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A crash course in taxation terminology

IT’S a new language out there in tax land.

Whether the tax office is becoming more user-friendly, politically correct or just getting up with the times is anyone’s guess, but there is a whole host of new terminology for tax-payers and tax avoiders alike.

Terms like group certificate and tax instalment deductions have been replaced by payment summaries and tax withheld.

Wages are gone, and in comes payments received, which will also cover bonuses – not that many people will be expecting one of those this year.

Employers are payers, but then again we already knew that. Their employees are payees.

The ubiquitous rebate has become a tax offset.

ATO assistant commissioner Tony Goddard said the changes were all in the name of recognising changes in the workplace and finding words which better matched the circumstances taxpayers found themselves in.

Among a number of other less cosmetic changes is new legislation to allow about 500,000 individuals to receive refunds for imputation credits for which they were previously ineligible.

These were people, many of them children or housewives, who previously had no require-ment to lodge a tax return because they were under the tax threshhold.

Yet many of them are among the nation’s growing legion of shareholders, earning dividends which were fully taxed.

From July 1, they can claim the tax paid on their dividends – a move which will cost an estimated $430 million.

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