I am guessing it must be tax time in The United States as this is the topic of this week’s TMI. Not a particularly sexy topic but them’s the breaks.
I would encourage you to have a look at some of the other contributions this week as I am sure that they will be much more interesting than mine!
1. Are taxes levied where you live?
Absolutely. Australia has one of the highest levels of taxation in the world. The average Australian pays about 30% of their income directly as tax as well as a large range of other indirect taxes including Goods and Services Tax which is 10% of the price of all non-essential foods and services retailed here. So it would not be unreasonable to estimate that between 40 and 50% of our income is paid out in some form of tax.
For this astronomical amount of money we are privileged to have fully publicly funded health and education systems and a social welfare system that is more extensive than many other first world countries. No doubt much of our hard earned money gets wasted on beaurocracy but “such is life”
2. Do you pay your taxes?
Income tax in Australia is deducted directly from most people’s income by their employer before it is paid to them so a regular person who works for a company is generally unable to avoid paying that portion of their tax. Goods and Services tax is levied at the checkout and so again is unavoidable.
Of course there are ways to avoid paying income tax especially if you are self employed or a portion of your income is raised from investments but these are usually the domain of more wealthy people such as Kerry Packer
3. This year will you owe taxes or do you expect a refund?
Sadly I will not be receiving a refund. Most employers are careful only to deduct the necessary amount of tax required. In addition our family investments mean that I usually owe the Australian Taxation Office a certain amount of money.
4. Have you already filed your taxes?
Our financial / taxation year ends on 30 June. So we don’t have to lodge our tax return for a few months yet.
5. You are getting a tax refund, which ONE of these would you most likely do with the money?
a. pay off credit cards
b. contribute to retirement savings
c. go on vacation
d. shop for something (car, clothes, household items, etc)
As a rule we don’t plan for windfalls like tax returns and so any money that come from such things just gets put into the general slush fund. I guess you could call it saving for retirement.
6. Sometimes you just need to be frivolous, and if you get a windfall from a tax refund, which of ONE of these things would you most likely do? Why?
a. have a big party
b. loan it to family or a friend
c. spend a weekend at an adults-only erotic resort
d. gamble (Lottery tickets, casino)
Of course spend it at an adults – only erotic resort. It is an experience that I have yet to have but it is definitely on my fucket list.
Bonus: If you could be a circus performer, which act would you be? (I know, soooo random!)
You are right, very random. I guess given my real life past time of pole dancing I would be some kind of acrobatic performer maybe flying trapeze. On the other hand I think and elephant trainer would also be a pretty cool thing to be.