Tag: tax

Taxing Times…
0

Taxing Times…

I’ve banged on about this before but I really think it is time the Federal Government took notice of this humble scribe from the Northern Rivers. With ‘our day’ fast approaching we seem to be losing some of our essential ‘Australianess’  – our ability in sport.  Of course our focus at the moment is on tennis and we have a rightly proud tradition in this sport. Some fine, rightly lauded champions have emanated from these shores… Court, Laver, Rosewall, Goolagong-Cawley, Rafter roll off the tongue with nary a thought. Whilst we revelled in this success and the prestige we all gained, participation numbers dropped (save for a couple of weeks after the Open) and the number of courts in the country spiralled downwards.  The disconnect between the elite and the grass roots has grown to become a yawning chasm. As the peak body for their sport Tennis Australia has been forthright in their actions to shore up and increase the number of people slicing backhands and hitting scintillating forehands down the line.  But their task and that of every sport the length and breadth of this nation could be helped with a simple act.  Make the fees paid to play sport a tax deduction.  With this single, sweeping reform the sporting landscape could be changed forever and a remarkable domino effect would ensue. Pressure would be released on straining family budgets where sport is a discretionary spend. With a greater ability to play participation rates would increase, slowly at first but then in ever increasing numbers as the benefits of playing netball, tennis, cricket, soccer, lacrosse, bowls whatever become apparent. Of course, some such benefit will be health related as increased participation inexorably leads to better health outcomes. Medical intervention will be lessened and the strain on health budgets decreased.  But other benefits can also be realised – the in vogue term is ‘capital’ and being involved in sport can have an effect on many of the varying types from social to psychological and from physical to knowledge.  There is also symbolic capital which is synonymous with honour, fame and prestige. Australian sport engendered this in spades for many years and increased participation will see it continue.  It’s time…

This post first appeared as Monday’s Expert in the Northern Star on January 23rd

0

You don’t have to be Einstein…

I am lucky enough to be married to an accountant and bill paying has never really been within my orbit of responsibilities due largely to what my father once described as my ‘cavalier attitude to finances’. We tried charging me with chequebook responsibility once but my quickly ingrained habit of only paying when the invoice was red drove my wife absolutely bonkers. So after a few weeks of living on the edge the role was returned to its rightful place in the family! But I do get to see some of the bills that need paying and invariably they make my eyes water. Just recently for example we had to pay a bill for Futsal as my youngest was keen to play this fast growing indoor sport. The bill was $175 not including shorts, socks or any other equipment (doubtless there are some specialist Futsal boots required?). Look the bill hurt but for others perhaps less able it may have been the last straw and the plea for indoor soccer would have been lost and the kid returned to the computer screen. Surely it is time the Federal government realised what could be achieved with some wide ranging tax reform? Simply make sporting subs a one for one deduction. Ok you might have to limit it but the benefits would be manifest in two major categories. Firstly, it will take an enormous amount of pressure off struggling families. Sport is still a discretionary spend – it’s not essential and perhaps sometimes falls by the wayside? It might not be the kids who don’t get to play but mum and dad may well hang up the boots or give the netball gear to the Salvos when things get tight.  And here lies the second major benefit. A tax deduction would surely increase participation across the board and you don’t have to be Einstein to realise that increased participation leads to better health outcomes. Consequently medical intervention is lessened and the strain on hospitals and GP’s decreased.  The cost of the deduction would surely be returned in spades over time. As I said you don’t have to be Einstein…

This post first appeared as Monday’s Expert in the Northern Star on October 3rd

Sport Business Resources