TAXTATION

Part A

Recently there has been discussion in both the Australian and international media, and debate in the

European Parliament, concerning the proposal to tax smart autonomous robots (‘robots’) that are

said to be replacing human employees in many industries. The co­founder of Microsoft, Bill Gates,

has expressed his views in an interview with Quartz

 

https://qz.com/911968/bill­gates­the­robot­thattakes­your­job­should­pay­taxes/

 

Task Using several sources, identify and explain the arguments for and against the proposal to tax

robots. Which arguments do you find most persuasive: The arguments for, or the arguments and

against, and why?

Your response should include, but not be limited to, discussion of: ? the meaning and purpose of

taxation ? what is meant by ‘smart autonomous robot’ ? possible impacts on the Australian tax base if

there is an increased reliance on a smart autonomous robotic workforce and how to address these

impacts ? how a smart autonomous robotic workforce could be taxed –who would pay?

Part B (worth 15 marks)

Task Beta Pty Ltd – itself a large business – purchased a robotic machine from its parent company

Alpha Pty Ltd for $500,000 on 1 January 2017. The market value on that date was $300,000. Alpha

Pty Ltd owned the machine for 3 years and used the prime cost method when calculating its

depreciation deductions. The robotic machine has an effective life of 8 years.

What is the decline in value of the robotic machine for Beta Pty Ltd this income year? Provide

calculation and reasons for your answer. Part A (worth 85 marks)

Recently there has been discussion in both the Australian and international media, and debate in the

European Parliament, concerning the proposal to tax smart autonomous robots (‘robots’) that are

said to be replacing human employees in many industries. The co­founder of Microsoft, Bill Gates,

has expressed his views in an interview with Quartz https://qz.com/911968/bill­gates­the­robot­thattakes­your­job­should­pay­taxes/

Task Using several sources, identify and explain the arguments for and against the proposal to tax

robots. Which arguments do you find most persuasive: The arguments for, or the arguments and

against, and why?

Your response should include, but not be limited to, discussion of: ? the meaning and purpose of

taxation ? what is meant by ‘smart autonomous robot’ ? possible impacts on the Australian tax base if

there is an increased reliance on a smart autonomous robotic workforce and how to address these

impacts ? how a smart autonomous robotic workforce could be taxed –who would pay?

Part B 

Task Beta Pty Ltd – itself a large business – purchased a robotic machine from its parent company

Alpha Pty Ltd for $500,000 on 1 January 2017. The market value on that date was $300,000. Alpha

Pty Ltd owned the machine for 3 years and used the prime cost method when calculating its

depreciation deductions. The robotic machine has an effective life of 8 years.

What is the decline in value of the robotic machine for Beta Pty Ltd this income year? Provide

calculation and reasons for your answer.

 

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