Expert opinion on dividend imputations


“Sensible economics” 
Saul Eslake, Economist, 13 March 2018

Imputation “was never designed to generate cash refunds” 
Saul Eslake, Economist, 14 March 2018

“The proposal by the Australian Labor Party to stop refunding imputation credits even where no tax has been paid by an investor will have little or no impact on the super of most Australians…” 
Industry Super Australia, 13 March 2018

“Super funds where most Australians have their retirement savings will be largely unaffected by this proposal because the imputation credits are exhausted offsetting tax liabilities of the fund” 
David Whiteley, Chief Executive, Industry Super Australia, 13 March 2018

“This is a return to the clarity and simplicity of the dividend imputation that I introduced in 1987 … I made no provision for cash back. The cash backs were only ever affordable by a big spike in national income and that spike in national income has long gone." 
Paul Keating, former Prime Minister and Treasurer of Australia, 13 March 2018

"For one, it would remove a large distortion in our system, one that sees a dollar retained by a company worth less than one paid out to a low-tax rate shareholder … This explains the immense pressure on Australian companies not to cut dividends unless they're on their death bed. In a sensible world, there's no such thing as an underwritten dividend reinvestment plan…. If we're going to have a tax system, why shouldn't companies' full profit streams be subject to corporate tax - "or should it only be wage slaves paying for hospitals, schools, defence and roads?" 
Gareth Brown, Senior Analyst, Forager Funds Management, 13 March 2018

“Federal Labor’s plan to scrap a cash handout to wealthy shareholders will go some way to help address growing inequality in Australia.” 
GetUp!, 13 March 2018

“The ALP’s proposed changes to dividend imputation credits will ensure the wealthiest Australians pay their fair share.” 
Scott Connolly, ACTU Assistant Secretary, 13 March 2018

“Australia is the only country with a full refundable imputation system. History is moving away from imputation and Germany, France, Italy, Singapore and Malaysia already have…” 
Grant Wardell-Johnson, Partner, Australian Tax Centre, KPMG Australia, 14 March 2018

“…the benefits flow overwhelmingly to the wealthiest Australians. Australia Institute commissioned modelling showed that 75 per cent of benefits of dividend imputation flowed to households with incomes in the top 10 per cent. Almost half the benefits go to individuals earning over $180,000, who make up only 2.2 per cent of the population….. If we are to have to fund the services, schools, hospitals and infrastructure expected by the community we need a sustainable revenue base. Indeed many in the corporate sector know that ultimately businesses can only really flourish if there is a decent society in place. To pay for that decent society and its infrastructure we can either raise tax rates or close concessions, deductions and loopholes. Our dividend imputation system – that is unlike anywhere else in the world – would be a good place to start.” 
Ben Oquist, Executive Director, The Australia Institute, 14 March 2018.