    1:45am
    Not one iota of sense in anything you say.. Mick often has different views from mine.... you need to do your reading more and open your mind more...

    You seem - like ever so many - to mistake middle of the road people with a genuine interest in the well-being of all for some kind of lunatic commo - well, son - take a good look at Bob Menzies before you open that trapdoor in the floor you fall through every time.

    An apology couched in such weasel terms cannot be accepted - sorry 'bout that.

    'we all'? Now you're dreaming..... go back to sleep...
    LiveItUp
    6th Aug 2017
    10:51am
    Bill Shortens Equality Tax: Suppose that every day, ten men go out for beer and the bill for all ten comes to $100. If they paid their bill the way we pay our taxes, it would go something like this:
    The first four men (the poorest) would pay nothing.
    The fifth would pay $1.
    The sixth would pay $3.
    The seventh would pay $7.
    The eighth would pay $12.
    The ninth would pay $18.
    The tenth man (the richest) would pay $59.
    So, that's what they decided to do. The ten men drank in the bar every day and seemed quite happy with the arrangement, until one day, the owner threw them a curve ball. “Since you are all such good customers," he said, "I'm going to reduce the cost of your daily beer by $20". So drinks for the ten men would now cost just $80.
    The group still wanted to pay their bill the way we pay our taxes. So the first four men were unaffected. They would still drink for free. But what about the other six men? How could they divide the $20 windfall so that everyone would get his fair share?
    They realized that $20 divided by six is $3.33. But if they subtracted that from everybody's share, the fifth and sixth man would each end up being paid to drink his beer.
    So, the bar owner suggested that it would be fair to reduce each man's bill by a higher percentage the poorer he was, to follow the principle of the tax system they had been using, and he proceeded to work out the amounts he suggested that each should now pay:
    The fifth man, like the first four, now paid nothing (100% saving).
    The sixth now paid $2 instead of $3 (33% saving).
    The seventh now paid $5 instead of $7 (28% saving).
    The eighth now paid $9 instead of $12 (25% saving).
    The ninth now paid $14 instead of $18 (22% saving).
    The tenth now paid $49 instead of $59 (16% saving).
    Each of the six was better off than before. And the first four continued to drink for free. But, once outside the bar, the men began to compare their savings. "I only got a dollar out of the $20 saving," declared the sixth man. He pointed to the tenth man, "but he got $10!”
    "Yeah, that's right," exclaimed the fifth man. "I only saved a dollar too. It's unfair that he received ten times more benefit than me!"
    "That's true!" shouted the seventh man. "Why should he get $10 back, when I got only $2? “The wealthy get all the breaks!"
    "Wait a minute" yelled the first four men in unison, "We didn't get anything at all. This new system exploits the poor!"
    The nine men surrounded the tenth and beat him up.
    The next night the tenth man didn't show up for drinks, so the nine sat down and had their beers without him. But when it came time to pay the bill, they discovered they didn't have enough money between all of them for even half the bill!
    And that, boys and girls, journalists and government ministers, is how our tax system works. The people who already pay the highest taxes will naturally get the most benefit from a tax reduction. Tax them too much, attack them for being wealthy, and they just may not show up anymore. In fact, they might start drinking overseas, where the atmosphere is somewhat friendlier.
    For those who understand, no explanation is needed. For those who do not understand, no explanation is possible.
    Anonymous
    7th Aug 2017
    10:55am
    No explanation is possible because only an ignorant selfish fool equates our progressive tax system to buying a consumable product. Progressive taxation was created to balance the exploitation and unfair distribution of resources that is required to keep a capitalist economy functioning and society healthy. The problem now is that the selfish privileged have concocted one device after another to eliminate the benefits of progressive taxation and STEAL from the less fortunate. And now that the selfish greedy privileged have totally corrupted the progressive tax system, they will make up any BS to try to justify doing so.

    We all understand that the unconscionable self-serving greedy think because they pay tax they should be able to have it all handed back to them, and they should use resources for free and exploit the poor for their benefit and PAY NOTHING toward maintaining a decent society. The problem is that society can't survive on those terms.

    Actually, it would be wonderful if the selfish greedy rich buggered off. They seem to think they are needed for some reason. News flash! It would be a better country without them. The sooner they decide not to show up anymore, the better for everyone.
    Old Geezer
    7th Aug 2017
    11:02am
    What is there not to understand?

    Nay Rainey you just don't get it at all and so are in the category where no explanation is possible.
    Anonymous
    8th Aug 2017
    3:34am
    Oh I get it, OG. Rich greedy pigs will use any crap to excuse their greed, and expect the less advantaged to be stupid enough to swallow it.
    Robin7
    8th Aug 2017
    11:04am
    Rainey, don't bother friend, OG and Bonny are hard core Right Wing.

    You could prove your point with Pure Logic and Irrefutable Evidence, but if it goes against their belief system they will always claim "Fake News",
    and if that fails then they insult your intelligence.
    Old Geezer
    8th Aug 2017
    10:25pm
    I gather from you comments Robin7 you don't understand either. That a problem with people these days if they don't understand someone's ideas they attack them with criticism. I agree it does insult your lack of intelligence by doing this.
    Robin7
    8th Aug 2017
    10:52am
    George hit the solution "A simple Minimum Tax should apply to all Individuals and companies on Gross Income without deductions, otherwise there will always be loopholes".

    With the amount of money moving around the Australian Economy a Simple Tax Rate of 5% on Gross would return revenue to Government similar to that taken by all the current taxes, levies and excises that currently exist.
    This "Simple Tax" would replace all other taxes.
    Any business that cannot afford to pay 5% of Gross as Tax (as the Only Tax) is obviously never going to survive.
    Robin7
    8th Aug 2017
    11:07am
    and just to be clear, Wage Earners would pay the 5% as well.
    LiveItUp
    8th Aug 2017
    7:44pm
    Nearly every service station and trucking company would not survive. High turnover low proft margin businesses would be no more. Do you really want to live in such a country?
    Anonymous
    8th Aug 2017
    8:25pm
    bonny it is impossible to attempt to put brains in a labor cloned robot