There is a contradiction in the family income splitting debate. Such measures are seen and represented as being a way of providing tax relief to families, whilst it is not acknowledged that Australia presently has a discriminatory system of family income splitting, based not on need but on access to business or property income.

This article examines arguments for family income splitting. It canvasses the proposition that families could be better assisted, not by extending income splitting, but instead by reducing the current tax-avoidance practices and using the improved revenues to fund tax expenditures and/or social security relief for all taxpayers.