Tax accountants have fought back against what they say are claims by Federal Opposition leader, Bill Shorten, that the deduction of accounting fees are a rort.
Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand tax leader, Michael Croker has vowed that tax deductions are not a rort and that they are a right.
Reacting to Shorten’s reported statement, he stated: “You have the right to not pay too much tax and you have the right to claim navigating arcane, complex, changeable tax laws as a deduction’.
Croker’s statement said he believed accountants were owed an apology by Shorten.
“You have reached the bottom of the political barrel when you are attacking not the people who are dodging tax, but the gatekeepers making sure Australians aren’t paying too much tax,” he said. “Accountants are one of Australia's most trusted professions, and for a politician to kick off a campaign by attacking our integrity is, to say the least, a bit rich. “That said, given we are exchanging free advice now, the political strategy of name-calling an entire profession is questionable and divisive.”
“Let’s be clear that it’s not just millionaires who claim more than $3000 in tax compliance costs – it is also Mums and Dad’s going through one-off life events. It’s the people who invest and need to assess taxation, depreciation, capital gains and other implications. It's the migrant or expat Australian with foreign income.”
Croker said the ALP wanted to introduce sweeping negative gearing, franking credits, retirement and other tax increases, then attacked the industry that ensured compliance.
“To deny Australians a tax deduction for the full cost of dealing with ATO compliance and audit requirements is unfair and creates a David v Goliath situation,” he said. “Australians deserve to seek the advice of their accountants and any party that stands in their way is not giving them a ‘fair go.’”