Release: ATO's Wage Theft Must Stop

The Australian Taxpayers’ Alliance, a 75,000+ member grassroots advocacy group representing the nation’s taxpayers, today called for reform to the Australian Tax Office in light of revelations that underpaid workers who win back wages are paying more in tax than if they were paid the legal wage to begin with.

"While workers who are granted backpay in a lump sum can claim a rebate for income tax levied at a higher rate in the year that the lump sum is obtained than the years during which the work was done, the current rules don't apply this rebate to the medicare levy even though it's effectively just an additional income tax." noted Satya Marar, ATA Director of Policy.

"This amounts to unconscionable wage theft by the Australian Tax Office. It punishes workers who have worked against insurmountable odds to challenge their employers for what they are owed only to lose more of their hard-won earnings to the leviathan ATO than they would have if they had been legally paid to begin with.

"The case of 7/11 worker Ratul Biswas shows that the ATO is more concerned about being a stickler for the rules than it is about ensuring fairness for hardworking taxpayers who pay to keep these bureaucrats employed.

"The ATA calls for reform to our taxation laws to rectify this injustice. We also agree with AAT senior member Paul Ehrlich QC's call for Parliament to legislate a provision that would grant the Commissioner of Taxation the discretion act in favour of taxpayers where taxation legislation operates in an anomalous or unintended manner, as it did in the case of Ratul Biswas."

Brian Marlow