Everything Old . . .


In the case of Australian taxes, it seems that everything old is new again. Someone has suggested introducing a death tax (aka inheritance tax, death duty or estate duty).  All Australian states used to levy death duties, but all abolished them in 1979.  The Queensland Government led the way in an effort to attract rich old people to take up residence in their state, so the other states had no choice but to follow suit.  Now it’s a new idea.

Capital gains are taxed by the Federal Government at half the individual’s marginal income tax rate.  This simple formula replaced a more complex one by which only real gains were taxed; that is, the acquisition price of the asset was indexed before subtraction from the price realised on disposal.  Now someone is suggesting going back to the old system.  It’s new again.

I’m sure we could find some wonderful old taxes to revive in the name of reform. What about a window tax?

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