Because society is always evolving the Tax Act and its administration is always evolving as well. Because I started studying tax 50 years ago I have obviously seen vast changes. They have not all been for the worst and they have not all been about rates of tax. The change of Company tax from 36% to 34% to 30% may be very desirable for investors but there is no fundamental change of principle involved.

The big changes inevitably revolve not around rates but around different methods of taxing different types of business structures like companies and trusts. Companies have been with us as separate legal entities for about 170 years. Trusts have been with us for about 500 years.

For this reason I get very cranky when journalists and politicians suggest that the Tax Office should “attack ” trusts because they are only used for tax avoidance. Like hundreds (? thousands) of grandfathers throughout the country I have set up a Trust for my grandchildren. This provides them with certainty and provides me with the assurance that my gifting to them will keep going even if I die before the Trust is determined. Tax had and has nothing to do with it.

In the last year I have set up at least half a dozen Trust structures for business where tax treatment was only a minor consideration

In my opinion the most significant factor in personal taxation since the 50s has been the introduction of imputation credits and very recently the capacity to have these credits refunded. When imputation was first introduced it immediately made investing in shares significantly more attractive and effectively made dividends virtually tax free for the majority of Australian taxpayers.

Over the past couple of years the refundability of imputation credits has made a huge difference to pensioner shareholders. The pensioners who receive a $140 dividend from Telstra , and there are a lot who do, are entitled to a further $60 cash refund from the Tax Office.

This is the major factor that makes investing in shares so much better than bank deposits or property.