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5 A tax is a compulsory levy imposed by the government, mainly to raise revenue. There is usually no clear and direct link between payment of taxes and the provision of particular goods and services by government. Taxes are levied, inter alia, on income, wealth, production, sale and use of goods and services and the performance of activities.
6 Governments may regulate certain activities by issuing licences for which fees are payable. If the issue of such licences involves little or no work by the government then the revenue raised is deemed to be taxation revenue. However, if the government uses the issue of licences to exercise some proper regulatory function, such as checking the competency or qualifications of a would-be licensee, then the revenue raised is deemed not to be taxation revenue, but revenue from the sale of services by government unless it is clearly out of all proportion to the costs of providing the services.
7 Taxes that are levied on a regular or periodic basis are deemed to be current taxes. Taxes that are levied infrequently and at irregular intervals or under exceptional circumstances are deemed to be capital taxes.
8 The Taxes Classification is used to classify by detailed type all transactions in governments’ operating statements which are classified to the following economic type framework categories:
9 The Taxes Classification has been developed to present, in a systematic way and in sufficient detail for international reporting, the relationships that exist between taxes in terms of taxation criteria adopted by the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development. The first five groups of the Taxes Classification, which represent the broad bases on which taxes are levied in Australia, are:
10 These tax groups are divided into seventeen subgroups according to type of entities, property, activities, goods or services being taxed. The subgroups, which are further subdivided into sixty classes, generally describe the specific type of tax actually collected in Australia.
OTHER AGGREGATES USED IN THIS PUBLICATION
11 Gross Domestic Product (GDP) is defined as the total market value of goods and services produced in Australia within a given period after deducting the cost of goods used up in the process of production, but before deducting allowances for the consumption of fixed capital (depreciation).
12 As well as showing the variety of types of taxes levied in Australia, the tables in this publication have been designed to show the relative importance of the tax system of the Commonwealth, state and local levels of government. They have also been designed to show the extent and composition of taxation levied by each State Government (including its subsidiary authorities). In this latter connection, it should be noted that interstate comparison of tax collections by state or local governments separately can be misleading unless account is taken of state to state variations in the range of activities for which these two levels of government are responsible. In the Australian Capital Territory, for example, only a state level of government currently exists and a number of functions performed by it are undertaken by local government authorities elsewhere.
13 GFS are revised progressively as new or improved data become available. For this reason differences can occur between equivalent aggregates published at different times.
ABS DATA AVAILABLE ON REQUEST
14 Generally, a charge is made for providing data available on request. This information may be made available in one or more of the following forms: photocopy; computer printout; floppy disk; CD-ROM; and clerically-extracted tabulation. Inquiries should be made to the officer whose name appears in the Inquiries section of this publication, or to the ABS National Information Service.
15 Users may wish to refer to the following products which contain related information:
Australian National Accounts: Financial Accounts (cat. no.5232.0) - issued quarterly
Australian National Accounts: National Income, Expenditure and Product (cat. no.5206.0) - issued quarterly
Australian System of National Accounts (cat. no.5204.0) - issued annually
Government Finance Statistics, Australia (cat. no.5512.0) - issued annually
Government Finance Statistics - Concepts, Sources and Methods (cat. no.5514.0) - issued January 1995
Household Expenditure Survey, Australia: The Effects of Government Benefits and Taxes on Household Income (cat. no.6537.0) - latest edition 1993-94, issued May 1996
Information Paper: Accruals-based Government Finance Statistics (cat. no.5517.0) - issued March 2000
Information Paper: Developments in Government Finance Statistics (cat. no.5516.0) - issued February 1997
Statistical Concepts Library (cat. no.1361.0.30.001) - issued annually on CD-ROM
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