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1982 – 2012: The evolution of Australian Tax

March 2012

Reference books are a fact of life for accountants but in a fit of desk tidying last week we stumbled across the 1982 Australian Master Tax Guide and had a wee chuckle at its diminutive weight compared to its 2012 equivalent. At just under 800 pages compared to the 2100 pages in the current guide, it's akin to parking a 1982 Datsun Sunny next to a modern day Hummer. And that's not including tax legislation relating to GST, FBT, CGT or the multitude of tax acronyms we can think of.

A flick through its pages reveals that despite the regular rumbles about how much tax we pay, there are some stark differences in how company and personal tax is treated these days compared to 1982. Here's a quick snapshot:.



Running a business in 1982 was also pretty tough on business owners. If your company made taxable profits, you could expect to pay a primary tax rate of 46% on the whole taxable income, or if your business didn't distribute the profits, it was slugged 50% for undistributed profits tax. 

These days, companies pay 30% tax, however we also have GST, CGT and FBT to contend with, so while we're probably a lot better off on the whole, tax is still a complex issue – as the Hummer sized guide attests.

With new personal tax rates due to start in 2012/13, the Government's attempts to reduce company tax to 29% and the introduction of the Mining Resources tax and carbon tax, we have to ask whether we'll get the paper equivalent of a phone book in 2013. Good thing we're making space for a new set of shelves.

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Last updated March 2012. This article is provided for information purposes only and should not be used in place of advice from your accountant. Please contact us on 02 9957 4033 to discuss your specific circumstances.



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Disclaimer

This article is provided for information purposes only and correct at the time of publication. It should not be used in place of advice from your accountant. Please contact us on 02 9957 4033 to discuss your specific circumstances.

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