It's the time of year that taxes our integrity

IT'S that time of year again, when no matter how honest you are the temptation to cheat is almost irresistible. That's right, it's tax time.

Soon I'll drag out our financial documents shoebox, blow the dust off the calculator, open a beer, think about my options and recall some advice given to me by an old mate who was a serious student of the Kerry Packer Method of Tax Minimisation, aka avoidance.

He collected houses like a Monopoly champ, had his fingers in more pies than a clumsy baker, yet was wild at the government for diddling him out of any miniscule benefits that pensioners and folk on the dole were getting, even the ones paying a fortune to live in his slums.

At the time I was earning the minimum wage and showed him my tax return, which would hopefully cover our car rego.

He laughed, then pointed to the new car and boat Paul Keating had just paid for.

He told me I was a sheep being sheared to the skin, and that I should begrudge every dollar the government takes, especially any monies used to fund investigations into tax fraud.

I think I was paying more tax than him, Paul Keating and Kerry Packer combined.

Anyway, after I've finished reminiscing, we usually choof off to see our accountant.

She has special qualifications (chiefly, boundless patience), knows precisely what we're entitled to, and exactly what will happen if I try claiming dubious expenses (like a certain Prime Minister who gets paid to "volunteer").

Basically, this is the time of year when my financial integrity is sorely tested, but, for some strange reason, I'm still clinging to the belief that my taxes are being used to build a better society for all Australians.

Honestly, what is wrong with me?!

Topics:  greg bray opinion tax return

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