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05 Sep 2019 Productivity Commission: Remote area tax concessions and payments

The Government tasked the Commission to assess the zone tax offset (ZTO), the remote area allowance (RAA) and the fringe benefits tax (FBT) remote area concessions.  

The Commission's assessment is that the ZTO should be abolished. Remote Australia has changed considerably since the ZTO was introduced in 1945. Some eligible areas, like Cairns, Townsville and Darwin, are no longer remote. And the ZTO has little influence on where people live or work. 

The RAA is a supplementary payment directed to people on income support in remote areas. It is a means of partially compensating for higher living costs. The majority of recipients are from areas with socio-economic disadvantage and face barriers to mobility. Being out of the labour market, RAA recipients do not benefit from the wage premiums that apply to ZTO recipients. 

The closing date for comments is Friday 11 October 2019. You can download the draft report here.

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