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Abstract

Income averaging for primary producers is a long-standing tax policy in Australia. Major changes were made to the scheme in 1983 to overcome anomalies associated with the previous scheme. However the amended scheme has not been subject to review. In this review, the scheme is found to perform poorly against the traditional evaluation criteria of equity, efficiency and simplicity. The general conclusion is that to avoid cross-subsidisation and investment distortions which are often inherent features of any general scheme, it is appropriate to consider the adequacy of self-averaging mechanisms.

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