It’s that time of year when Australians from all walks of life do their utmost to test their accountants’ skills at maximising tax deductions. How does your tax knowledge stack up? Take this quiz and find out.
1. 17th century French Finance Minister Jean-Baptiste Colbert famously observed that the art of taxation involves:
a) “So plucking the goose as to obtain the largest possible amount of feathers with the smallest possible amount of hissing.”
b) “Brutally punishing the makers of bad wine, tasteless cheese and ill-fitting petticoats to drive them from the marketplace.”
c) “Annually guillotining a few petite bourgeoise merchants to encourage the landed gentry towards scrupulous honesty.”
2. Tax deduction enthusiast Gary Ogden and his accountant David McNeice achieved notoriety a decade ago by attempting to claim the following as work expenses:
a) A$20,000 for a family member’s wedding that business associates were invited to; A$1350 in gambling losses incurred while playing the pokies with a client and a Chewbacca costume purchased for a business networking event.
b) $7000 for an “emotional-support” poodle; A$15,500 of Cabernet Sauvignon used to relieve work-related stress and A$6876 of “business entertainment expenses” incurred at Show Girls Cabaret.
c) A$5000 of secretarial services paid to Mr Ogden’s seven-year-old son for occasionally answering his phone; A$838 of “overtime meals”, many of which were consumed at the local leagues club; a static electricity-dispersing pair of rubber-soled R.M Williams shoes and a Dora the Explorer pencil case.
3. American businesswoman Leona Helmsley’s best-known quote is:
a) “We don’t pay taxes; only the little people pay taxes.”
b) “If anybody in this country doesn’t minimise their tax, they want their head read. Because, as a government, I can tell you, you’re not spending it that well that we should be donating extra.”
c) “There’s nothing wrong with the younger generation that becoming taxpayers won’t cure.”
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