CAANZ warns on downsides of changing tax rules

Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand (CAANZ) has warned that changing the existing tax rules would raise a host of practical tax design and administration problems.

CAANZ head of tax Michael Croker also warned negative gearing should not be seen as a silver bullet solution.

"For example, the tax deductions for negatively geared real estate are just one factor affecting housing prices. The CGT main residence exemption and the CGT discount are also relevant in a tax context.

“There are also non-tax factors at play, such as the supply of residential land, the lending practices of financial institutions and demand from foreign investors," Mr Croker said.

“Although there are legitimate concerns about inequality in our society, any crackdown on negative gearing will not impact those who currently enjoy positive cash flows from their investments” he said.

Mr Croker also cautioned investors not to focus solely on negative gearing.

“Clients and their chartered accountants typically look at the quality of an investment opportunity, the pre-tax cash flow impacts, and how it all fits with a robust, achievable wealth creation plan for the future.

“Discussions with clients around investing in shares and real estate usually form part of a broader, personal discussion, about how to get ahead. The context is often around building income streams for the future – to fund things like future education costs or the post-retirement years," Mr Croker added.

 

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