Working Aboard and Tax

Two weeks ago the big "A" asked whether I am interested in working for them in that far far away land in Seattle. Too much to travel so I reclined. However, if anyone in Sydney who is interested in software engineering job with a big online retailer, and do not mind relocating to the States -- leave me a message and I might refer you.

And today, I got another email, from the recruiter of the big "G" this time, asking whether I would like to work for them. Senior software engineer/architect kind of position. C++, Python, MySQL and Linux. Very tempting to be called a G'er. And the big "G" is willing to relocate me to any of their new offices -- west and east coast of US, parts of Europe, etc. Except, "Sydney Australia" is no where on the list...

So, I guess I will turn it down again.

And there is no wonder why Australia kept on loosing talents (not that I am calling myself as one) to US and Europe. Not just accountants and finance elites, but also engineers, designers and software developers. Big global .com firms want to set up regional business centres around the world, and why wouldn't they establish theirs in Australia for the Asia-Pacific region?

Out of the list of locations she gave me, Dublin Ireland stands out from the European locations. My idea of "Ireland" used to stuck in the groomy 80's. But a while ago I read that Ireland is now one of the biggest economy hubs in Europe after its reform in the 90's. Because of its company tax at 12.5%, every major corporation wants to establish its office in Dublin. Even the big "G" wants to move its software engineers there.

What about Australia? Our 30% company tax rate has always been under criticism, as it is thought to be something that hinders foreign investment. In comparison with other Asian hubs like Taiwan (25%), Singapore (20%) and Hong Kong (17.5%) -- the big corporates (and their share-holders!) know where to have their offices and keep the profits!

But 30% is still much better than our top marginal income tax rate at 47%. While Costello said that only the top 3% of the population are paying this rate, many are paying the still-relative-high 42%. No wonder ASX has been dominated by financial services, and we have so many financial advisers and tax accounts in every street corner. No wonder why an average white collar worker like me has to learn things like negative gearing, setting up discretionary trust, etc.

But then I also realised even Ireland has top marginal rate at 42% -- starting from merely AUD$46,600! They must have done something interesting to prevent every Joe Sixpack setting up his own company and pay only 12.5% tax.

flo has already done her tax return this year. I did not look at it until 1st October last year. Maybe I shall do the same this year.