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Metamorphosis of the Australian income tax: 1866 to 1922 paper

Published on 01 Jan 02 by Australian Tax Research Foundation

The essential purpose of this study is to identify the origins of the Australian income tax and the influences that shaped it. The study seeks to demonstrate that the origins of the New Zealand income tax are inseparably interwoven with those of the Australian income tax. Studying the early income taxes of the Australia and New Zealand assists in understanding the structure and content of some of the central provisions of the present income taxes. What becomes clear is that the story of income taxes in the Australian colonies is one of provisions bouncing from law to law and
their eventual metamorphosis into the Australian federal income tax of 1915.

Another reason why this study is important is because these early income taxes also influenced the income taxes of other countries. In some cases, such as South Africa, the influence was direct. However, it also seems that these early income taxes influenced the United Kingdom Colonial Model Income Tax of 1923 and, therefore, the income taxes of countries based on that Model.

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Peter Harris, Churchill College, Cambridge
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