As the Federal Government considers the recommendations of a comprehensive review of the tax system by the Treasury Secretary, Ken Henry, the survey findings suggest the tax system favours the wealthy.
The survey found 53 percent of the 1,000 respondents aid high-income earners paid too little tax, while 95 percent said low- and middle-income earners paid too much tax.
“The unequivocal finding is that respondents believe the tax system favours wealthy taxpayers at the expense of lower-income ones. In short, Australians want a more progressive tax system,” the survey’s authors conclude.
The survey also found that the majority of respondents want the tax system to be made simpler. The most popular option was to centralise federal, state and local taxes (34 percent). This was followed by reducing the number of taxes (24 percent), a simplification of deductions, rebates and exemptions (20 percent) and a streamlining of personal tax returns (13 percent).
The co-author of the survey and executive director of Per Capita, David Hetherington, said high-income earners had access to a range of deductions and concessions that reduced the amount of tax they paid.
‘These things tend not to be available to lower-income earners,” he added.