Australian government takes steps to engage controversy among taxpayers.
When preparing your tax return, you’re more or less relaying the facts of your tax situation for that financial year. However, what happens when some of those facts end up in a grey area?
In recent years, there has been controversy among Australians about gender. Beginning with the hefty pay gaps between men and women in the workplace, a majority of taxpayers already aren’t thrilled with the government.
Well, this takes a step beyond gender equality and hits home with gender identifiers; specifically on birth certificates, toilet stalls, passports, and…you guessed it…tax returns.
What’s the real issue here?
According to the Australian Human Rights Commission, “Individuals should be handed the power to decide their gender identity for themselves, without prior approval from doctors and psychologists…”.
This statement hit the nail on the head for those who are going through this thought process themselves or happen to know someone who is. On the flip side, for others, this belief has been chewed up and spit back out. The issue, in general, remains controversial among Australians. However, the ATO (not to mention some other government agencies) has done what they can do to make both parties happy.
If you can prove it, you can change it.
When it comes to your tax return, whether you’re a male or female really makes no difference to the ATO. You’re asked for your personal details in order to match what is currently on file, and has been since birth.
The ATO has more recently allowed the option to update your gender. All you need to do is provide a certified copy of one of the following documents:
- Statement from a registered medical practitioner or a registered psychologist which specifies your preferred gender/sex
- Valid Australian Government travel document (eg: passport) which specifies your preferred gender/sex
- State or territory birth certificate which specifies your preferred gender/sex
- Document from a state or territory Registrar of Births, Deaths and Marriages recognising a change of gender/sex