TAX can be a pretty boring subject but if you lift the lid on some of the Australian Tax Office’s annual tax statistics you can find out a lot of interesting things about the Wimmera.
We’re going to look at which areas of the Wimmera are best at making, saving, investing and sometimes even giving away money in 2014/15.
And to liven up all this accountant businesses, we’re going to drop a few animated gifs along the way.
So let’s begin...
Highest average salary: Stawell (Postcode 3380)
Be honest, this is the main reason you’re on this news story, isn’t it?
Stawell topped the average declared salary with $53,608.
Halls Gap was close behind on $53,342.
Horsham was few rungs down the ladder of opportunity at $51,134.
Most generous: Kaniva (Postcode 3419)
They’ve got big hearts out in West Wimmera, where they dig deep and keep their receipts.
Kaniva had the highest average tax-deductible donations by a considerable margin on $937.
Lillimur, and Serviceton was second on $770 and Birchip third on $502.
Horsham’s average donation was $487, with Stawell on $245 and Ararat on $253.
Biggest average tax bill: Hopetoun (Postcode 3396)
The average taxpayer in Hopetoun got stung for gross taxes of $11,891.
Lillimur and Serviceton were a close second on $11,151 and Kaniva had $10,841.
The average Horsham taxpayer coughed up $10,588.
Biggest average HECS debt: Apsley and Benayeo (Postcode 3319)
Apsley and Benayeo’s ex-university students still had the most left to pay back from their time partying and studying hard.
An average of $7334 owing to the government in HECS debts, Ouch.
Natimuk was a distant second on $3804 and Kaniva had $3753.
Horsham and Stawell were equal fourth on about $3455 each.
Highest termination pay: Horsham (Postcode 3400)
In Horsham, 76 left their jobs and were given taxable employment termination payments.
Whatever the circumstances of their departure, the average taxable payout was $16,576.
The ex-employees in Dooen, Drung, Haven and surrounds in Postcode 3401 received an average taxable golden handshake of $13,451.
Natimuk had $8698 and Ararat and surrounding areas had $8015.
Best bank savings: Natimuk (Postcode 3409)
Natimuk was the best as squirreling it away as the average person who claimed income from interest chalked up $2996 from doing nothing.
Nothing, that is, except for resisting the urge to spend that pile of cash.
Kaniva was close behind on $2727.
The average Horsham saver brought in $1560 from compound interest.
Bear in mind that the official Reserve Bank interest rate was at 2.5 per cent for most of 2014/15, while in April 2017 it was just 1.5 per cent.
Smartest investors: St Arnaud (Postcode 3478)
The average St Arnaud and surrounding area investor who made a profit in 2014/15 declared capital gains of $9417.
Ararat was close behind on $9376 and Stawell had $7620
Horsham’s profitable investors managed an average of $6593.
Biggest investment losses: Halls Gap (Postcode 3381)
It seems living in and around mountains is bad for your stock market portfolio.
Halls Gap and surrounding area investors who made a loss in 2014/15 reported and average capital loss of $14,629.
Horsham’s losing investors were not far behind, ending the year an average of $13,780 in the hole.
There must be both good and bad investors in St Arnaud as the average loss was $12673, with Birchip on $12,079.
Most work-related car expenses: Birchip (Postcode 3483)
Birchip clearly needs four wheels to make it through the nine to five, with an average work-related car expense claim of $2690.
Followed by Kaniva on $2529 and Stawell on $2455.
Horsham had an average claim of $2166 and Stawell $2167.
Remember to keep those logbooks handy.