The money lie 2 million Aussies tell at tax time


Published on

Red carpet rolled out in Cloncurry for $1.5 million bank heist, 2.4 million Aussies admit to fudging their tax return, and Westpac offers $750 in free EV charging. Here are five things you may have missed this week.

$1.5 million still missing from Cloncurry bank

This week saw a touch of Hollywood arrive in Queensland's outback town of Cloncurry.

2.4 million aussies lie at tax time

The red carpet was rolled out for the world premiere of The Bank Manager, a short film inspired by a daring 1932 bank heist.

Brazen thieves used keys stolen from a blundering bank manager to break into Cloncurry's National Bank, and make off with £14,000.

The £14,000 - equal to over $1.5 million today - was such a large sum that the bank struggled to stay open, and £3000 had to be flown in to keep business ticking over.

At the time, the Mackay Daily Mercury reported police were "very confident" of clearing up the robbery.

But the case was never solved - and the loot has never been found.

Co-creators of the film Madeleine and Luke Chaplain grew up on a cattle station outside Cloncurry, where legend has it the money is buried.

The duo have hunted for the cash but without success.

If you'd like to search for the missing stash be prepared for a long drive. Cloncurry is located 1700 kilometres north-west of Brisbane.

Tall tales at tax time: 2.4 million Australians admit to fibbing on tax

Research by Finder shows over one in 10 Aussies have been less than truthful when it comes to claiming work expenses or reporting income in their tax returns.

One in 20 of us repeatedly lie in our annual tax returns, and high income earners are more likely to fudge the figures than those on incomes below $100,000.

Finder's Alison Banney says the cost of living crisis could see more of us bend the truth in our 2023 tax returns.

However, she warns, "Lodging inaccurate information with the tax office is a criminal offence which can, in extreme cases, call for up to 10 years' imprisonment or hefty fines.

"The risks and consequences far outweigh any short term gains made."

Westpac offers free recharging to EV buyers

Motorists who use a Westpac electric car loan to buy an electric vehicle (EV) will receive 1250 kWh worth of free charging at Chargefox stations over a 12-month period.

Westpac estimates this equates to approximately 7000  kilometres of driving and could add up to a saving of $750 on charging.

Westpac Managing Director of Consumer Finance, Steve Rubenstein, says, "We know that many people are motivated by saving on fuel when considering making the switch to electric, but they also have concerns about running out of battery on the road.

"We want to help increase access to charging stations and support our customers who want to make the transition."

Westpac's electric car loan has rates starting from 5.49% and can cover other expenses such as an EV home charger.

Cash trumps merchandise in reward program redemptions

NAB says the number of people redeeming reward points for hard coin rather than merchandise has jumped 120% over the past year.

NAB Personal Banking executive, Kylie Young, says, "As living costs rise, Australians are thinking about where they can squeeze maximum value out of the loyalty programs they have in their wallet.

"We're seeing a big shift in customers using rewards points to cover their groceries and essential purchases rather than treat themselves to a new Espresso machine or hair straightener."

The same analysis shows that despite rising costs, shoppers are becoming more loyal to their favourite brands.

Only 1% of Australians say they're willing to try a new brand when it comes to everyday shopping.

"Consumers are increasingly looking to trusted brands and businesses to help them navigate these challenging times," says Young.

That may be the case but shopping around and comparing prices is a great way to save.

Time is ticking for tax-deductible super contributions

It's time to get cracking if you plan to make a super contribution and claim it on this year's tax.

The run-up to June 30 is always busy for super funds.

Making a last minute contribution may not see the cash reach your super account in time to be processed in the 2023 financial year.

Aware Super for instance, is asking members to pay super contributions by June 27 to be sure they make the cut-off.

Tax deductible (concessional) contributions are capped at $27,500 though this includes employer contributions plus contributions made by salary sacrifice.

As concessional contributions are taxed at 15%, you'll need to let your fund know if you plan to claim any contributions on tax. Your fund will organise for the tax to be paid.

Get stories like this in our newsletters.

Related Stories


A former Chartered Accountant, Nicola Field has been a regular contributor to Money for 20 years, and writes on personal finance issues for some of Australia's largest financial institutions. She is the author of Investing in Your Child's Future and Baby or Bust, and has collaborated with Paul Clitheroe on a variety of projects including radio scripts, newspaper columns, and several books.