Updated: May 3, 2021
Taking on the Tax Burden
Fear and distrust of tax authorities seems to transcend time and geographical locations.
As far back as 1789, United States Founding Father Benjamin Franklin wrote: “Nothing is certain except death and taxes.”
As if this wasn’t enough, about 100 years later another American, author Mark Twain, rubbed it in by repeating the same sentiment: “The only two certainties in life are death and taxes.”
Later on, The Beatles – even amid the flower power of Britain’s Swinging Sixties – were moved to write a bitter song, titularly-titled Taxman, after a bruising tussle with the tax authorities, that included this verse:
“If you drive a car, I'll tax the street
If you try to sit, I'll tax your seat
If you get too cold, I'll tax the heat
If you take a walk, I'll tax your feet.”
In Australia, where the federal tax system is generally considered onerous, overly complicated and confusing, the taxman tends to be perceived as a vindictive, data-driven bogeyman with all the compassion and empathy of Attila the Hun.
No wonder many small business owners – overwhelmed by what can look like mountains of unintelligible taxation paperwork – are fearful of engaging with the taxman and coming to terms with their tax obligations.
But is all this just a convenient cliché and an excuse for taking a swerve on taxes in the fervent hope the taxman will somehow skip over you in his records system?
Will avoiding your tax bills possibly mean that the taxman will avoid them too?
Well, for the answer to that, refer to the quotes above by Benjamin Franklin and Mark Twain.