Archive for October, 2009

Can tax reform really improve your life?

I just came across Ken Henry’s last speech before the findings from his Tax Review are out.  He delivered this just yesterday.  It is a bit of a heavy read, but he is quite clear and balanced in his thinking, and I quite enjoyed reading it. 

Leave a comment here

 http://taxreview.treasury.gov.au/Content/Content.aspx?doc=html/speeches/10.htm

Breaking the obesity cycle

Get a tax break for cycling to work?  Sound like a fairy tale?  Well not if you live in the UK.  The British government has made it possible to get a tax break of up to 53% on the purchase of bicycles and accessories. You can learn more about the scheme here.

Think it’ll never happen in Australia?  Well don’t be so sure!  The government has launched a preventative health taskforce, and one of its targets is to reduce the rise in obesity.  It is recommending initiatives that reward employers through grants and tax initiatives for workplace measures that result in a healthier employee base.

So perhaps allowing people to salary sacrifice for bicycles is positive step towards meeting this health goal.  Interestingly enough, a number of cycling groups recently suggested this tax break in their submission to the Henry Tax Review.

So do you reckon that the salary sacrifice of bicycles is a good idea?  It would be a good health initiative that is also good for the environment.  Plus, the tax savings could be delivered through existing salary sacrifice arrangements, so would not require a costly government run scheme.

Let’s run a little poll and see what you think.

You can also leave a comment here

Deven

A green future that also supports local industry?

You might remember that last year Steve Bracks led a review of the automotive industry and suggested that Australia might focus on developing larger cars. (Click here for news article.)

Earlier this week, a new report was released. This time the government has shifted its position and is suggesting that Australia should position itself to become a world leader in the design and production of lower emission vehicles. (Click here for news article.) This seems like a step in the right direction – nothing worse than being in the horse and buggy business!

As greater availability of locally produced lower emission vehicles is still off into our future in Australia, it would make sense that the Henry Tax Review takes this into consideration when recommending any changes to legislation with regards to novated leases. Wouldn’t it be good if any legislation were not only green friendly but also supportive of local industry?

Deven

You can also leave a comment here


Deven Billimoria
Chief Executive Officer
Smartgroup

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