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|Self Directed Taxation, or SDT, is a method of directing your income tax payments to the areas of community work and public policy that you believe need support, rather than allowing the government to spend it according to their political priorities.
SDT uses the system of making tax-deductible donations to community organisations that is recognised by the Australian Tax Office (ATO) to achieve a more ethical distribution of taxation revenues.
Any donation of $2 or more to a charity recognised by the ATO can be claimed as a tax deduction. Your taxable income is reduced by an amount equivalent to the donation you have paid in any year, which results in a refund to you of an amount equivalent to the donation. In effect, your contribution is then paid out of the public purse - thus you have directed that amount of your tax to the community group(s) you support, and prevented it being used for public purposes that you are unable to support, such as military adventures, subsidies for environmentally damaging industries, drug prohibition and persecution, and the usual pork-barreling that precedes most elections in Australia.
SDT allows you, the taxpayer, to control the use of your taxation - it provides you with the autonomy to direct your taxation payments to those areas of community work and public policy that you value and support.
We self-tithe, that is, we have a set amount automatically deducted from our bank account each month and paid as donations to certain community groups. We began with the aim of paying $100 per month in total donations. You set any amount you like - the key is to make the donations regularly so that, over a twelve month period, the total donation to each group is a useful amount, and the overall amount donated adds up to a significant tax refund - or redirection of your tax payments.
We believe that it is the responsibility of every citizen to pay their taxes into the public treasury for the provision of public goods, such as education, public transport, health care, environmental conservation, heritage protection and so on in a way that is ethical and which contributes to maintaining our communities. We do not advocate tax avoidance. We do advocate the ethical collection and expenditure of taxation revenues, and we recognise that it would be possible (in theory, anyway) to make donations equivalent to 100% of your annual taxation, so that the whole of your taxation is directed to the areas of public need that are determined by you.