In a confused media release today, Assistant Treasury Minister Michael Sukkar suggests that we should ignore dividend imputation when discussing Australia’s company tax rate.
Dividend imputation reduces the revenue available to government. Most of the countries that the government likes to compare Australia’s company tax rate with do not have dividend imputation.
Research by Macquarie University Professor Geoffrey Kingston estimates that dividend imputation returns about one-third of the corporate tax revenue to taxpayers.
So a corporate tax rate of 30 per cent with imputation raises as much as a rate of 20 per cent without imputation.
Worryingly, Mr Sukkar seems not to understand this basic fact.
This latest gaffe comes just weeks after Mr Sukkar refused to rule out making all mortgage interest payments tax deductible, which the Grattan Institute estimates would cost the budget $19 billion a year.
With an economic team like this, it’s little wonder that Australia’s net debt will soon be twice as large as it was when the Abbott-Turnbull Government took office in 2013.
WEDNESDAY, 15 FEBRUARY 2017
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