Do you ever get the feeling that we are a little over regulated?
I ask as we are about to send a Newsletter advising of a new withholding tax that will apply to all property transactions over $2m. The aim is to catch some tax from those sneaky non-residents who sell Australian property. But like so many of these rules, they impact everyone. So now you have to prove that you are a resident to avoid the tax, and that will involve completing a form with the ATO to get a clearance. We all know how well that will work – the poor old ATO is already under-staffed and over-worked so there will be delays, which has the potential for 10% of the sale price to go to the ATO to (hopefully) be retrieved later. This could mean a $200,000 tax on the sale of your home!
I then start to reflect on the principles that create laws such as the above.
It seems that wherever one person faces a risk or finds a loophole, the principle is that we need to legislate and regulate EVERYBODY. So one person's misfortune becomes everyone's regulatory nightmare.
Recent news contained a story of a poor tourist taken by a crocodile in North Queensland, and immediate demands for more protection to avoid this occurring again. The fact that there were signs at the location and the tourist was swimming at 10.30 pm did not seem to mitigate the need for more "protection".
We can imagine that there will be another level of regulation, another inquiry and more bureaucracy to deal with what some might consider a one-off issue.
There are so many examples of this phenomenon. I struggle to believe that we really are better off when Big Brother is attempting to regulate all our activities in place of applying some common sense.