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Wednesday, 20 May 1936

Senator A J McLACHLAN (SOUTH AUSTRALIA) (Postmaster-General) . - I move -

That after the word " shall " the words " except in cases in which the next succeeding sub-section applies " be inserted.

If the amendment is accepted by the committee, I shall move a consequential amendment to omit the proviso and insert a new sub-clause.

The proviso was inserted in the bill in the House of Representatives in order that the profit on the sale of a lease of land from the Crown, used for primary production, and which had been held more than seven years, should not be taxed beyond the amount of the deductions allowed to the taxpayer in connexion with the lease. The proviso was based on a somewhat similar provision appearing in the New South Wales bill. The clause, however, provides for the inclusion in the assessable income of the gross premium ; whereas, the proviso inserted in the House of Representatives refers to the inclusion in the assessable income of a net premium, It has been found necessary, therefore, to introduce a new sub-clause, providing for the inclusion in the assessable income of net premiums in the case of leases of the type referred to in the proviso. The phraseology of the proviso has also been suitably altered to harmonize with the new sub-clause. While the Government has accepted this amendment, as remodelled, it does not. represent the final word. The matter was discussed yesterday at the conference of State Premiers, and it was agreed that the subject will be reconsidered from the legal and financial standpoints between now and September. If necessary, an amending bill will be introduced to make the provision workable. From the legal standpoint, this is most complex and difficult. The Government has accepted the principle of the amendment inserted by the House of Representatives, but the States and the Commonwealth desire to be given more time to consider its effect. The Treasurer (Mr. Casey) has promised that the matter will be discussed next September, after which some minor amendments may have to be made to the clause.

Amendment agreed to.

Amendment (by Senator A. J. McLachlan) agreed to -

That the proviso be left out, with a view to insert in lieu thereof the following subclause. " (2.) Where a lease from the Crownof land used for primary production is assigned orsurrendered by the taxpayer, and the lease was acquired by him before the sixth year priorto the year of income in which it isto assigned or surrendered, the amount of the net premium received by the taxpayer as consideration for or in connexion with theassign- ment or surrender shall he included inhis assessable income:

Provided that the amount of any net premium (or if, in respect of the transaction, there are more net premiums than one - the sum of the net premiums) so included shall not exceed the total of the amounts of deductions allowed under this act and any previous law of the Commonwealth to the taxpayer in respect of the lease."

Clause, as amended, agreed to.

Clause85 (Deductions).

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