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"There are only two certainties in life: Death and Taxes." -- Benjamin Franklin

Medical science has been progressing in leaps and bounds over the last century, so we are pleased to be able to report that overall, while Mr Franklin might still argue it is a certainty, there has been some success in keeping Death waiting at the door. Taxation, on the other hand is another matter altogether!

Like it or not, running a government costs money, and the Tax man has the job of making sure the money is there and of course, being in the Government he, like us, is subject to the vagaries of politics when it comes to working out how to collect it.

The cartoons below present some of the "highlights" of such vagaries over 35 years in Australian Taxation. It is a period which has seen a great deal of change in Tax Law, although it will be seen, that just as the old gives way to the new, so does the new to the old.

We start with a period of high state taxation, moving onto to high federal taxation, a brief detour to the bottom of the harbor, finally finishing with tax reform, which naturally, involved introducing a new tax. One shudders to think what would happen if Doctors used an analogous approach. At least there is a bright side, just as we must pay tax, so do the people working for the Tax Office!

The Cartoons.

In case you were thinking of drowning your sorrows!

The perils of having a State Government!

The perils of having a Federal Government!

The perils of having taxpayers!

A government also needs somewhere to live, but who will pay?

A great White finds himself at the "Bottom of the Harbor".

Fortunately, the workers do get pay rises...

A toast!

Even a drover's dog can't avoid problems with Tax evasion.

Reform. The first attempts at a Goods and Services Tax (GST).

The second attempt, not easy...

and not without some non-government beneficiaries...

and a bit of heat,

but with eventual "success".