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