Gavin R. Putland,  BE PhD

Sunday, July 14, 2013 (Comment)

Pay all who collect tax, not just banks

“Pay the banks to collect and remit GST on all transactions with less than the threshold $1000 value,” says Chris Wallis (Letters, 4/7).

Excuse me, but why should banks be the only businesses that get paid to collect tax? Sole proprietors have to collect GST not only without pay, but at their own expense. This would appear to breach s.82 of the Constitution, which says: “The costs, charges, and expenses incident to the collection, management, and receipt of the Consolidated Revenue Fund shall form the first charge thereon...”

One solution is to pay all GST collectors. Another is to replace the GST with a cash-flow tax (CFT) as suggested in the Henry Report. A CFT is a VAT assessed by the subtraction method, without tax invoices, so that businesses pay it on their own value-added rather than collect it from their customers.

[Submitted to the Australian Financial Review on July 4, 2013. Published (without the italicized words) on July 8.]

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