Every year, the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) compiles the tax data they collect. The recently released 2015-16 ‘tax stats’ reveal the state of the Australian community. Here’s some of what they found:

Highest earning job roles

  • Surgeons
  • Anaesthetists
  • Internal medicine specialists
  • Financial dealers
  • Psychiatrists
  • Other medical practitioners
  • Judicial and other legal professionals
  • Mining engineers
  • Cheif Executives and Managing Directors
  • Engineering managers

It’s worth pointing out that these salary statistics are the average taxable income of a particular occupation category – so, any deductions or losses the individual is able to claim have already reduced the salary represented. It’s not the salary that someone would be paid. These figures would also pick up a mixture of full time and part time workers.

Australian’s wealthiest suburbs

Our sunny state hasn’t made the top 10 list for Australia’s wealthiest suburbs this year.

New South Wales suburbs – Darling Point, Edgecliff, or Point Piper (post code 2027) ranked number 1, with an average taxable income of $192,500.

In contrast postcode 2387, covering Bulyeroi and Rowena in far North East NSW, had the lowest average taxable income of around $12,000.

Who contributes the most tax?

The top 3 contributors to tax are individuals, companies and superannuation funds, with individuals contributing the highest percentage of 52.7% of all tax collected


  • Companies pay 18.9% of all tax
  • Around 14% of all companies paid no tax or made a loss
  • The largest companies, which represent 0.1% of all companies, contributed 55% of the tax paid by all companies (over $36 billion)
  • Medium sized companies were the next biggest contributor at 15.2%
  • Companies and super funds contributed over $5 billion in capital gains tax. Only 2.6% of gains made by super funds were from real estate

What sectors contribute to the most tax dollars?

  • Financial and insurance sector – 9%
  • Wholesale trade – 8%
  • Manufacturing – 6%
  • Professional, scientific & technical services – 6%
  • Mining only contributed 0.2% of the tax take.

Where do we make our money?

Salary and wages are obviously the biggest category of taxable income for individuals averaging $58,827 (up from $57,576 in the previous year).

Rental properties provide significant additional income for Australians:

  • We made over $42 billion in rental property income in 2015-16
  • Over 2 million people have an interest in a rental property
  • Almost 20,000 people have six or more rental properties
  • Net rental income has been fairly static over the last few years at -$3.6 billion

What deductions do we claim?

The list of deductions should give you a good indication of where the ATO is focusing their compliance activities.

  • 8,627,122 individuals claimed an average of $2,500 in work related deductions
  • $45.7 billion in rental property deductions were claimed
  • Claiming donations has dropped from an average $674 to $634

Key take out: The ATO have already flagged work related deductions as a major compliance focus  – especially travel expenses. Even if you only claim relatively small amounts, don’t assume that the ATO won’t query the deductions and ask to see evidence that proves you actually spent the money, you were not reimbursed, and the expenses were incurred in the course of earning assessable income.


The recent ‘tax stats’ found;

  • The average superannuation account balance is $115,945
    • median is only $37,473, which is clearly not enough to self-fund retirement.
  • The median account balance of people aged 55 to 59 is:
    • Men $124,738
    • women $83,103
    • The greatest disparity between men and women in this age bracket, is women are likely to have 36% less superannuation
  • The highest income earners with a median of $254,273, and an average of $532,278, had the highest super balances with a median of $254,273 ($532,278 average).
  • The average superannuation balance in the ACT is higher than anywhere else in Australia at
    • $185,777 (median of $57,239) for males
    • $157,981 (median of $47,364) for females
  • Females in Victoria are likely to have super account balances 25% less than males.

Key take out: There are some very real tax benefits to building the superannuation of your spouse using the super splitting rules.