At least 75 millionaires are paying less tax than you — in fact, they're not paying any tax at all
According to the Australian Tax Office, 75 Australians made more than $1 million in 2011-12 and paid zero tax — none.1 And they spent an average of $850,000 on aggressive tax avoidance, which they then got to claim as — you guessed it — a tax deduction!2 But thanks to the generous donations of GetUp members through our Brighter Budget campaign, our friends at The Australia Institute have developed a smart, sensible way to stop this rorting: “The Buffett Rule”.3 The Buffett Rule says: Right, enough of all of this loophole rubbish, the wealthiest 1% of income earners have to pay at least 35% in income tax — based around the rate paid by many Australian workers.4 This new tax Rule could raise nearly $2.5 billion per year – more than the Abbott Government’s cuts to Newstart benefits and the age pension combined.5 Both the Government and Labor Opposition are finally talking about revenue measures for the Budget, and are looking for what works and what’s popular. Together, we can deliver them the Buffett Rule on a silver platter by backing it and sharing it with our friends. The Buffett Rule was inspired by multi-billionaire U.S. investor Warren Buffett. After Mr Buffett pointed out the gross unfairness of his secretary paying more tax than he did, President Obama proposed the Buffett Rule to ensure the wealthiest Americans paid at least the same tax rate as middle income earners.
The Buffett Rule became hugely popular, with the Wall Street Journal even reporting that 68% of millionaires supported a Buffett Rule in some form.6 So even those benefiting from these tax loopholes can’t help but support it! GetUp’s member-funded Brighter Budget campaign aims to build a better future through smarter, fairer Budget policies. Through this first policy report, we’re bringing the Buffett Rule to Australia and applying it to high income tax dodging. This includes people who make millions and then reduce their taxable income down to an averge of $1.09 per year.7 GetUp members are funding research right now showing that this idea could be hugely popular in Australia too, especially in the key marginal electorates that will determine the outcome of the next election. Big corporations are rightly under the microscope for their tax avoidance measures right now – something GetUp members have been campaigning to achieve. But we can’t let millionaire tax dodgers get off scot-free either. The principle is the same: everyone should pay their fair share to support the benefits we all get by living, working or running a business in Australia.