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Friday, 28 November 1986
Page: 3970

Dr WATSON —I refer the Treasurer to the annual report of the Commissioner of Taxation for 1985-86, in which the Commissioner notes that the number of detected taxpayers who had not lodged returns had fallen from 7,667 in 1984-85 to 3,908 in 1985-86. Is the Treasurer one of those 3,908 taxpayers? How many of these 3,908 taxpayers have been prosecuted?

Mr Tim Fischer —Cheating Keating.

Mr KEATING —I could not answer the question, because I do not know, but--

Mr Hawke —Madam Speaker, I ask that the honourable member withdraw that remark.

Mr Tuckey —What, `cheating Keating'?

Madam SPEAKER —I am sorry; I did not hear the remark.

Mr Hawke —Well, it has just been repeated.

Madam SPEAKER —The honourable gentlemen who made the remark will withdraw it. If the remark was offensive, I ask for it to be withdrawn.

Mr Tim Fischer —I made the remark: `Cheating Keating'; I withdraw.

Mr KEATING —There are about 900,000 returns--

Mr Tuckey —How do you stand--

Madam SPEAKER —Order! The honourable member for O'Connor will heed the remarks I directed to the honourable member for North Sydney.

Mr KEATING —There are about 900,000 non-agent returns lodged after the due date each year and the number of agent returns is probably of the same order, which would bring the number of returns lodged after the due date to probably about two million, or thereabouts. Obviously the Taxation Office has a procedure involving reminders and final notices. Of course, when a final notice arrives and is not responded to, a prosecution or some other summons ensues.