Data from the Tax Office shows that Australia’s 1.3 million landlords claimed $13.8 billion in tax losses in 2012 to offset other income via negative gearing and other costs associated with investment housing, according to the AFR this morning.
The data shows that the largest grouping of claims for tax offset come from people earning between $30,000 and $80,000 with an average loss in the 2012 tax year of $10,894.
Interestingly the data also shows that for incomes over $180,000 the loss claimed more than doubles to an average $22,772.
While The Australian reports this morning that the Commision of Audit has not recommended any changes to negative gearing arrangements, this is a big average claim for those in the highest income bracket when viewed in the context of the current debate about taxpayer subsidies for the “rich”.
Already there is the mooted proposal to include the family home in the pension means test, and Tony Abbott just this week watered down his signature paid parental leave scheme.
Indeed, with the Government looking to raise something in the vicinity of $2.5 billion via the deficit levy, a fresh look at this $13.8 billion subsidy must surely be on the cards at some point.
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