This book is on taxation from the special perspective of share and property investors, large and small, beginners and more advanced. It will also help students of the subject at all levels. The book deliberately concentrates on broad principles rather than on fine detail.
Rational investors today can hardly ignore the current tax regime. This book is updated to 2008 and includes coverage of recent developments. It contains four chapters on capital gains tax and two on dividend imputation, as experience shows that these are areas of great confusion for many investors.
Other subjects covered in the book include useful links on the Internet, tax deductions and rebates, the use of borrowed funds, family trusts, share traders, inflation, marginal tax rates, State taxes, social security and the GST. This book of 31 chapters concludes with 11 appendices, a very detailed glossary and a comprehensive index.
444 pages 9781920910914 RRP $A34.99
FROM THE FOREWORD by Ian Curry FCPA, FCIS
Chairman, Australian Shareholders' Association
Nick Renton has written nearly 70 books full of useful and generally important information for all Australians. These books are easy to read and offer many practical case studies and real life situations.
His Understanding Taxation for Investors is indeed "a simple guide for families with shares and property". Sadly, tax law is not easily explained and Nick needs more than 400 pages to do so.
All taxpayers and even those who do not pay tax will find this book full of helpful information and a sound reference. Given the propensity of legislators to keep changing taxation law one can only hope that Nick Renton has given them a publication outlining the challenges for taxpayers!
Chapter 01 INTRODUCTORY
Chapter 02 INCOME TAX AND TAXPAYERS AT LARGE
Chapter 03 INCOME TAX AND INVESTORS
Chapter 04 CAPITAL GAINS TAX: BASICS
Chapter 05 CAPITAL GAINS TAX: SPECIAL SITUATIONS
Chapter 06 CAPITAL GAINS TAX: RECORD KEEPING
Chapter 07 CAPITAL GAINS TAX: OTHER ASPECTS
Chapter 08 DEDUCTIONS AND REBATES AVAILABLE TO INVESTORS
Chapter 09 FIXED INTEREST SECURITIES
Chapter 10 SHARES
Chapter 11 LISTED AND UNLISTED UNIT TRUSTS
Chapter 12 PROPERTY
Chapter 13 FOREIGN ASSETS AND INCOME
Chapter 14 DIVIDEND REINVESTMENT PLANS
Chapter 15 TAXATION WHEN BORROWED FUNDS ARE USED
Chapter 16 TAX LOSSES
Chapter 17 INCOME SPLITTING
Chapter 18 FAMILY TRUSTS
Chapter 19 MINORS
Chapter 20 PRIVATE COMPANIES
Chapter 21 SHARE TRADERS AND THE CGT
Chapter 22 GIFTS AND BEQUESTS TO CHARITIES
Chapter 23 DIVIDEND IMPUTATION AND COMPANY DISTRIBUTION POLICIES
Chapter 24 FRANKING ACCOUNTS
Chapter 25 TAX EFFECT PLANNING
Chapter 26 THE GOODS AND SERVICES TAX
Chapter 27 CURRENT AND FORMER STATE TAXES
Chapter 28 SOCIAL SECURITY ISSUES
Chapter 29 IMPUTATION: SOME THEORETICAL CONCEPTS
Chapter 30 SOME WARNINGS
Chapter 31 MISCELLANEOUS
Appendix A MARGINAL INCOME TAX RATES 2007-08
Appendix B AVERAGE INCOME TAX RATES 2007-08
Appendix C EFFECTIVE TAX RATES WITH FRANKED DIVIDENDS
Appendix D THE DOLLAR ADVANTAGE OF FRANKED DIVIDENDS
Appendix E TAX SHELTERING FROM FRANKED DIVIDENDS
Appendix F YIELD CONVERSION FACTORS
Appendix G HISTORICAL COMPANY TAX RATES
Appendix H THE CONSUMER PRICE INDEX
Appendix I NUMERICAL EXAMPLES
Appendix J KEY DATES
Appendix K FURTHER INFORMATION
TAILPIECE: A LETTER TO THE IRS
Book Review by Jenni Eason of the Australian Investors' Association
Nick Renton AM is a consulting actuary, company director and author of over seventy books. This book (around 400 pages) focuses on taxation from the perspective of share and property investors and is up-to-date as at November 2008.
It is not the sort of book you get out for a good read, but rather one which you would more likely read one chapter at a time and not necessarily in order as it is more of a reference manual. That said, it is written in an easy to read style, in plain English and is quite comprehensive.
There are 31 chapters and 11 appendices. The book is divided into four parts: General Principles, Taxes on Specific Asset Classes, Common Situations and Other Aspects.
Part 1 covers some basic tax principles - for example, assessable income and describes the taxation assessment system (and what self-assessment really means). There are then several chapters on capital gains tax, including special situations and record-keeping. It concludes with a chapter on deductions and rebates. Where appropriate worked examples are provided and the actual legislative references are given.
Part 2 includes chapters on fixed interest securities, shares, listed and unlisted trusts, property and foreign assets and income. Although detail in some areas is necessarily limited, worked examples are provided and legislation is referenced.
Part 3 looks in more detail at some common situations such as dividend reinvestment plans, borrowing to invest, tax losses, income splitting, family trusts, minors, private companies, share traders and donations.
Finally, Part 4 examines franking accounts in more detail, tax-effect planning, the GST, State taxes and other aspects of the tax system - for example, private rulings, product rulings, etc.
I'm not sure that the structure of the book is optimal as a reference publication - for example, there are several chapters that cover aspects of the dividend imputation system; however, that said, the book is a pretty comprehensive text for its size and would be a useful addition to most investors' libraries (unless, of course, you have something such as CCH's Tax Reporter on hand).