Dob in a tax cheat: ATO receives 43,000 tip-offs


How to cut 0.5% from your home loan rate, seize the date for dividends, and 43,000 Aussies dob in tax cheats. Here are five things you may have missed this week.

0.5% rate gap between old and new loans

Data from the Reserve Bank shows the average rate for an existing home loan was about 3.52% in June. That's close to 0.5% more than the average of 3.05% across new loans.

dob in a tax cheat

It's a compelling reason to ditch notions of customer loyalty, and take a look at how much you could save by switching to a new lender.

The average loan being refinanced nationally is worth around $518,000. A rate cut of 0.5% could see homeowners save over $2,500 in the first year alone.

In NSW where the average loan refinanced is closer to $642,000, the savings can add up to $3,200 in the first 12 months.

Seize the date for dividends!

As company reporting season gets underway, shareholders will be looking forward to finding out how much they'll pocket in dividends in the weeks ahead.

If you're tempted to buy a share just to cash in on a juicy dividend, it pays to watch for a few dates.

The 'ex-dividend' date is the final trading date on which you can buy a share and still be eligible for the final dividend of 2022.

This is followed by the 'record date', when a company rules a line under its share register to identify shareholders who will be paid a dividend.

You'll find these dates on the financial calendar in the investor section of a company's website.

As a guide, CommBank announced a final dividend for 2022 of $2.10 per share. You need to purchase shares before the ex-dividend date of August 17 to pocket the dividend, which will be paid on September 29.

CSL will publish its annual report and announce the final dividend for 2022 on August 17. The ex-dividend date is September 6.

Could be time to get cracking with your broker if you want to cash in on the upcoming dividend bonanza.

Or, if you prefer to pick up a bargain, it could pay to hold off until after the ex-dividend date, when share prices tend to dip - often by the value of the final dividend.

43,000 tips-offs as Aussies dob in tax cheats

Dobbing may be un-Australian but not, it seems, when it comes to tax cheats.

In the last financial year the Australian Tax Office (ATO) received 43,000 tip-offs from whistleblowers concerned about people or businesses trying to avoid paying their fair share of tax.

The most common tip-offs received by the ATO involved:

  • 59% - taxpayers not declaring all income
  • 29% - people demanding or paying for work cash-in-hand to avoid tax
  • 26% - sales not being fully reported
  • 24% - people having a lifestyle that doesn't match their income

The industries most likely to be dobbed in are building and construction, hairdressing and beauty, and cafés and restaurants.

If you suspect a person or a business is trying to skirt around paying tax, the issue can be reported to the Tax Office on 1800 060 062.

RBA looks into digital currency

If you can't beat them, join them, right?

That could be the case at the Reserve Bank, which announced this week it will trial a digital currency in collaboration with the Digital Finance Cooperative Research Centre.

The project will look at how a digital currency that taps into distributed ledger technology could work, and whether there are any potential economic benefits.

It's unlikely to be music to the ears of cryptocurrency investors.

A digital currency issued by a central bank is likely to be a lot less risky than the current, largely unregulated, selection of digital currencies.

Meanwhile, the world's best-known digital currency - Bitcoin, continues to limp along at one-third of the value of its former peak.

Australians vote with their feet to squeeze savings out of banking and utilities

Research by Finder shows almost one in two Australians have switched at least one financial product over the past six months in the chase for a better deal.

Gen Z are the nation's most relentless deal-chasers, with 71% having switched at least one product, followed by millennials (59%). Just 20% of baby boomers have switched a provider in the past six months.

Finder's Taylor Blackburn says Australians are being forced to take drastic action on their finances.

She notes, "Many people have realised that some savvy swaps - like switching energy providers or cutting down on subscriptions - could save you hundreds of dollars a year."

Among the switches made, 16% of Australians have moved to a different energy plan, nearly one in six mortgage holders have refinanced their home loan, and one in ten of us have moved to a new super fund.

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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.