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Indian-born skilled workers top amongst Australian taxpayers, says ATO-ABS data

Deakin University Associate Professor Harminder Singh. Source: Supplied

Deakin University’s Prof. Harminder Singh analyses the latest data on the personal income and tax paid by Australia’s migrant population. With their contribution to Australia’s tax revenue at nearly 30 per cent, how will the cutback on migration intake impact the Australian economy?

The Australian Bureau of Statistics has released the latest data on the personal income and tax of the country’s migrant population for the financial year 2016-17.

Analysing this complex dataset, Harminder Singh, Associate Professor in the department of finance at Deakin University finds “the maximum number of taxpaying skilled migrants were born in India, which makes 20 per cent of the taxpaying population of Australia.”

Provided to ABS by the Australian Taxation Office (ATO), this data relates to persons 15 years and over who have migrated to Australia under a permanent or provisional visa with an arrival date between January 1, 2000 and June 30, 2019. 

Addressing the ongoing debate about the proposed cut in Australia’s migration intake in 2020-21, Prof. Singh views it from the prism of Australia’s tax revenue.

“In 2016-17, migrants earned $112 billion, and $40 billion in tax was collected from them. If the migrant intake goes down, tax revenue will be impacted,” he explains.

What is the contribution of Indian-origin migrants in this?

“Indian-born migrants have paid $18 billion in tax, second only to those from the UK. Our income as well as tax contribution are going up. It’s a proud statistic for our community,” Prof. Singh adds, highlighting how tax compliance and ethics are also growing as the skilled migrant workforce from India progresses.

Listen to the podcast in Punjabi (player inside the picture at the top) for a detailed analysis of the data in which Prof. Harminder Singh talks about the nature of work done by Indian migrants and their tax ethics.

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