Labor will help Townsville taxpayers - Media Release

LABOR WILL HELP TOWNSVILLE TAXPAYERS 

A Shorten Labor Government will ensure that Townsville residents get the help they need to navigate the tax system by funding a tax clinic at James Cook University. 

Labor will commit $150,000 annually to help establish the Townsville-based initiative, as part of Labor’s proposed expansion of 10 tax clinics around Australia. 

Multinationals and millionaires can afford an armada of experts to navigate the tax system. But low and middle-income Australians are often intimidated by the tax system, and unsure where to turn to get help. 

While Scott Morrison carves out chaotic deals with Clive Palmer - a man whose private jet was registered in a tax haven - Labor is committed to working with everyday Australians.

Tax clinics like Townsville’s will provide free tax assistance for disadvantaged communities. Each tax clinic will have volunteers, students and pro bono tax practitioners on hand to help low income taxpayers as well as small and microbusinesses with administrative tax matters, including completing tax returns and responding to queries raised by the tax office. 

The former Inspector General of Taxation, Ali Noroozi, has stated that tax clinics “have the potential to be of significant assistance to vulnerable taxpayers”, noting the model of Low Income Tax Clinics in the United States. 

A Shorten Labor Government would also change the laws to allow clinics to register as tax agents in their own right, as well as providing Deductible Gift Recipient status to facilitate partnerships with experienced tax professionals and institutions. 

After Labor announced our policy of ongoing funding for ten tax clinics, the Morrison Government begrudgingly said that it would fund one year ‘tax clinic trials’. Townsville residents need to know that their tax clinic will get ongoing support, not a 12 month trial.

Since coming to office, the Liberals have cut more than 4,000 jobs from the Australian Taxation Office, including in Townsville. Labor is committed to removing the arbitrary public service staffing cap. 

Only Labor can guarantee appropriate funding certainty for tax clinics and the tax office.

ENDS

Authorised by Noah Carroll ALP Canberra.


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Cnr Gungahlin Pl and Efkarpidis Street, Gungahlin ACT 2912 | 02 6247 4396 | Andrew.Leigh.MP@aph.gov.au | Authorised by A. Leigh MP, Australian Labor Party (ACT Branch), Canberra.