5506.0 - Taxation Revenue, Australia, 2003-04  
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 19/04/2005   
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1 This publication contains statistics of revenue collected by all levels of government in Australia in the form of taxes for the period from 1998-99 to 2003-04.

2 GFS taxation statistics are presented on an accrual accounting basis. Due to changes associated with the introduction of accrual accounting, data for 1998-99 and subsequent years have been compiled on a different methodological basis to that of previous years which were compiled using a cash accounting methodology. Consequently, data for 1998-99 and following years are not directly comparable with the data for 1997-98 and earlier periods.


3 The concepts and definitions underlying the statistics in this publication are described in detail in Australian System of Government Finance Statistics: Concepts, Sources and Methods (Cat. no. 5514.0.55.001), available in electronic form on the ABS Website via the Statistical Concepts Library.

4 The main purpose of the Concepts, Sources and Methods publication is to serve as a reference manual for users of GFS statistics who require a detailed understanding of the concepts, sources and methods in order to analyse and interpret the information that the statistics convey. It contains a copy of the Taxes Classification, which dissects this major form of government revenue according to the type of tax collected.


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 or 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:

  • taxes on income;
  • other current taxes;
  • taxes on products;
  • other taxes on production; and
  • capital taxes.

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:
  • taxes on income;
  • employers’ payroll taxes;
  • taxes on property;
  • taxes on the provision of goods and services; and
  • taxes on the use of goods and performance of activities.

10 These tax groups are divided into seventeen subgroups according to the 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.


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 and services used up in the process of production, but before allowance 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 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 exists and a number of functions performed by it are undertaken by local government authorities elsewhere.


13 The population estimates underlying the taxation per capita figures in this publication are calculated across a full twelve month period, involving the average of five quarters (end of June quarter previous year to end of June quarter current year) of Estimated Residential Population (ERP) data from Australian Demographic Statistics (ABS cat. no 3101.0). The total taxation revenue for each jurisdiction is then divided by the average ERP figure.

14 The average taxation per capita across all states is calculated by taking the total taxation revenue for those jurisdictions and dividing it by the average ERP for Australia across the same five quarters (i.e. end of June quarter previous year to end of June quarter current year).


15 GFS data are revised on an annual basis. For this reason differences can occur between equivalent aggregates published in earlier years.


16 Generally, a charge is made for providing data available on request. Data requests and other inquiries should be made to the ABS National Information and Referral Service or the officer whose name appears in the Inquiries section of this publication.


17 Users may wish to refer to the following publications which contain related information:

18 Australian National Accounts: Financial Accounts (cat. no.5232.0) - issued quarterly

19 Australian National Accounts: National Income, Expenditure and Product (cat. no.5206.0) - issued quarterly

20 Australian System of Government Finance Statistics: Concepts, Sources and Methods (cat. no.5214.0.55.001) - available in electronic form on the ABS Website via the Statistical Concepts Library

21 Australian System of National Accounts (cat. no.5204.0) - issued annually

22 Government Finance Statistics, Australia (cat. no.5512.0) - issued annually

23 Government Finance Statistics, Australia, Quarterly (cat. no.5519.0.55.001) - issued quarterly