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The mixed fortunes of tax reform in Australia, part 2

Since Federation, reforms to our tax system have proven difficult. Yet they're too important to leave in the too-hard basket, and here's a look at the key ingredients that make a tax reform exercise work, or not.

The mixed fortunes of tax reform in Australia, part 1

While there have been numerous tax reviews at the Commonwealth and state levels, most have not resulted directly in substantive tax reforms. This two-part series looks at that history and explores the pathway forward. 

For the younger generation, we need to get real on tax

The distortions in our tax system have been ignored for too long, and we're now paying the price. It's time Australia got real and addressed the problems to prevent an even greater intergenerational tragedy.

Indexing tax thresholds to address bracket creep

To negate bracket creep, the thresholds at which marginal tax rates change should be indexed to inflation. Instead, governments legislate ad-hoc tax cuts to address bracket creep and announce them with great fanfare.

Are more taxes on super on the cards?

The Government's broken promise on tax cuts has prompted speculation about other promises that it may consider breaking. It's widely believed that super is lightly taxed and a prime candidate for special attention.

SAPTO and LITO, or do you really need an SMSF?

Money withdrawn from super after age 60 is tax-free but less understood are arrangements that allows a couple over the age of 67 to earn up to $57,948 per year outside super and pay no tax with LITO and SAPTO.

A capital gains tax discount is legitimate but how much?

Like negative gearing, discounted capital gains tax, especially on residential investment properties, is criticised for giving investors an edge over first-home buyers. A discount is justified but at what level?

Are franking credits back in Labor's sights?

A recent Treasury Department statement on tax spending includes franking credits, which may be coincidence or something more ominous. Here's why the Labor Government shouldn't target franked credits to raise revenue.

The proposal on capital raisings and franking is misguided

In proposing to prevent certain franked distributions that are funded by capital raisings, the Government is addressing the wrong problem, and the solution lies in this week's 2022 Budget announcement on buybacks.

Annuities cost more for women: it's time for unisex rates

Lifetime annuities will become a more important tool to manage longevity, but they are the only part of our retirement income system where the benefit is determined by an individual’s sex. It's time to change.

Marks and the tax system explained in beer

Dr Rodney Brown's article last week on taxing the rich and inequality led to a lively discussion. As a follow up, we republish Oaktree's Howard Marks on the popular 'beer' example to explain the tax system.

Taxing the ‘rich’: the potential tax consequences of inequality

At some point, politicians will debate how to reduce the national debt and implement measures aimed at simultaneously easing budget pressures while reducing the gap between rich and poor. Investors should be ready.

Most viewed in recent weeks

Where Baby Boomer wealth will end up

By 2028, all Baby Boomers will be eligible for retirement and the Baby Boomer bubble will have all but deflated. Where will this generation's money end up, and what are the implications for the wealth management industry?

Are term deposits attractive right now?

If you’re like me, you may have put money into term deposits over the past year and it’s time to decide whether to roll them over or look elsewhere. Here are the pros and cons of cash versus other assets right now.

Uncomfortable truths: The real cost of living in retirement

How useful are the retirement savings and spending targets put out by various groups such as ASFA? Not very, and it's reducing the ability of ordinary retirees to fully understand their retirement income options.

How retiree spending plummets as we age

There's been little debate on how spending changes as people progress through retirement. Yet, it's a critical issue as it can have a significant impact on the level of savings required at the point of retirement.

Meg on SMSFs: $3 million super tax coming whether we’re ready or not

A Senate Committee reported back last week with a majority recommendation to pass the $3 million super tax unaltered. It seems that the tax is coming, and this is what those affected should be doing now to prepare for it.

How much do you need to retire comfortably?

Two commonly asked questions are: 'How much do I need to retire' and 'How much can I afford to spend in retirement'? This is a guide to help you come up with your own numbers to suit your goals and needs.

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