I reckon the best thing about July 1 is not seeing Paul Harrigan’s head in every single ad break on the telly informing us how much better off we will be if we take up nib’s health insurance before June 30. I suppose that is the best thing to look forward to when you remember that as of today the flood levy kicks in.
The levy is a once off tax increase to pay for the natural disasters that hit the Eastern states (mostly Queensland) around the start of the calendar year. If you earn over $50,000 you will be taxed an extra 0.5%, and if you earn over $100,000 an extra 1%. As it’s for this financial year only, who knows how the next natural disaster will be paid for.
Like it or not, tax time means you should start thinking about gathering receipts and other bits of paper and submitting your tax return. Actually, you are probably better off not just thinking about it, but actually doing it. Wednesday’s Wealth lift-out in The Australian had a statistic in it that raised my eyebrows. It stated that 4.3 million Aussies had yet to lodge a tax return for 2008-09. If the numbers were the same for the previous financial year (2007-08) it would’ve meant lots of people missing out on getting an extra 900 bucks. That was the time when the federal government handed out $900 cheques to those people who had done their tax in ’07-08 as part of the stimulus payment. That too was a one off.
So the moral to this story is: do your tax and you have a once in a lifetime chance of getting $900. It also means you can apply for a job with the tax office and run for parliament without fear that the media will find out you owe 4 years worth of tax payments. Hmm, I’m not really selling this one am I?