FAIRFAX, as both readers and investors are well aware, is in all sorts of trouble, so it is good to see innovation being brought to bear on the company’s bottom line. The agent of change is none other than A Dill Horin, who continues to demonstrate that, when it comes to reporting, her expertise starts and ends with the keyboard’s CONTROL + C function. Sooner or later, someone at Fairfax World Headquarters will notice there is no need to pay her, as it would be much cheaper to give her friends in the Caring Industrial Complex open access to run their press releases untouched in the pages of the Silly and Phage. But such is her concern for shareholders, A Dill selflessly persists in providing further demonstrations why she is not needed. Consider her article in this morning’s paper, which reports on the Australian Council of Social Service’s notions of a better and more equitable tax system.
ACOSS yesterday issued a press release in which it summarised the many areas of the productive economy it would penalise to support the social workers and hanky-wringers whose mortgages depend on an assured supply of mendicants, these days known as “clients”. Demonstrating the skills of a modern Fairfax prober, she then went to the extraordinary trouble of actually opening a .pdf file. No doubt exhausted by that effort, she then cut and pasted big chunks of the ACOSS position paper beneath her byline and the heading "Tax breaks for wealthy under fire".
A DILL: ... proposed measures would help resolve the tension between the government's commitment to restore the budget to surplus from 2012-13 and the urgency of unmet social needs.
ACOSS: The submission aims to resolve the tension between the Government’s commitment to restore the Budget to surplus from 2012-13 and the urgency of social and economic needs not yet met
A DILL: ...Australia is the eighth-lowest taxing country among the 30 developed nations in the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development. Australians were not overtaxed but taxed unfairly and inefficiently. The main problem was an array of tax shelters and loopholes that enabled well-off people to avoid paying tax at the appropriate marginal rate.
ACOSS: Australia is the eighth lowest taxing country among the 30 OECD nations. Australians are not over-taxed, but they are taxed unfairly and inefficiently. The main problem is an array of tax shelters and loopholes that enable well off people to avoid paying tax at the appropriate marginal rate.
A DILL: ACOSS says individuals could reduce the marginal tax rates on their income by:
■Sheltering income in a private trust.
■Sacrificing salary for superannuation, which enabled taxpayers on the top marginal rate to reduce their tax rate from 46.5 per cent to 15 per cent.
■Taking advantage of the concessional treatment of ''golden handshakes'', which in many cases were taxed at 15 per cent.
ACOSS: Individual taxpayers can reduce the marginal tax rates on their income by:
* sheltering income in a private trust;
* sacrificing salary for superannuation, which enables a tax-payer on the top marginal rate to reduce their tax rate from 46.5% to 15%; and
* taking advantage of the concessional tax treatment of termination payments such as ‘golden handshakes’, which in many cases are also taxed at the relatively low rate of 15%
A DILL: In addition, small businesses could reduce their tax by taking advantage of capital gains tax concessions not available to other taxpayers, and international companies could shift profits from Australia to lower tax jurisdictions while maximising Australian debt levels.
ACOSS: Businesses can reduce their tax by:
* in the case of international companies, shifting profits from Australia to other lower tax ju-risdictions by maximising their Australian debt levels and their overseas profit levels (profit shifting);
* in the case of small business, taking advantage of Capital Gains Tax concessions not available to other taxpayers.
What remains of A Dill’s report is a lightly paraphrased regurgitation of the ACOSS press realease.
Isn’t it good to see Fairfax putting such an emphasis on quality journalism?