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Australia republic debate bill shorten keen to help malcolm turnbull make it a reality




BILL Shorten has said Malcolm Turnbull has put an Australian republic in the too-hard basket but has offered to work with him to make it a reality.

Mr Shorten said it was disappointing the prime minister was unwilling to be more ambitious after Mr Turnbull restated his belief a republic wouldnt happen until after the Queens reign.

Ive written to Mr Turnbull offering to work with him to kickstart discussion about how we make an Australian public a reality, Mr Shorten said while travelling in Israel.

Speaking at the 25th anniversary of the Australian Republic Movement he helped found, Mr Turnbull advocated a grassroots approach to reviving a push for a referendum and said an initial advisory vote should be held to determine what form a republic would take.

Any move had to be genuinely popular, otherwise the lessons from the failed 1999 referendum hadnt been learned, Mr Turnbull said at the weekend. Mr Shorten reiterated his support to work towards a referendum, but took aim at Mr Turnbull for pumping the brakes on the push for an Australian head of state. Hes squibbed it (on) climate change, then marriage equality, then housing affordability - and it seems the republic is too hard for Malcolm Turnbull, the Labor leader said.

Its time for some leadership here. Mr Turnbull urged republicans to build a grassroots movement, saying only a genuine popular push would lead to change.

Australian taxation office raids facebook for evidence of dodgy returns




THE flashy lifestyles of Australians who report modest incomes to the tax man are being dissected on social media.

Facebook and Instagram posts flaunting overseas holidays, private schooling and business-class flights will be used to nab tax cheats as part of a crackdown on dodgy returns that understate income.

The Australian Taxation Office aims to recoup billions of dollars worth of taxes on undeclared income, with the social media evidence used to complement intelligence gleaned through data matching, The Australian reports.

So if your lifestyle doesnt match the amount you earn on paper, your affairs could be under the microscope.

According to the latest ATO annual report, the tax office collected $9.6 billion from compliance activities last year, more than two-thirds of it for income tax.

It prosecuted more than 1300 individuals and 400 companies for offences ranging from noncompliance with lodgement obligations, to making false or misleading claims and keeping false records.

There were 21 people convicted and sentenced for serious criminal matters, with penalties ranging from four to 87 months and reparation orders forcing taxpayers to pay back about $4.5 million.

We will continue to use more sources and more sophisticated intelligence to target compliance action on those who warrant such action, ATO Commissioner Chris Jordan said in the report.

David Koch delivers essential tips on how to get the biggest tax rebate.