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In the zone: Tax relief for the Australian bush


This article argues that the original value of the £40 per annum zone tax concession, granted in 1945 to compensate the residents of remote areas of Australia’s outback for enduring uncongenial climatic conditions, isolation and high comparative costs of living, has eroded over time. In 1945, the zone tax offset represented approximately 12% of the average weekly income. However, by 2018, though the concession had risen to $338 per annum, the concession had fallen to just 0.39% of the average income for most residents. Against this background, this article argues that the concession should be restored to its comparative value which remote taxpayers enjoyed at the time of its inception to recognise the relativity of the concession and the equity of these taxpayers compared to those who do not have to endure the uncongenial conditions that the concession was designed to compensate for.

Author profiles

Dr Alexander Fullarton CTA
Lex is a Adjunct Professor Curtin Law School, Curtin University. Lex began studies at Curtin University in 1974 (then WAIT). He completed his Master of Commerce (Taxation) through Curtin in 2004; and a PhD in Taxation Law from UNSW in 2013. He spent around 20 years as a resident tax practitioner in the Northwest of Western Australia. He notes that the majority of his studies were completed externally. In 2005 he designed and constructed WA's first privately owned, commercial solar farm. That has an integrated ice-works to demonstrate how solar energy is applied in industry. He has authored several books on Australian taxes and how they relate to combating climate change. - Current at 04 May 2020
Prof Dale Pinto CTA-Life
Photo of author, Dale PINTO Dale is currently Professor of Taxation Law in the Curtin Law School as well as being the Chair of the Academic Board at Curtin University. Dale is the author and co-author of numerous books, refereed articles and national and international conference papers and sits on the editorial board of a number of peer-reviewed journals as well as being the Editor-in-Chief of several refereed journals. He is a member of the Board of CPA Australia and is also a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Law as well as being a Chartered Accountant, Chartered Tax Adviser and Honorary Life Member of the Tax Institute. He is also a Life Member of the Australasian Tax Teachers Association and the Australasian Law Teachers Association. Dale has been a registered tax agent for more than 25 years and was appointed by the Assistant Treasurer as one of the inaugural members of the National Tax Practitioners Board. He is a current member of the Board of Taxation’s Special Advisory Panel and the ATO’s Tax Technical Panel as well as the Chamber of Commerce and Industry’s Economic Development Forum in WA. Dale is a member of the Tertiary Education and Quality Standards Agency (TEQSA) Expert Panel in Accounting, Taxation and International Education. - Current at 13 August 2019
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