The Sunday Mail (Queensland)

TRAPS TAXRULINGF­OR THETOADS

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CANE toads and taipans will be next on the gov­ern­ment hit list if Joe Hockey’s tax teams suc­ceed in the blitz against bat­tling far north Queens­land land­lords.

Bad enough for coastal land­lords to be feel­ing the rentals pinch af­ter de­struc­tive cy­clones in March 2006 and Fe­bru­ary 2011. Some is­land re­sorts have just re­opened, oth­ers lie aban­doned – sur­ren­dered to the toads and taipans. The FNQ strip from Port Hinch­in­brook past Bingil Bay took a pound­ing from Cy­clone Yasi in 2011 and some vil­lages are still strug­gling. Latest tax rul­ing is not ex­actly sup­port­ive to a re­gional real es­tate re­cov­ery. If your prop­erty is si­t­u­ated in a re­gion still suf­fer­ing post-cy­clone re­ces­sion “it is con­sid­ered not to be gen­uinely avail­able for rent’’.

In other words, only land­lords with bold and beau­ti­ful prop­er­ties need ap­ply for tax de­duc­tions.

Warn­ings went out Au­gust 18 from the tax of­fice to land­lords whose four-fig­ure an­nual in­come “was lower than ex­pected’’. The tax of­fice also has taken land­lords to task for slav­ing away on main­te­nance at their rental prop­er­ties dur­ing sti­fling sum­mers when ten­ants van­ish. Even at “mates’ rates’’.

In the case of Mis­sion Beach, the vil­lage was iso­lated by Yasi’s de- struc­tion with rain­for­est de­bris block­ing the road from El Ar­ish on the Bruce High­way.

At least this latest tax fi­asco gives Trea­surer “Slow Joe’’ Hockey an ex­cuse to re­visit the far north – this time with his tax or­a­cles.

Never mind about the cane toads and snakes. Joe will be safe as long as he does not bring Prime Min­is­ter Tony Ab­bott with th him.

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