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Australian Gov't Asks eBay To Name Big Sellers 215

Posted by Soulskill
from the fishing-expedition dept.
beaverdownunder writes "In an effort to combat fraudulent claims lodged within its Centrelink welfare-payment agency, the Australian Government has asked auction-site eBay to name all Aussies who sold more than $20,000 worth of goods in the last year. Should someone be found to have been doing such a high-volume of business on eBay while claiming Centrelink benefits but not declaring that income, they could potentially face prosecution. However, the president of the Australian Council for Civil Liberties, Terry O'Gorman, says this action is a gross invasion of privacy. 'What we say should happen is that if police have probable cause for investigating someone, they go to a magistrate, they get a warrant and they access that person's eBay records that way,' he said."
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Australian Gov't Asks eBay To Name Big Sellers

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  • by 140Mandak262Jamuna (970587) on Friday June 15, 2012 @12:51PM (#40336467) Journal
    People have made this argument, and the courts have soundly rejected it. Otherwise every employer would save all the compliance and reporting costs related to reporting salaries and bonuses to IRS. All businesses would like to take the stand, "I would not maintain any records and would not provide anything till you get a court warrant". It is the duty of every citizen to cooperate with the government to catch the tax dodgers and free loaders.

    You are probably a free loader and hate the ability of the government to find evidence of your tax dodging.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday June 15, 2012 @01:15PM (#40336809)

    [citation needed]

    No, really, please provide me the information that corroborates your wild accusations. Are there tax loopholes that large corporations are able to step through in order to avoid paying taxes? Sure, but to state that these same corps owe back taxes, and that someone like Warren Buffett owes a trillion in back taxes is just plain, pants on head, count to potato dumb.

    So, like I said,

    [citation needed]

    PS: A decent citation, not some nutjob tinfoil-hat leftist commie hippie crap website that also claims 9/11 was an inside job. Keep links like that to yourself.

  • by Sir_Sri (199544) on Friday June 15, 2012 @01:48PM (#40337193)

    Um... If you travel to california you are obliged to pay sales taxes in california. Whether you can vote there is completely irrelevant. Governments have no particular obligation to give anyone representation. Nor does paying taxes give you any guarantee of representation, (ask juveniles or anyone living in Washington D.C. if you're confused by this).

    When you were doing business with a UK retailer you tried to scam them out of VAT tax. They *have* to pay VAT taxes on the stuff they bought and they add to the VAT at each step. You can file a claim with the *government* after if you are exempt from VAT, but the retailer is obliged by law to collect it, otherwise it comes out of their pocket. I don't know for sure about the UK but Ireland has some sort of VAT reduction thing for tourists where you can get some of the VAT you paid back.

    Also, your one line assertion that 9% taxes are nuts is childishly foolish. Different areas tax in different ways. There's nothing particularly nuts about a 25% sales tax or a 1% sales tax. What matters is total government taxation, and who bears the burden.

    VAT by the way isn't sales tax. It seem like it. But it isn't. It's a value added tax. At each step of the production process tax is added based on the value added at that step. Talk about an administrative nightmare. I'm not suggesting it's a good or efficient system (although it certainly has its advantages), but it's not a sales tax.

  • by Dexter Herbivore (1322345) on Friday June 15, 2012 @02:38PM (#40337725) Journal
    A quick note for non-Australians, Centrelink is the agency that distributes Australian pensions and unemployment benefits. This has NOTHING to do with tax at this point although I'm sure the ATO (Australian Taxation Office, our IRS) will get interested if Centrelink catches any welfare cheats.

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