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Doubling Up

Apart from the national sports of AFL and, at least in the eastern states, Rugby League, another sport, normally without contract involved, is saying nasty things about either the government and the much maligned Australian Tax Office. One should lay off the ATO because they only do what they are told by the parliament or at least the current governing party.

It’s sheer idiocy to criticise the government in general terms for giving the ATO the powers it possesses and it’s equally idiotic to criticise them for exercising those powers to do their job.

Having recently chalked up the equivalent of a long service medal as a practicing tax agent I have weathered and seen the back of some grossly expensive and amazing taxes like gift tax and inheritance tax, increased tax rates on private companies and undistributed profits tax (again on private companies).

One tax that reeks of unfairness is the punitive 15% tax levied on beneficiary recipients from a superannuation fund of the “taxed” component of a now deceased person’s superannuation account. When the concept of imputation credits was introduced (because it removed the dreaded “double taxation”) it surely set the bar at the right height to get rid of this even more obvious double taxation.