Barry Leddicoat

Aussies pay out almost $15 billion in fuel taxes

AUSTRALIANS paid almost $15 billion in fuel taxes in 2011-2012 financial year - an increase of 8.4% on the previous year.

But total excises increased by less than 0.1% to nearly $26 billion.

Excise from alcohol products was $3.1 billion, only a 0.2% increase from 2010/11.

The Australian Tax Office has released pages of statistics from the last financial year, including income levels by postcode.

Fairfax reports that residents of Darling Point, Edgecliff, Rushcutters Bay and Point Piper in Sydney are Australia's highest earners, taking home an average taxable income of $203,270 each.

Areas like the Sunshine Coast and other areas of regional Queensland have average incomes as low as  $30,000 to $40,000.

Australians declared a total income of $662 billion, an increase of 9.3% over the previous year.

This included $499.3 billion in salary and wages.

Individual taxpayers claimed $31.5 billion in total deductions, an increase of 6.0% from 2009-10.

This included $18.3 billion in work-related expenses.

Almost 15 million tax returns were lodged, an increase of 2.1% from 2009-10.

Individual returns represented 84.7% of all tax returns lodged, while self-managed super funds (SMSF) experienced the largest growth in the number of tax returns lodged - an increase of 4.8% from 2009-10.

The average male income during 2011-11 was $63,000, while the average female income was $42,150.

News Ltd reports that Mackay paid out the highest amount in salaries or wages in the state - $2.466 billion, with an average salary of $58,390.

Toowoomba had the highest number of people on government pensions, 4170.

Bundaberg, Hervey Bay, Caloundra and Cairns also had amongst the highest concentrations of pensioners in the state, News Ltd said.