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Thursday, 13 May 2010
Page: 3638

Ms LEY (11:59 PM) —I am pleased to speak on the Tax Laws Amendment (2010 GST Administration Measures No. 2) Bill 2010. This bill amends the tax law to further progress a package of reforms announced in the 2009-10 budget aimed at simplifying and streamlining the administration of GST in the areas of grouping, invoicing and rulings. These amendments are from recommendations of the Board of Taxation in its Review of the Legal Framework for the Administration of the Goods and Services Tax. The changes will apply from 1 July 2010.

The bill deals with three schedules. Schedule 1, GST groups and GST joint ventures, amends the A New Tax System (Goods and Services Tax) Act 1999 and the Taxation Administration Act 1953 to adopt more principled and flexible rules for GST groups and GST joint ventures. This schedule will enable entities to self-assess their eligibility to form or change a GST group or joint venture and they will only need to notify the commissioner of their action before the due date of lodgment of the GST return for the tax period. Presently, the commissioner must formally approve such changes. Schedule 1 also greatly increases the flexibility of the grouping rules by allowing entities to form, change and dissolve the GST group or joint venture at any time during a tax period rather than only at the beginning of a tax period or having to unwind transactions back to the start of a tax period. Further, schedule 1 will enable entities to enter into indirect tax-sharing agreements to limit their joint and several liabilities in respect of indirect tax law liabilities to a contribution amount agreed with the representative members for GST groups or joint ventures. This will increase certainty for members in GST groups and joint ventures in relation to their exposure to group debts.

Schedule 2 of the bill concerns rulings. Schedule 2 amends the Taxation Administration Act, the GST act—both mentioned previously—the Excise Act and the Income Tax Assessment Act 1997 to include indirect tax rulings and excise advice in the general rulings regime. This will address problems arising from not having an express legislative framework for GST rulings and from having no formal review rights and no framework setting out the taxpayer’s rights and obligations. Income tax rulings will be expanded to include GST, luxury car tax, wine equalisation tax and excise matters.

Schedule 3, tax invoices, amends the A New Tax System (GST) Act to introduce a more flexible set of requirements for tax invoices. It will allow recipients of supplies to disregard certain errors in a document intended to be a tax invoice, where missing information can be obtained from other documents provided to the recipient by the supplier.

The coalition support this bill, as we support all measures to simplify and streamline the administration of both GST and other taxation provisions. We appreciate the fact that the changes will apply from July 2010. Without further ado, I commend the bill to the House.