3 June 2000.
Editorial opinion expressed on
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THE GST & FARMING.
The Australian Government's desperate attempt to assure a flow of revenue
to support politician's pensions and overseas trips has resulted in Australian's
being saddled with an unwanted GST (Goods & Services Tax) that appears
likely to cause severe repercussions on the Australian Economy.
On a microeconomic scale it is going to cause farmers problems.
BARVENNON has always hired in shearers. Trouble is, I can't see
my shearers providing me with an ABN (Australian Business Number).
So far, every shearer has refused to consider supplying an ABN. So
what am I to do?
I expect that my microcosm dilemma is being reflected by thousands of other
small businesses around Australia. I hear that the TAXI business
is likely to be either smaller or more expensive after July 1st.
If I do not obtain an ABN (i.e. stay out of the system) then my wool broker
will hold back 50% of my wool cheque. Not to mention no refund of
10% GST for all farm inputs.
I really do not feel that I could take 50% of my shearer's pay packet and
give it to the government. My name among farm workers would be mud,
and I doubt that I could get another shearer or fencing contractor or whatever,
Perhaps I could consider paying my shearers by the shift. That way
each payment would be below the $50 that the ATO requires to be reported.
This is a highly unsatisfactory method, and might possibly be seen as artificial
by the ATO. In which case ATO might well charge me a tax equal to
the money I paid to the shearer.
Or I could just pretend that I shore all of those sheep myself. That
will probably turn out to be the cheapest option. I can not realistically
expect to earn enough income in the current economic climate to be paying
more than about 20c in the marginal dollar as income tax, and it is better
to absorb the shearer's costs myself by pretending that I shore the flock
myself rather than paying the penalty tax of 100c on each dollar that I
pay my shearer.
A pox on all politicians. Especially the Democrats, who didn't
"keep the bastards honest".