Should Australia introduce an inheritance tax?

Inheritance tax crucial to easing the nation’s growing wealth inequality.

The key to tackling Australia’s rising wealth inequality and helping middle-income Australians afford their own homes is an inheritance tax – so says a leading economist.

French economist Professor Thomas Piketty, who has earned himself the title of ‘rockstar economist’, told Lateline that Australia’s property tax system is not equitable and it’s making it nearly impossible for middle-income Australians to buy their own homes.

He suggested an inheritance tax would ease the nation’s growing wealth inequality.

Stating his concern about the dangers of allowing a concentration of wealth to remain in the hands of a small number of people, Professor Piketty said it would not be simply “to raise tax for the pleasure of raising tax".

“The objective must be to reduce taxes for others and in particular for those with middle wages and lower wages.”

Australia, he said, was an outlier because its government did not impose taxes on those who have been bequeathed multi-million dollar properties. Whereas government in the US, Europe and Japan apply taxes of between 40 and 45 per cent to the same after-tax gifts.

According to Professor Piketty’s book, Capital in the 21st Century, which charts the progression of global wealth inequality throughout history, the three richest Australians are in possession of more wealth than the one million poorest.

The largest share of Australia’s national income is going to the top 10 per cent of people, making it considerably more challenging for the younger generation of Australians to own property than it was for their parents about 20 or 30 years ago.

Data shows that the top 10 per cent also happens to be comprised of mostly older Australians.

What do you think? Would an inheritance tax in Australia ease wealth inequality? Can you think of other ways the Government could make housing more affordable?

Read more at abc.net.au

Read more at acoss.org.au

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    COMMENTS

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    Captain
    26th Oct 2016
    9:13am
    Where do you start? Do you tax the children of a pensioner who bought a house in a shabby suburb 50 years ago and then see it become a fashionable suburb where the property is now worth millions? There would not be much else to tax.

    Will the top 10% have to pay the tax? I doubt it as most of their assets will be tied up in Trusts.
    So that leaves the great unwashed to fund an Inheritance Tax.

    Mal/Bill start looking now!!!
    tactful
    26th Oct 2016
    10:57am
    I expect to pay an inheritance tax and this is as it should be. My parents were encouraged to spend their money on themselves as we adult children could fend for ourselves.
    Why should I get a cash hand out and not pay tax on it I am for a 15% inheritance tax.
    I also believe that money we win should be taxed at 5% of the total amount.
    Legislation can be written to include all types of trusts and have them subject to inheritance tax as well.
    Rae
    26th Oct 2016
    11:13am
    Or you could just have a 1% transaction tax and everyone pay it. The wealthy who transact more and the corporations that transact in the billions would simply pay their share.

    No need for any other taxes.

    No tax deductions needed.
    Old Geezer
    26th Oct 2016
    12:44pm
    Rae a transaction tax is a GST on steroids and will bring the economy to it's knees very quickly as the transfer of money stops. That's is what caused the GFC.
    Rae
    26th Oct 2016
    1:34pm
    Why would a dollar cost on every hundred stop money transfers OG when there are no other taxes at all and you have all that extra to play with.

    The only people it would hurt are those diddling their taxes, claiming fancy cars and flights and stuff and numerous tax deductions.

    Yes all those not paying tax would be upset but the 83% of overseas owners would still want to take the money home and would have to pay 1% to do it.

    The banks wouldn't care they'd just up the fees and charges.

    I'd pay a bit more as an investor and I suppose so would you but gee wouldn't it be worth it to stop the slow train wreck currently taking place.
    Old Geezer
    26th Oct 2016
    1:44pm
    With interest rates so low the retirees with lazy investments (bank deposits) will be slogged 1% every time they transfer their money into a better investments. That's where it will really hurt.
    motaleon
    26th Oct 2016
    3:59pm
    Rubbish. The government is supposed to be encouraging people to SAVE. This is not the way to provide encouragememt. Our massive debt is due to overspending by everybody on everything. We should save - but not to provide a milking cow for spendthrift governments
    Old Geezer
    26th Oct 2016
    4:01pm
    I wouldn't be able to survive as an investor with a 1% transaction tax as I would not make enough money to cover it.
    Kaz
    26th Oct 2016
    5:41pm
    What rubbish tactful - my dad paid tax on money before he paid for his mortgage and if he leaves it to us, it's from something that was hard earned and paid for with after tax income!
    maxchugg
    27th Oct 2016
    10:29am
    Captain and Kaz, you are both right. Tax was paid on the money that parents used to build their estate. An inheritance tax would be double dipping by the government.

    And where does this stop? If you have to pay tax on an inheritance, should you also have to declare the value of birthday and Christmas presents each year and add that to your taxable income?

    The poor would pay, the wealthy would swim free with the aid of their tax minimization experts.
    WTF
    26th Oct 2016
    10:08am
    Here's a novel suggestion.... perhaps crack down on tax evaders (pay their fair share) whilst alive rather than make a grab for accumulated wealth after death. The super wealthy will remain untouched I guess leaving the masses to have their bones picked clean in the after life. Might have to consider 'gifting' of any accumulated wealth rather than bequeathing.
    Franky
    26th Oct 2016
    10:17am
    Simple, we don't need any more taxes, we need less government! Inequality is created by government policies which in turn are pushed onto them by their masters, the multinational corporations. We need to look at the big picture and go to the cause of inequality.
    hmmm
    26th Oct 2016
    10:28am
    right on Frank
    Merri
    26th Oct 2016
    11:31am
    I agree with you Franky
    Johno
    26th Oct 2016
    10:27am
    The wealthy and their accountants will find a way around this as well!!
    Gunner
    26th Oct 2016
    10:50am
    Correct!
    particolor
    26th Oct 2016
    11:59am
    Even More Correct !
    Pass the Ductape
    26th Oct 2016
    3:57pm
    Ditto!
    Lescol
    26th Oct 2016
    10:32am
    Surely this is yet another 'thought bubble' from vested interests who'd rather not pay tax! Perhaps if a universal, non means test, old age pension was introduced this could become a concept that was acceptable to the people most effected. cheers
    Brissiegirl
    26th Oct 2016
    11:53am
    The squillions of money they waste figuring out and implementing how to scrounge an extra $2 per fortnight out of "eligible pensioners" would be negated if everyone received a universal pension, no questions asked.A massive bureaucracy with its costly upkeep would then be re-directed to far better use.
    particolor
    26th Oct 2016
    12:02pm
    Bravo !! But it wont Happen !! It'll cost too many Jobs for the Boys :-( :-(
    Anonymous
    26th Oct 2016
    2:59pm
    Brissiegirl, what do you mean by "massive bureaucracy? Only a couple of days ago we were complaining that Centrelink had been gutted and we needed a much larger bureaucracy to help with the long lines of people on the 'phone, online and in a real Centrelink office.
    Brissiegirl
    26th Oct 2016
    4:22pm
    Hi Old Man,
    Centrelink is indeed a massive bureaucracy supported by dozens of linked departments and departmental branches that serve the costly purpose of chasing people down in case they don't declare every cent, don't report their movements etc. etc. Just because we know they don't answer the phone in a timely manner doesn't mean it's an efficiently scaled department.

    26th Oct 2016
    10:48am
    This bloody government is taking as much as they can and doing sod-all for it than any other government in history. Turncoat is an egotistic incompetent who is struggling with everything he "attempts" to do or "must" do with the title of PM otherwise he would do nothing but jet around for free and continue to prattle senselessly like he has done since he stabbed Abbott in the back. This inept plodder/plotter is bringing this country to it's knees. His pro-wealthy policies and super and tax "reforms" (HA!) which penalise the retirees and young generations whilst letting his fats mates and politicians fill their pockets with taxpayers' dollars are exacerbating the country's financial straits and creating further divisions between the haves and have-nots. WHY CAN HE NOT SEE THIS?! NO, we DON'T need MORE taxes!!!!
    Brissiegirl
    26th Oct 2016
    1:49pm
    I have nothing against wealthy people, in fact Kevin Rudd was the richest man ever to grace our parliament. However, none of his wealth made up for his inept managerial skills and propensity to back-stab. As well, Malcolm Turncoat should take notice of the petition going around asking for him to lead by example and share some of the "diversity" that consecutive governments have forced down the necks of a population that was never asked if "diversity" is an acceptable and meaningful policy. The petition is asking that Turnbull good-heartedly demonstrate his love of diversity by instituting a policy that re-locates a large proportion of "refugees" into his own suburb.Then we'll all see how much he enjoys "diversity" (which imo is a word derived from "division").
    Anonymous
    26th Oct 2016
    3:35pm
    More likely "diversion" or "deviation".
    ianjs
    26th Oct 2016
    3:50pm
    Did you really just suggest that diversity is divisive? Isn't it the exact opposite of that?
    Brissiegirl
    26th Oct 2016
    4:31pm
    ianjs, imo cultural diversity equates to the growth of cultural groupings that are supposed to co-exist alongside a host culture and preferably, assimilate into an adopted environment. Those who sing the praises of "diversity" obviously don't live in areas where Australians/western citizens are no longer welcome, mostly because the areas in question have been "diversified". Whatever the real meaning of the word, whenever I hear people like Turnbull from Point Piper raving on about diversity in the context of cultures, it reminds me of the big divided cities of Europe and the difficulties they are now enduring as a result of politicians (like Turnbull) who think the public actually enjoys and believes that oil and water will, sooner or later, become one. History now shows that cultural "diversity" has been a failed experiment.
    Anonymous
    26th Oct 2016
    5:56pm
    Probably way off topic but just to answer part of Brissiegirl's post. I blame Grassby for a lot of the problems with migrants. Before he copied the word "multiculturalism", Australia was classified as a "cosmopolitan" society. Loosely defined, cosmopolitan means that we all bring our cultures together to make one society whereas multicultural means that those arriving can keep their own culture without necessarily taking up any of the existing culture.
    Anonymous
    27th Oct 2016
    1:07am
    Grassby was chumby with his Mafia mates and cleared the way for them to come into the country. Turncoat hosted a dinner for radical Muslim mates. Any difference? I think not.
    Gunner
    26th Oct 2016
    10:49am
    So many Taxes on the people...I would really like to see a list of ALL Taxes, duty, levies and excise etc. currently alive and operating in Australia today. Then the % per dollar/rate imposed for each of those Taxes.
    Just think how vibrant our economy could be if the Governments reduced the amount they greedily take, take, take and still want more, more, more.
    Rae
    26th Oct 2016
    11:16am
    Yes Gunner and because of it millions of people would rather lose money each year speculating and gambling than make money and pay tax on it. It's bizarre but true.
    Keith
    26th Oct 2016
    10:59am
    This has always been on the cards. The gubberment bean counters know what demographic the money's held in. When the baby boomers start falling off their perch there will be buckets of "bugs bunny" in expensive real estate and investment funds up for grabs.

    If that above article is correct , could you imagine what a 40% to 50% slice of that wealth would do to the gubberment deficit. AND Given that most of the baby boomers will all start "carking it" at a similar rate to how we got here......it's no brainer for a treasurer knowing that the bulk of the nations wealth is held in that demographic. It would be a cash cow income stream for life.

    I'm already gifting cash and setting up assetts and investments to sidestep that issue. I don't want 40/50 % of my hard earned ( that's already been taxed) given away as foreign aid to corrupt countries or wasted like the many gubberment programmes we've already got.

    Death and taxes huh. It's a good game they've got. You pay around 35% of what you earn through your working life, with the GST you kick in another 10% as your spend it, plus stamp duties , levies, licence fees etc etc ...and then when you cark it..this rock star economist reckons another 40/50% thrown in at the finish is a good idea.

    If my dodgy maths are correct , that leaves about 5% for the punter.. Ya know what they say, we come into the world with nothing and go with nothing. No pockets in a shroud.
    tactful
    26th Oct 2016
    11:01am
    Our wealthy use our current tax laws to their benefit, I have no problem with that. Be honest if you had wealth wouldn't you have you accountant do whatever he could to minimise the level of tax you pay, of course you would. Your just jealous, I bet you wouldn't put in the hours needed to create the level of wealth those who are filthy rich do and have done.
    We can all be wealthy, we just need to stop buying rubbish, giving handouts to family without getting repaid etc.
    It would be fantastic if the taxation system was overhauled all loop holes closed up tighter than a fishes bum, then hit the corporate world to pay their fair share of tax.
    particolor
    26th Oct 2016
    12:12pm
    As Head of Dept. I'll get my Assistant and his Assistants on to that Immediately ! After I hire some Advisers and Law Firms of choice to Assist :-)
    MICK
    26th Oct 2016
    11:09am
    So here it comes. Close to the highest aggregate tax rates on the planet and here comes an Inheritance Tax. What have I been saying.
    I would have no problem with the above if rich folk were restrained from setting up ways to avoid an inheritance tax and if a threshold where this cut in was set. Say $4 million. And this was unable to be avoided with clever accounting and lawyers.
    The last thing we want to see is average citizens paying the next tax impost so that governments can squander even more of our money and pass on ever increasing tax cuts to the big end of town. That would be the reality no matter how the bastards dressed this up and sold it to the mentally challenged public.
    Anonymous
    26th Oct 2016
    3:31pm
    How true Mick. I find it amusing that the average taxpayer can get investigated up to 7 previous years yet a bankrupt does not have to explain why all of the assets went to family members weeks before the bankruptcy. We need laws that are consistent because it seems that those with huge assets get a different treatment.
    ianjs
    26th Oct 2016
    3:38pm
    Not true. They are on to that little scam and, while you take a punt and try it on, there's no guarantee they won't come after assets transferred to family members:

    http://www.smh.com.au/business/if-creditors-should-come-knocking--20120622-20tvi.html
    Anonymous
    26th Oct 2016
    4:03pm
    Thanks ianjs, on reading the article I think it reinforces my comment. If a bankrupt was solvent at the time of gifting, it's nearly impossible to reverse the transfer. As well, it refers to the difficulty in proving the intent of transfers. I agree with you that something is being done and there are some laws in place to expedite these matters but more needs to be done.
    ianjs
    26th Oct 2016
    11:25am
    Typically an Inheritance Tax (if you go by the USA as an example) is only on the amount over a large base level (over $5M in the US) so it is hardly likely to affect the average punter - you can have a $5M estate and pay no tax at all.

    Spouses are usually exempt as well, so it's hard to argue that this would be unfair.

    The devil would be in the details of course, and sure, the wealthy will work on ways to dodge it but seems to be a good way to get the top end to pay a share without hitting battlers as well.

    Unless, of course, you are going to argue that ALL taxes are evil, in which case I assume you wouldn't drive on the roads or attend a public hospital.
    ozrog
    26th Oct 2016
    11:41am
    The wealthy would find a way round it and the less well of would suffer.
    ianjs
    26th Oct 2016
    11:45am
    Are you saying no one would ever pay the tax?

    If so (unlikely as that would be) then nothing changes and the whole exercise was just a waste of time.

    If not, then there's some tax revenue they don't have to gouge the less well off for.

    Sounds like a win to me.
    Not Senile Yet!
    26th Oct 2016
    11:47am
    Professor Thomas Piketty.....from France no less....Rock Star Economist????
    And just Who invited him here to speak out in Favour......sell this Propaganda.....of this absurd money grab?
    Do some research like a proper Journalist/Reporter....find out some Facts!
    Who is paying him and why to sell failed Policies that are easily avoided by the Wealthy but catch the 90% that already paid tax on their Assets????
    Is their a connection to the Liberal Party? Is he a member of a similar Party Financed Think Tank in France?
    What Australia needs is to get just 10% Tax from ALL CORPORATIONS that currently pay NO TAX!
    To do so is not Hard.....make them register the ABN in their Own Company name.....Not create a new one owned by the Parent Company Overseas.....then Tie 10% Tax to each years Gross Profits BEFORE IT LEAVES AUSTRALIA.....NO TAX PAID....CANCELLATION OF ABN.....then Sue them for breach of contact!
    The ATO can do all of this if they simply Stop Sacking Staff and Cutting their Funding!
    Alternatively.....refuse to make the GST Tax deductible for ALL Businesses with more than $500 thousand Annual Turnover......and then they have to pay just like the rest of us!
    Merri
    26th Oct 2016
    11:48am
    Tell Professor Picketty to go help the European countries to get out of debt and pay their fair share of taxes. Australians pay more than enough taxes already. The only reason young people can't get into a home is they expect to have the home of their dreams first up instead of starting out small and what guarantee do we have the taxes raised will reach the right hands. The Government waists too much already.
    Gra
    26th Oct 2016
    11:59am
    I think Rae might be on to something. A 1 percent transaction tax on every transaction (or transactions over say $200 or some other small amount), with no tax deductions for anyone, any corporation, any NGO or church or anything, might go a long way to solving things.
    Old Geezer
    26th Oct 2016
    12:43pm
    That's a GST on steroids and will stop the transfer of money in it's tracks. That is a recipe for disaster.
    Anonymous
    30th Oct 2016
    7:53pm
    Oh dear, we can't introduce a tax that would hurt Old Geezer. Grind struggling retirees into poverty by denying them a needed and earned pension until their savings evaporate, but don't touch those with greater wealth.
    Knight Templar
    26th Oct 2016
    12:04pm
    The assumption that an inheritance tax would ease wealth inequality is totally implausible. The taxes collected would disappear into consolidated revenue and it is unlikely that any government would solely use (if at all) such a benefit to reduce taxes for middle and lower income earners. It would be preferable for the Federal Government to adjust the tax scales to ensure incremental wage increases for lower paid workers are not absorbed by higher tax rates.
    Phil1943
    26th Oct 2016
    12:28pm
    "Rockstar Economist" my backside. If the objective is to reduce taxes, an inheritance tax affects everybody, whether their assets are in property, shares or some other form. It is truly a tax for the 'pleasure' of raising tax'. And for those in the upper brackets it's going to be an easy tax to avoid, as other comments have correctly stated. Do we really need more taxes on 'the masses' or should we concentrate our thinking on getting every entity, business or individual, to pay their fair share and not be capable of avoidance via means such as trusts or manipulation like transfer pricing? Back to France M. Piketty. You might have some suggestions to help your own countrymen with their economic problems but you don't have anything to offer Australia.
    Keith
    26th Oct 2016
    12:52pm
    Yeah..ha ha, he might have a solution to how Paris is going to deal with the 7000 Syrian & afghan asylum seekers that were thrown out of the "Calais jungle" this morning. The bulldozers, water cannons & sledgehammers have just gone through it.
    Radish
    26th Oct 2016
    12:47pm
    No more bloody taxes. Paid enough and still pay! It will never happen; will be a brave government who tries to bring it in.
    Old Geezer
    26th Oct 2016
    1:12pm
    With low interest rates it will cost more to transfer your money into a high yielding account that you will get in interest. That's how silly a transaction tax really is.
    Rae
    26th Oct 2016
    1:48pm
    But you won't pay other taxes OG so you save on GST and rates and every other levy.

    No point trying to get interest anyway at the moment.

    They have broken the dollar and all bets are off.

    How would you get the very wealthy and corporations to contribute a fair share towards the communities they make money from?
    Old Geezer
    26th Oct 2016
    1:52pm
    Many self funded retirees now pay none or very little tax so every time they deposits their divie cheques or change their investments they will get taxed. A very big backward step for retirees.

    If you think GST is bad a transaction tax is GST on steroids.
    Dancing Queen
    26th Oct 2016
    1:12pm
    A lot of us are getting pension from our Super Funds. If we die the money from this fund going to our children or whoever; will have to pay 15% tax on this anyway. I agree with "Captain" about the wealthy hiding their assets in Trusts. So with that and super fund inheritance paying tax already; what's the point unless someone is sitting on an absolute fortune of money in the bank.
    KSS
    26th Oct 2016
    1:12pm
    So an inheritance tax levied to provide more welfare. This coming from a Frenchman from a country where renting is the norm not home ownership!

    And In the UK where there is an inheritance tax applied to everyone (and it includes everything the deceased owned including clothes and household goods), it has done absolutely nothing to improve housing affordability.
    Not a Bludger
    26th Oct 2016
    1:13pm
    There is a host of world renowned economists who state that Pickett is wrong and is just another left wing economist - he is French,after all.

    But "dear Lord" - yet another rentseeker trying to get into my hardearned and give it to the undeserving.

    Can we not stop reporting this latte sipping c--p - or at least report it in a comparative context.
    Old Geezer
    26th Oct 2016
    1:14pm
    Anyone of the OAP pension should have to pay anything they received in welfare back to the government after they die. That's the sort of inheritance tax that would make sense.
    Rae
    26th Oct 2016
    1:58pm
    I'd like to extend that to having all tax concessions paid back as well. Lot's of super funds get huge tax concessions and that is a type of welfare.

    And if we could get it back from businesses and corporations at some point that would be great as well.

    Or maybe pay people enough so they don't need welfare. Low incomes is basically a form of welfare for business owners who want more money for themselves so pay less to workers and have done for decades now.

    It is indeed a tricky thing when you change the words from Social Security to welfare. Welfare can include money from taxpayers given to individuals and businesses in any number of ways.

    Including for fancy cars and flights at the pointy end of planes and all sorts of stuff like baby sitters etc.

    Even negative gearing money could be paid back from deceased estates. You could go on and on.
    Old Geezer
    26th Oct 2016
    3:31pm
    Would you buy a rental property without negative gearing and other concessions? I certainly would not as there is little profit in it with all the concessions. Take them away and it's not worth while.
    Eddy
    26th Oct 2016
    4:03pm
    I hesitate to write this OG but I tend to agree with you that OAP be repaid out of a deceased estate. It does not seem unreasonable for the assets accumulated in a lifetime be used to fund retirement.
    My suggestion is that OAP and other social security benefits received be considered a loan and should be paid back at some time, but most usually on death. Currently the main beneficiaries of the OAP are the persons who inherit a deceased OAP's estate. Suggestion: all monies received as a social security benefit become a charge on the individuals assets; no interest is levied by the government, only the actual cash value: where one partner OAP outlives the other the liability of the deceased is transferred to the surviving partner: any surplus is distributed as per the deceased will: any shortfall be written off.
    If the inheritors of a deceased OAP wish to retain the family home then they have the option of paying out the debt themselves or purchasing the home at reasonable market value.
    Rae
    26th Oct 2016
    5:04pm
    Yes I would OG because the best way to build up a property portfolio is through buying positively geared rentals that pay for themselves and a bit extra to go towards the capital outlay.

    I hate investments that lose capital.

    I'd much rather make money and pay tax believe it or not.

    I know that isn't normal as most people hate tax so much they would rather lose money but there you have it.
    Old Geezer
    26th Oct 2016
    5:19pm
    I like negative geared properties with positive cashflow. You don't lose money on these types of property investments.

    However in the current market it is difficult to buy anything that returns more than bank interest. So it is simply not worth the extra hassle with tenants and agents when I can get more out of a lazy bank investment.
    Eddy
    26th Oct 2016
    7:19pm
    Rae and OG,can we get back to inheritance tax and debate negative gearing elsewhere.
    Anonymous
    30th Oct 2016
    8:04pm
    The extent of greed reflected here is mind-boggling. Thanks, Rae, for pointing out that low wages are ''welfare'. Only the most selfish and arrogant greedy mongrels would suggest that those who have been exploited and deprived throughout their lives should ''repay'' the miserable pension paid to them in their old age after their death, while the greedy privileged bastards who exploit, plunder, and consume a grossly unfair share of natural resources claim superiority and the right to retain their ill-gotten gains. Since a huge proportion of those who don't need a pension profited from various forms of theft, fraud, exploiting the less privileged, and cheating on taxes, I think it's past time to reform the tax and pension system and introduce fairness, decency and some plain common sense for a change. Past time for bastards to learn some respect for the hard- working persecuted battlers who made the cozy lives of the priviledged possible.
    HarrysOpinion
    26th Oct 2016
    1:34pm
    If such taxes are imposed and an offset is created by lowering income tax so that today's middle income workers can afford to buy their own home simply creates a revolving vicious circle. The properties they will purchase today will increase in future value so how will this help the future generations of workers to buy their own home in 30-40 years time? The taxes collected would disappear into consolidated revenue and it is unlikely that any government would solely use (if at all) such a benefit to reduce taxes for middle and lower income earners. Besides, the state governments wouldn't allow the federal government to benefit from death and inheritance taxes in their states, the states would want it all for themselves and since the federal government is in charge of all income tax there would not be any offset to reduce income tax for anyone. The only weapon the federal government has to negotiate with the states is the distribution of GST. A vicious circle to nowhere!
    Anonymous
    26th Oct 2016
    2:54pm
    I agree HS and I offer as evidence the petrol tax which, when originally imposed, was to be used fully for road building and maintenance. Only about 20% of petrol tax is used for those purposes today.

    26th Oct 2016
    2:06pm
    Call me old fashioned but I do recall Australia, both federally and state, used to have death duties. This sounds suspiciously like death duties reincarnated with a friendlier name. I recall a government being elected with a promise to not introduce any more taxes or increase existing taxes and then promptly increase the tax on alcohol. Their excuse was that it wasn't a tax but it was an excise.

    I object to this suggestion for a number of reasons, the main one being that we bought our house with after tax funds and to reintroduce death duties (or whatever the government thinks it will name it) is virtually double taxing me on past income.
    ianjs
    26th Oct 2016
    2:15pm
    Isn't the government taxing the (assumed) growth in value of your property in this case?

    Seems fair enough given that:

    1) You won't be paying it unless your property is worth millions ie you are one of the Filthy Rich Bastards everyone complains don't get taxed

    2) You'll be dead, so you'll care even less.
    Lescol
    26th Oct 2016
    3:08pm
    This matter is nothing more than a right wing think grab: its got nothing to do with housing equality. In fact it is rather absurd when you think of it. I believe it's little better than a thought bubble and its akin to someone sipping the kool-aid! Reality check; just how many young-ins are into negative gearing? I find that the really scary part; they are feathering their own retirement nest as the government has refused to promote same. cheers
    Sundays
    26th Oct 2016
    4:29pm
    My aunt was left almost penniless in the early 70s when we still had death duties. My uncle being old fashioned had the house in his name only and death duties had to be paid. Other than a revenue raising exercise I can't see how this would help housing affordability. Saying something will work doesn't make it real!
    monette
    26th Oct 2016
    2:56pm
    Taxing inheritances would more than likely just line the pockets of the politicians. There has to be a way for the average Australian to buy their own home other than this.
    Nomad1946
    26th Oct 2016
    4:36pm
    Maybe Frenchie could just shut his mouth and stay in France along with his Socialist ideas ... We have no time for Ineot Socialist ideas or doctrines.
    HDRider
    26th Oct 2016
    9:04pm
    What a great Idea, a frog comes here and says Japan the US and Europe do it, so should we! I suggest he go somewhere else with his stupid ideas to make money from selling books. We DO NOT need such a tax and we do not need outsiders telling us what we need. What we need is a dam govt that is capable of governing with a sound economic policy.
    Macca
    26th Oct 2016
    9:47pm
    My Pop came out of the depression with nothing.He lost his land and had his wage halfed.If nMaccaot for Jack Lang laws passed he would not have been able to secure £800.00 pounds for the sale of his land.He then gave my father this money in order to buy his first home after the 2nd world war .Aged 33 my dadwith family plus Pop we struggled but we were never without food and love.When my cousins needed a home because of circumstances they also moved in.Forty years later and now they have passed away I was Bequeathed about $100000.00 from estate between sisters.This amount is not life changing to me but a legacy my parents wanted me have and pass down.It recongnises family struggles hard work,going without etc to succeed. Iwish the same for my daughter and grandchildren.I hope that on our death that what my wife and I leave will help to secure their futures and not be used by govt to spend wiily nilly or squandered. ,Macca
    Blossom
    26th Oct 2016
    10:15pm
    In SA we pay probate duty.
    I know one lady who because of the fees charged by the Public Trustee actually had no option but to sell the house she had lived in and cared for her Mum in for many years who otherwise would have lived in a nursing home for about 5 years and the Govt. subsidised her fees...The lady had to sell it to pay the fees. Add 15% Inheritance Tax and she had ended up in debt.
    Macca
    26th Oct 2016
    10:39pm
    Blossom. What a joke? Not right not fair not ????
    Rosret
    27th Oct 2016
    9:58am
    Professor Thomas Piketty needs to do his historical research. Inheritance tax cripples the wealthy and thus viable industries collapse and so to multitudes of middle and working class incomes. Inheritance tax cripples the middle income who will have already shared the estate with their siblings and the superannuation boost they so desperately need will be null and void. Inheritance tax cripples the widow or widower just when they need every precious penny to continue you on without their partner. They may even still have dependent children. The assessors used to go through the home and even put a value on the clothes in the cupboard. It was horrible. Inheritance tax cripples the poor because every dollar is absolutely critical for their well being and future and it possibly means the difference between the next generation having a place to live.
    So Professor, go get out of the classroom and just see what really happens when you steal other peoples already taxed dollars.
    Old Geezer
    27th Oct 2016
    4:31pm
    I agree it will do my harm than good.
    Teddy
    28th Oct 2016
    11:31am
    Actually NSW and Victoria had 'death duties' until Queensland abolished the duty in the 70's to attract retirees from those two states. I would expect all states had the same system. It was the reason wealthy families made bequests to Universities, Hospitals, religious organisations etc in much the same way as happens in the US. Charitable donations did not attract the duty and financed some organisations that today are struggling.

    30th Oct 2016
    8:12pm
    The idiots in power added to the housing crisis by utterly STUPID pension changes that encourage older folk to buy bigger and more expensive homes than they need - or even want in many cases! Whatever their response to any suggestion of a new tax, you can guarantee it will be ill-conceived, idiotic and harmful. But they have succeeded in driving share prices down so the wealthy can buy up cheaply while the battlers are forced to sell to compensate for massive income loss, and quite likely that was always the real objective. I note that well-to-do self-serving investors approve of the assets test change - because of course they are profiting from gross unfairness that is disadvantaging the less well-heeled. What a sick world we live in!


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