Category Archives: Tax

Why you should give your assets to your grandparents

I’m sure people who are more tax-savvy than me have been thinking about this for a while, but it just occurred to me. Unlike virtually all OECD countries, Australia has no inheritance tax, and we do not tax realised capital … Continue reading

Posted in Tax | 14 Comments

The soft middle

Writing in New Matilda, Tristan Ewins contrasts the Beazley tax plan with the actual distribution of pre-tax income: Speaking earlier this year at the National Press Club, Beazley had identified ‘middle Australia’ as those earning around $60,000 per year. At … Continue reading

Posted in Inequality, Tax | 38 Comments

Indonesian Inequality

I presented a seminar this afternoon at ANU’s Research School of Pacific and Asian Studies, on top incomes in Indonesia between 1920 and 2005. My expertise on this project is empirical, not substantive. Unlike my coauthor, Pierre Van Der Eng, I don’t … Continue reading

Posted in Inequality, Tax

Maybe we should cut the company tax rate instead?

Blogger and unlisted public intellectual Nicholas Gruen has a CEDA paper out today, which he writes up in the AFR (oped posted at Club Troppo). Nicholas is arguing that cutting the company tax rate could do more for growth than … Continue reading

Posted in Australian Politics, Tax | 4 Comments

Write About Wealth, Increase Wealth

If you were born in 1970 or later, and have some ideas on the taxation of wealth, then the Institute for Research on Economic and Fiscal Issues is running a competition that you may want to enter (hat tip: Kirsten … Continue reading

Posted in Tax

Cut out

When the RBA announced a 25 basis point rise on Wednesday, it didn’t list tax cuts as being among its reasons for raising rates. This prompted John Howard to say, on the 7.30 Report that night: KERRY O’BRIEN: The bank has noted that … Continue reading

Posted in Australian Politics, Tax | 3 Comments

Death or taxes?

Commenting on my paper with Joshua Gans on death and taxes, my ANU colleague Martin Richardson draws my attention to a very entertaining 1999 piece by Slate’s David Plotz, which asks the question – does taxing death discourage it?

Posted in Tax | 2 Comments

Vice & Virtue

I’ve been asked to review a book on tax minimisation, by ANU’s John Braithwaite. A draft of my review is over the fold. Comments and suggestions most welcome (the final version is due in a week).

Posted in Law, Tax | 4 Comments

Thanatophobia and Taxes

Joshua Gans and I have been playing around recently with daily births and deaths data. Our latest paper looks at the abolition of Australian inheritance taxes on 1 July 1979 (a change legislated in 1978 under John Howard, then known as the … Continue reading

Posted in From the Frontiers, Tax | 7 Comments

The Gruen tax

Blogger Nicholas Gruen has written a report for CEDA on tax cuts.* The executive summary: The Australians facing the strongest disincentives to work are mostly on middle and lower incomes. These people are also the ones most likely to respond … Continue reading

Posted in Low Wage Work, Tax | 9 Comments

Tax competition across the Tasman

Only one problem for this argument: Australia’s top rate just got cut from 47% to 45%. NZ’s is 39%.

Posted in Tax | 2 Comments

$510 for an average worker, $6200 for Malcolm Turnbull

There’ll be plenty of post-budget spin around in the next few days, so just a few minor observations: In a neat exercise in bait-and-switch, the increases in family tax benefits that were “leaked” on Monday turn out to be pretty … Continue reading

Posted in Australian Politics, Economics Generally, Tax | 19 Comments

The budget that brings home the triangles

I’m doing post-budget commentary on Sky News this evening, and thought I might spend a bit of time talking about the fact that if the government taxes you $100, and gives you benefits of $100, it’s not a wash. Taxes have a … Continue reading

Posted in Australian Politics, Tax | 9 Comments

The rich get richer

I have an oped in today’s AFR, writing up my top incomes in Australia paper with Tony Atkinson. Full text over the fold.

Posted in Inequality, Tax | 11 Comments

Public goods and private schools

ALP President Warren Mundine is in the papers today, arguing that private school fees should be tax-deductible. Henry Thornton apparently agrees. I’m not so sure. We subsidise private schools because we think that there is a public good element to … Continue reading

Posted in Economics of Education, Tax | 32 Comments

How does a 76000% tax rate affect taxpayer behaviour?

Bruce Chapman and I have released a paper looking at the effect of the HECS repayment threshold. In 2003-04 (the most recent year we looked at), earning $1 over the threshold reduced your post-tax income by $760, making it – … Continue reading

Posted in Economics of Education, Tax | 62 Comments

To compare, or not to compare?

The CIS’s Peter Saunders in The Australian in 2004 urging policymakers to cut taxes, because our top rate is higher than in other countries: The tax on higher-income earners is vicious. It is outrageous that people earning $62,000 per year are paying … Continue reading

Posted in Tax | 14 Comments

You see, Alan, Australians enjoy filling out the Tax Pack

Michael Duffy points to a truly bizarre quote by the PM, speaking to Alan Jones this week: “I yesterday made some inquiries about this issue of not having tax returns [in Britain and New Zealand at least 70 per cent … Continue reading

Posted in Tax | 8 Comments

Rating the Rates

The Hendy-Warburton report, released yesterday, wasn’t as ideological as I’d feared. As Peter Costello pointed out in his press conference, plenty of the statistics give the lie to the notion that Australia is suffering “taxploitation”. My two favourite graphs are … Continue reading

Posted in Tax | 4 Comments

Why tell the tax authorities what they already know?

Coinciding with the US tax-filing deadline (April 15), Austan Goolsbee has a NYT oped sensibly proposing that the IRS “pre-populate” our tax forms for us, so we don’t have to tell them what they already know. I can’t resist mentioning … Continue reading

Posted in Tax

The Age of Tax Cutting

I’ve always regarded The Age as Australia’s most left-wing newspaper, so it’s somewhat surprising to see that of the 358 people who’ve so far answered the question “Should the top marginal tax rate be cut?”, 60% say yes. And the … Continue reading

Posted in Tax | 3 Comments

EPP update

The exam will now be 2 hours rather than 3 hours (though still, alas, closed book) A combined quiz, covering the material in the Wed and Fri classes, is now on the course website. For those interested in knowing more … Continue reading

Posted in Economics & Public Policy Course, Tax | 1 Comment

In a rich man's world

The Hendy-Warburton report on taxation is perhaps the least surprising report ever to be commissioned by a government in Australian history. But it’s still mildly surprising that it’s been leaked to The Australian, as the first two paragraphs of David … Continue reading

Posted in Inequality, Tax | 2 Comments