Tax deductions are not a rort they are a right. 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.
This morning Opposition Leader Bill Shorten made a series of inaccurate remarks about the accounting profession, and now the industry is responding with the facts.
Mr Shorten singled out deducting accounting fees as “one of the rorts we want to shut down.”
Tax Leader at Chartered Accountants Australia New Zealand (CA ANZ), Michael Croker, is calling for an apology on behalf of our 120,000 members who work to contribute to the community every day.
“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,” said Croker.
“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.
“It is the people who are thinking about a separation or going through a divorce. It is the people making decisions in the lead up to retirement.
“My question to Mr Shorten is this – are they too all rorters? Do they not deserve a fair go? Hard-working accountants and their clients are very much looking forward to your answer.
“The ALP want to introduce sweeping negative gearing, franking credits, retirement and other tax increases, then attack the industry that ensures 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.
“Australians deserve to seek the advice of their accountants and any party that stands in their way is not giving them a ‘fair go.’”