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Tuesday, 17 February 1987
Page: 1

Dr Blewett —On 19 November 1986 (Hansard, page 3396) Mr Carlton asked Mr Hurford, as Acting Treasurer, a question relating to changes to taxation reporting requirements under the Australia Card Bill and the compliance costs of those changes. The question has been referred to me. The answer to the honourable member's question is as follows:

Persons who currently report information to the Tax Office will have only the additional requirement of reporting Australia Card numbers. Some persons who do not currently report to the Tax Office may well face future reporting requirements under tax legislation. That will be a matter for the Treasurer.

In deciding on any such requirement, the Government would be conscious of their impact on the private sector. Any such requirements will be introduced over a period of time sufficient to allow reporting mechanisms to be put in place.

The banking industry has concluded that establishment costs under the Australia Card program would be approximately $60.6m, with annual running costs of $4.6m. It is recognised by the Australian Bankers Association, however, that at the present time banks do not fully comply with current taxation requirements and to do so would involve costs of $25m, as well as a further $5m in reporting unverified accounts.