16 Apr 1414
MEMBER 38 writes:
"These are my observations on the complexity of completing income tax returns that are not so much observations about the tax law, but rather the administration of the tax law that is caused by perceptions of problems of possible loss of tax revenue, and the web of complexity that surrounds it all.
I was required to complete a Trust Income Tax Return and, in particular, the distribution of income, which included a streamed capital gain, past year revenue losses, current year profits, and an undistributed capital gain. As one does, I referred to the Trust Return Instructions, not printed, but only online in a publication exceeding 200 pages. Not an easy read or application, when the pages are unnumbered. If you print a section, my advice is to staple it immediately, because loose pages are a tax jig-saw, worthy of a tax quiz night task. Then followed completing item 54 Distribution to Beneficiaries and net capital gains, and losses, another little teaser. The next challenge was to clear the errors, ready for lodgment. The answers were not in the instructions, I did not find them, they were there once, weren’t they? This is not my idea of tax speciality! I am becoming reflective, there must be guys in the ATO and orbiting tax professionals that salivate on these problems.
The return is finished, I see the client tomorrow, I have done the fees, for half the time it took to complete the return."