Australian State Tax Report Released

December 29, 2009 Taxation in Australia

Another Opera House PhotoThe average business in South Australia faces a higher tax burden than in any other state across the country. The conclusion is drawn by the Australian Institute of Public Affairs (IPA) in the report Business Bearing the Burden 2009
released in the last days of the passing year.

The report examined the impact of state taxes across Australia on a medium sized business. According to the report, the tax liability in South Australia was ranked as highest, despite having the lowest payroll taxes in the country. With average annual tax obligations of AUD247,437, the South Australian businessmen pay almost AUD5,000 more than their colleagues in Western Australia.

The report revealed large differences between states in the five key taxes: payroll taxes, land taxes, land transfer duties, stamp duties and vehicle registration fees. For an average medium sized business payroll taxes varied from AUD174,890 in New South Wales to AUD152,439 in South Australia. At AUD35,381 land taxes were highest in South Australia, and lowest in Western Australia at AUD5,560. Queensland ranks as the least expensive state for land transfer and stamp duties, costing businesses an average of AUD36,275 and AUD43,483 respectively. The most expensive land transfer and stamp duties are in Victoria: AUD52,860 and AUD62,477. Vehicle registration fees are the lowest in New South Wales at only AUD2,090, and highest in Queensland at AUD4,129.

The newly published findings immediately spurred debate across Australia, especially in South Australia where businesses faced the most unfavorable fiscal situation in Australia. Steven Griffiths, finance spokesman for the Liberal Party of Australia, commenting on South Australia’s ranking, said, “…unless we get ourselves back to a competitive state, it will make it hard for our businesses to compete with other firms in other states to grab the opportunities for jobs”.

Photo by sachman75