Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Time for a campaign against tax cheats

The Herald reports that former Fair Go presenter Kevin Milne is calling for a public campaign against tax cheats:

He is pushing for a campaign to end "cash only", unrecorded payments - which let tradesmen dodge taxes.

He said in the latest Woman's Weekly that every job that skirted taxes cost everyone else in extra taxes to make up for it.

"I've struck this quite often myself - [the tradesman says] if you want to just pay cash you can take 15 per cent off, and it's very obvious what's going on there, and we just live with it," Milne told the Herald yesterday.

"It's a very difficult matter to get on top of because people see it as almost their right - not only tradespeople but people who buy products."

But everyone else was losing out, he said.

And he's right. That money you save by aiding and abetting a tradeperson's tax fraud? That's money that would normally go to schools, hospitals, and public services. You might as well be going down there and smashing some windows yourself.

So, I support this campaign: people should pay what they owe, and not commit tax fraud. But there's one obvious problem with it, in that it appears to only focus on the little guy. Whereas as we've seen, the real tax fraud is being done by large companies: the Aussie banks and Google. Its time we cracked down on these cheats too, and made them pay what they owe to support the society they do business in. And if they refuse, we should refuse to do business with them.