The Crest of the Commonwealth of Australia Treasury Portfolio Ministers
Picture of Bill Shorten

Bill Shorten

Minister for Financial Services & Superannuation

14 September 2010 - 1 July 2013

Media Release of 02/03/2011

NO.037

Removing the Hassle of a Shoebox Full of Receipts

Australian taxpayers will be able to claim a $500 standard income tax deduction, without receipts, instead of going to the hassle of using receipts to claim work-related expenses and the cost of managing their tax affairs.

Assistant Treasurer Bill Shorten today released a discussion paper outlining the proposed standard deduction for individual taxpayers, which was announced in the 2010-11 Budget.

"A standard deduction removes the hassle of a shoebox full of receipts for Australian taxpayers. It simplifies income tax returns for individuals and the Australian Taxation Office," Mr Shorten said.

From 1 July 2012, the $500 deduction, which will rise to $1,000 from 1 July 2013, gives taxpayers the option of bypassing the costly and complex work of figuring out what is deductible, correctly quantifying work-related expenses and dividing expenses between income-earning purposes and private purposes.

"Providing a standard deduction will remove this burden for many taxpayers and increase their tax return. No taxpayers will be disadvantaged. Taxpayers with expenses above the standard deduction will be able to continue to claim those expenses when lodging their tax return under the existing rules."

Choosing the standard deduction is expected to be a better choice for approximately 4.6 million taxpayers in 2012‑13, both financially and in terms of simplicity. In 2013-14 an estimated 6.4 million taxpayers are expected to be better off from choosing the standard deduction.

Of those that benefit, around 66 per cent would have a taxable income of less than $50,000 in 2012‑13 and around 60 per cent would have a taxable income of less than $50,000 in 2013-14.

This measure is part of the government's tax reform package.

"A standard deduction makes it easier for working families to get the best possible tax return and continues the Gillard Government's ongoing efforts to simplify the tax system. I encourage interested taxpayers and others to make submissions to the discussion paper," Mr Shorten said.

The Government values consultation and invites interested parties to view the discussion paper and provide comments. Copies of the discussion paper can be obtained from the Treasury website (www.treasury.gov.au). The closing date for submissions is 8 April 2011.

2 March 2011