Chaos in Canberra but that’s not unusual

Chaos in Canberra but that’s not unusual


When the Head Teller at the Reserve Bank of Australia dropped the cash rate to a record low of 2.00 per cent this week the Head Cashier AKA Joe Hockey immediately started bellowing “Australians – spend – spend – spend. “

So let me let you in on a secret Joe – Australians are spending up big, it’s just that they are using the online loophole where they don’t have to pay you GST. The other problem is that following the Global Financial Crisis many Australians (to save money) reverted back to paying cash for services simply because that way they get a significant discount.

Naturally those who have negatively geared their properties don’t engage in the cash for services given they need the receipts in order to gain their much required tax reduction. I guess that given nearly all developed countries have a tax structure where you do pay a tax when you sell the family home, however all monies spent – mortgage, maintenance and improvements – are a tax deduction. So I hope now that you can understand why GST receipts are in decline.

When the GST was introduced nearly 15 years ago a comparative analysis was undertaken to see what the online shopping receipts were likely to be for purchases under $1,000. The analysis which in all probability was done using a Commodore 64 with a flashy floppy disc drive found that it would cost as much to collect the GST on these purchases so the plan was shelved.

Palm_Beach-Sydney-Aerial-Photography

SYDNEY AERIAL PHOTOGRAPHY

Today Australians are all over OZSALE and DealsDirect to name just two who just happen today to be hugely successful online businesses that turn over hundreds and hundreds of millions each year. According to the National Australia Bank’s (NAB) latest Online Retail Sales Index – Australians spent a record (yes record) $16.6 billion online in the year to January 2015. Given that the vast majority would be sales with no GST payable that’s at least $1.500 billion in missing revenue each year – now that’s embarrassing.

Deloitte has just readjusted the budget projections to take into account the latest economic news where last year’s budget deficit was $48.5 billion. Deloitte is predicting this year’s deficit will be $5.5 billion worse than predicted a year ago, and will be close to $45.9 billion. All will be revealed next week but rest assured it will be a shocker – although it’s difficult to agree with increasing the GST when we have all those ‘rivers of gold’ that the federal government is missing simply because they won’t reform.

Just as embarrassing was the announcement last week by Prime Minister Tony Abbott that foreign investors who have purchased illegally in Australia have until the end of November to come forward to avoid criminal charges and severe fines. Now I have no doubt that illegal property acquisitions will be huge in number but how about upgrading from Windows 2003 and start a proper National Property Register which has been promised for years.

The illegal buying debate does get amusing at times given some are saying that the best method is when buyers attend an auction to bid they must provide identity and that data is recorded – that then will stop illegal buyers. Well, sorry no it won’t. That legislation was brought in 2003/2004 in an effort to stop dummy bidding where records of identification are recorded should the Office of Fair Trading require an investigation. If a party attends an auction and they want somebody to bid on their behalf it is that person bidding who provides the identification not the eventual buyer who is not required to provide any identification – even though they may successfully buy the property.

Any buyers who have purchased illegally would now be contacting their respective legal representatives and immediately transferring ownership into the name of an Australian resident – the federal government has given them a six month window to conform and that’s based on the illegal owners coming forward. Brilliant plan that one!

With the Head Cashier now dutifully accepting the pseudo role of Housing Minister the forensic search for illegal purchasers across Australia has begun in earnest. Maybe Joe should spend a week of work experience at the NSW government who just collected more than $5.000 million from those naughty first home buyers who illegally applied for grants. Going back three years and with nearly 1,400 investigations they found 478 first home buyers who were forced to repay their illegal grants. A spokesman for the NSW Office of State Revenue said it routinely conducted ‘’random and targeted audits matching and data mining.”

All that Joe Hockey needs to do is find a way to get hold of that data and do a targeted audit through his Australian Taxation Office audits plus some additional data mining using stamp duty records.

Why is it that Canberra just doesn’t see the billions they lose each year from GST online sales and why it’s so easy to set up a National Property Register?

MOSMAN – 2088

• Number of houses on the market this time last year – 92

• Number of houses on the market last week – 62

• Number of houses on the market this week – 57

• Number of apartments on the market this time last year – 61

• Number of apartments on the market last week – 52

• Number of apartments on the market this week – 50

CREMORNE – 2090

• Number of houses on the market this time last year – 7

• Number of houses on the market last week – 1

• Number of houses on the market this week – 3

• Number of apartments on the market this time last year – 27

• Number of apartments on the market last week – 15

• Number of apartments on the market this week – 13

NEUTRAL BAY – 2089

• Number of houses on the market this time last year – 6

• Number of houses on the market last week – 2

•Number of houses on the market this week – 3

• Number of apartments on the market this time last year– 51

• Number of apartments on the market last week – 30

• Number of apartments on the market this week – 31

For this week’s sales in Cremorne real estate, Cremorne Point real estate, Mosman real estate, Beauty Point real estate, Clifton Gardens real estate, Balmoral real estate, Neutral Bay real estate, Cammeray real estate.

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Source: APM Price Finder

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