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Thursday, 28 May 1942

Senator KEANE (Victoria) (Minister for Trade and Customs) . - I realize that there is much merit in the submission of the Leader of the Opposition (Senator McLeay). My official information is that this clause repeals section 20 of the principal act and inserts a new section in its place. The present section limits the time within which assessments can be amended to twelve months after the payment of duty, or, under certain somewhat unusual circumstances, to eighteen months, and it is proposed to extend this time to three years or where there has been an avoidance of duty due to fraud or evasion,to enable the assessment to be re-opened at any time. The insertion of these provisions in the act will bring it generally into line with other taxation measures. The proposed new section is to apply to assessments issued on or after the date of commencement of this act. I realize that it would be unreasonable to expect me, as an individual, to state now the condition of my affairs eighteen or nineteen years ago. I might be suspected of having infringed the act so long ago, but I would have no proof now to refute a charge of infringement. I am sorry that Senator .Spicer is not present to-day owing to illness in his family, because I should have liked to have discussed this matter with him. I shall accept the amendment because I think that it is reasonable.

Amendment agreed to.

Clause, as amended, agreed to.

Clauses 9 to 11 agreed to.

Title agreed to.

Bill reported with an amendment; report adopted.

Bill read a third time.

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