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100 People - some interesting stats from the ATO

Jun 02, 2011

Last week the Tax Commissioner Michael D'Ascenzo today launched ‘100 People,’ an innovative online presentation that represents all the individual taxpayers in Australia as though they were one hundred people.

100 People’ draws on information from Taxation statistics 2008-09, which is summary of tax returns, and other tax data for that financial year.

12.3 million people sent tax returns to the ATO in the 2009 income year. Reduced to 100 people, the breakdown of this is as follows:

52 tax returns were from males and 48 from females.

Mr Taxman's comment: Quite surprising ... I would have thought the ratio of men to women would be higher simply due to the number of stay at home mums.  Guess we either have more women in the general population or more have been forced to work during tough economic times.

People sent returns from all over Australia:

  • 32 from New South Wales
  • 25 from Victoria
  • 20 from Queensland
  • 11 from Western Australia
  • 7 from South Australia
  • 2 from Tasmania
  • 2 from the Australian Capital Territory
  • 1 from the Northern Territory

Mr Taxman's comment:  I am looking forward to seeing this statistic change over the years as more Australians do the big shift to cheaper states. 

Tax returns were received from five different generations:

  • 6 from generation Z
  • 21 from generation Y
  • 33 from generation X
  • 30 from baby boomers
  • 10 from seniors

Mr Taxman's comment: would be very interesting to see the breakdown of the other statistics by these generation brackets.

People lodged their tax returns in different ways:

  • 71 through a tax agent
  • 19 using e-tax
  • 10 by paper.

Tax returns were received from people in all sorts of occupations:

  • 24 were blue collar workers
  • 38 were white collar workers
  • 14 came from the service sector
  • 24 didn't specify their occupation or had no occupation.

Mr Taxman's comment: we are seeing a big change in the type of worker in Australia - not as many blue collar workers now and a rise in the service sector ... wonder what it will be like in thirty years' time?

Thirty eight people donated to charities and then claimed deductions

Mr Taxman's comment: Surprising that only 38% of Australians donate.  Maybe a few of them don't feel right to claim a tax deduction ... if you are in that category then donate a "higher" amount to charity, claim your deduction and be in the same net position as if you didn't claim the "lower" amount at all.


Four people declared capital gains.


Sixty five claimed work-related expenses, of these:

  • 27 claimed under $500
  • 11 claimed between $500 and $1,000
  • 27 claimed over $1,000.

Mr Taxman's comment: This proves that the proposed $500 standard deduction in a few years time is way too low!


Four salary-packaged a car

Mr Taxman's comment: And that number will drop with the recent Federal Budget changes in relation to FBT rates.

After the tax returns were assessed by the ATO:

  • 84 people received a refund
  • 12 people owed tax
  • 4 balanced perfectly (ie paid no tax).


Only ten people received the government superannuation co-contribution.

Mr Taxman's comment: Not enough of people take advantage of this great concession.  If you earn under $31,920 the ATO matches your contribution dollar for dollar, up to $1,000.  It gradually phases out at $61,920.  It is free money!

Of the eight people that operated a business in their own name (ie sole trader)

  • 2 made a loss (25%)
  • 6 made a profit (75%)


Below we show the proportion of all net tax paid when we ranked our 100 people by their taxable incomes.

  • People with the top three taxable incomes paid 31% of all net tax.
  • The next six paid 18% of all net tax.
  • The next 31 paid 41% of all net tax.
  • The next 35 paid 10% of all net tax.
  • The last 25 didn't pay any tax.

Mr Taxman's Comment: If you applied the Pareto principle then we would expect that 80% of people would only pay 20% of the tax ... looks about right.

 

Comments

"I'm surprised ony 19 people used e-tax to lodge their claim!!"

By: Kylie Pace on Jun 14, 2011 11:57AM

"I am surprised that 71 people used a Tax agent. I dont want to see Mr taxman out of business but i am sure that there are people that had simple tax returns that they could do themselves. i suppose that might shift when the ATO bring in the new tax estimate return."

By: Patrick McBriarty on Jun 14, 2011 11:01PM

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