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The federal government has been urged to consider taxing home owner-occupiers in the same way as it taxes property investors, according to a leading property sector expert.
University of Sydney Business School associate professor Jamie Alcock claimed that owner-occupiers in Australia currently pay next to no tax on their investment, no tax on the substantial rent-free benefit they gain while living in their home and no capital gains tax when they sell.
With the government and opposition in talks regarding possible changes to negative gearing concessions to property investors, who do currently pay tax on their profits, Mr Alcock claimed that the focus needs to be shifted.
"While there is a lot of talk about negative gearing, Australia is one of the most generous countries in the world when it comes to the tax concessions enjoyed by owner-occupiers," he noted.
"Having one investment class, such as homeownership, which is tax free while all the other investments are heavily taxed, attracts high investment levels in that investment class.
"This leads to high levels of demand and therefore, heavy price inflation. It also draws investment away from the productive economy."