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National tax toll tops $214 billion

AUSTRALIANS paid nearly $214 billion in taxes last financial year, with most paid in the form of personal and company income taxes

A revealing breakdown of the country’s taxes by the Common-wealth Treasury shows that Commonwealth taxes accounted for 70 per cent of the total.

This figure assumed that GST was a State tax, even though GST was designed by, is run by, and is collected by the Federal Government.

Nevertheless, treasury said that GST revenue is paid in full to the States and is therefore treated as a State tax.

The GST reaped total revenue of $24 billion, or 11 per cent of the total tax take.

The biggest contributors were personal income tax, which brought in $86 billion, and company tax, which brought in $27 billion.

Customs and excise duties brought in $24.8 billion, with about half this coming from excise duties on petroleum products.

The treasury document states that the Federal Government’s total tax receipts (which do not include GST) fell to 20.6 per cent of GDP in 2001-02, the lowest level in more than a decade.

The treasury document also highlights the importance of gambling taxes, which raised a total of $3.6 billion.

While this is a small portion of Australia’s total tax take, it re-presents more than 10 per cent of the tax revenue directly controlled by State governments.

Western Australia’s reliance on gambling taxes is markedly lower than other States, given the monopoly still enjoyed by Burswood on the use of gaming machines.

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