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Friday, 28 November 1986
Page: 3968

Mr SPENDER —I refer the Treasurer to the answer he gave to the question addressed to him by the honourable member for Mackellar. In view of the fact that the Treasurer has apparently received no final notice for his 1985 return, despite the fact that it was 15 months late; that he received no summons for that return; that he has apparently received no final notice for his 1986 return, even though he does not have it in yet; that he has received no summons for that return either; and that the total contact that he had with the Australian Taxation Office on these matters has been limited to two cosy chats, one with a Deputy Commissioner and one with the Commissioner of Taxation; I ask how he can say, as he said last night to the House: `I might add that in this matter I have been treated no differently from any other taxpayer'.

Mr KEATING —No wonder the honourable member gave up the Bar and came to Parliament. If that is the best my friend can do by way of cross-examination he had best stay here; at least he will get his 42 grand a year, if nothing else.

Mr Spender —Let us see whether you can answer the question.

Madam SPEAKER —Order! If the honourable member would keep quiet, he will. The honourable member for North Sydney will keep quiet.

Mr KEATING —Obviously, in respect of 1986, no final notice would have been issued this close to the due date--

Mr Spender —The due date is 31 August.

Mr KEATING —Right, that should be clear even to the honourable member. In respect of 1985, it is a matter for the Taxation Office.

Mr Spender interjecting-

Madam SPEAKER —Order! Would the Treasurer just wait a moment? I recognise that this is the last day of session and I realise that we have an issue before the House, but the honourable member for North Sydney will heed the Chair. The Standing Orders do not go out the window simply because we are breaking up today. The Chair has twice asked him to cease interjecting. I ask him now to heed the authority of the Chair.

Mr KEATING —Madam Speaker, it is just that the Opposition thinks that on the last day of wonder this year it has discovered an issue; it has been unable to find one all the rest of the year. Let me just make this clear: It is up to the administration of the Taxation Office to determine when it issues a final notice, and it does so after reasonable reminders produce no return. The fact of the matter is that I have produced a return, which has since been filed.