Australia’s future says thanks heaps

The letter request:

The Australian Taxation Office are driving me crazy, could you write and let them know?


The letter:

Dear Australian Taxation Office,

I’m writing to you today to express my deep displeasure at your taxing me such large sums of money given that I am no longer residing in Australia.

As a general rule of thumb, I’m happy to pay tax as I understand that these collections are integral to the survival of almost every nation on earth. Hospitals, schools, roads – I appreciate that much of the infrastructure and services that enable us to live our daily lives are a result of taxes. I have no intention of decamping to Bermuda à la Catherine Zeta-Jones, Michael Douglas and our very own former Australian of the Year, Pat Rafter.

On the contrary; when I live in Australia, I am happy to pay tax in Australia. The part I take issue with is living overseas and still being taxed large sums. Since November 2008 I have been living, working and paying tax in Asia. Though I am still an Australian citizen, my understanding has always been that one pays tax in the country where one is residing. As such, I would expect to pay tax to the tax department here but none, or perhaps only a small amount, to the ATO. As things stand, however, all I’m getting from you is bills, bills, bills and this raises the question, why?

On a more positive note, I have a suggestion that I’m excited about as I believe it will improve your relations with the wider Australian tax-paying community. Over here, tax bills come with a charming message at the end that reads, “Thank you for contributing to our nation building.” Now that is nice. It makes me feel appreciated and welcomed, like I’m part of a greater cause, a cause striving for the betterment of all. (Of all of this particular nation at least.)

I’m wondering if perhaps the ATO could adopt such a message to help spread the tax-paying love in Australia? Here are some suggestions, in keeping with Australia’s laconic style:

· Australia’s future says thanks heaps.
· Credit where credit’s due – you rock, you really do.
· Go team! We’re taking it one game at a time and, with YOU on our side, we’re sure to have a shot at the finals.

Just a few ideas to get you started…

Yours sincerely,