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Victorian Government’s Christmas tax grab

Publication date: 08 Dec 08 | Source: THE TAX INSTITUTE

Australia’s premier professional tax body, Taxation Institute of Australia, today urged the Victorian Government to reverse it decision to dramatically shorten the period for the payment of stamp duty and the lodgment of dutiable documents from 90 days to 14 days.

Taxation Institute President, Sue Williamson, said the changes outlined in the Duties Amendment Bill 2008 would not only create a cash crunch for Victorians but completely contradicted the call for uniformity of tax rules.

“Given the current financial crisis and the fact that many families are already feeling the squeeze, the Victorian Government should be seeking to stimulate activity not adding additional financial stress by reducing the time for families to pay their taxes,” Ms Williamson said.

“The average Victorian buying a home has to effectively borrow money to pay the stamp duty imposed on the purchase.  

“It was bad enough when taxpayers had 90 days to fund that liability, but this change imposes a further burden.”

Ms Williamson said even if the Government decided to change the payment deadline, it should have at least followed the rules operating in other States and Territories.

“For example in Queensland, they at least allow a 30 days window before stamp duty has to be paid and this has been proven to be inadequate.  

“It is often difficult to get the necessary information together and have everything ready for filing within the 30 day deadline, let alone less than half the time.

“The Victorian Government’s decision means many taxpayers who are unable to file documents within this time period will be unnecessarily subjected to penalties and interest.  

“It is not the Christmas present Victorian taxpayers need in these harsh economic times.”

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Media Contacts:
Sue Williamson, President - Taxation Institute of Australia     0411 646 783.
Peter Laidlaw, Lighthouse Communications Group         0419 210 306