After sweltering through the hottest year on record, many Australians would love to get a backyard pool. But who could imagine that the Turnbull Government is letting some taxpayers write their swimming pool off as a tax deduction?
According to reports today, new swimming pools installed on rural properties are being claimed as tax write-offs – if they are described as 'water storage facilities'.
Sixteen months after taking over as Prime Minister, Malcolm Turnbull has allowed net government debt to increase by nearly $40 billion – or $1600 for every Australian. And yet his government seems relaxed about allowing the pool rort to continue, with a spokesperson for Minister O’Dwyer blithely referring queries to the tax office.
Labor supported the asset purchases deductions measure for small business when it was proposed in the 2015 budget, but we expected the government would carry-out the standard due diligence.
The $20,000 instant asset tax write-off should only be applied to farm infrastructure – like farm computers and software, satellite guidance technology, water pumps, fencing, irrigation materials and small tractors.
It should not be claimable for pools that are deliberately marketed at $19,990 and are almost exclusively used for private purposes.
In fact, we learned today that the Tax Office had previously stated the cost of a pool could not be deducted from a farm’s tax liabilities – but this ruling has been superseded.
The government needs to explain what it is doing to close this loophole. Because a pool might be cool, but only a fool would say it’s a tool.
TUESDAY, 24 JANUARY 2017
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