Relief For SMEs Down Under

By Global Tax Weekly

Good to see that the new, pro-business Australian Government is off to a promising start, announcing that it will attack the tendency of the tax authority to put all kind of roadblocks in the way of entrepreneurs who want to start up in business. Australia’s Treasury department is not alone in detesting small businesses; most Finance Ministries regard entrepreneurs and the self-employed as little more than thinly disguised conspiracies to rob the State, and most Finance Ministers won’t be happy until they have criminalized all tax-payers, either because they’re too poor to pay the imposts demanded of them and therefore cheat, or because they are in business, with the Government as the enemy at every turn, or because they have moved “offshore.” The situation is especially taxing for entrepreneurs when there is a left-wing Government in cahoots with the tax collectors, which has been the case in Australia for the last four years, since the Government eggs on the tax department to be as spiky and difficult as possible. All sane economists know that it’s small businesses that create the jobs, and even Finance Ministries can sometimes be pressurized into creating schemes to encourage SMEs; but the tax authority is always there, oppressive and grasping, ready to negate such efforts.

Entrepreneurs should be allowed, even encouraged to cheat, because that is the way in which the most jobs will be created, and in the end, the most tax generated. Of course I am not stupid enough to suppose that a “duly elected government” in all its precious grandiosity could ever overtly wink at entrepreneurial fiscal escapism; but a sensible Finance Minister would keep her tax collectors on a tight leash. A prize, by the way, for anyone who can come up with a female Finance Minister. It seems to be the ultimate glass ceiling. You can be Prime Minister, or President, but heaven forbid that as a woman you should be allowed near anything as important as money. There was a female Governor of the Russian Central Bank; and Janet Yellen may step into Ben Bernanke’s shoes; but Central Banks are not Finance Ministries.

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