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Thursday, 13 May 2010
Page: 3639


Mr GRIFFIN (Minister for Veterans’ Affairs and Minister for Defence Personnel) (12:03 PM) —in reply—I would like to thank all those members who participated in this debate. The measures contained in the Tax Laws Amendment (2010 GST Administration Measures No. 2) Bill 2010 further progress a package of reforms announced in the 2009-10 budget aimed at simplifying and streamlining the administration of the goods and services tax, this time in the area of grouping, invoices and rulings. These measures arose from recommendations made by the Board of Taxation in its report on GST administration. Adopting the more flexible rules for GST groups and GST joint ventures contained in schedule 1 will reduce compliance costs and increase certainty. In particular, the system of requiring the commissioner’s approval to form, change or dissolve a group will be replaced with self-assessment and notifications. The requirement that the information and changes to a group only take place from the beginning of a tax period will be replaced with rules allowing such actions to take place at any time during a tax period. Finally, entities entering into indirect tax-sharing arrangements will be able to address the uncertainty associated with the existing joint and several liability provisions to limit their liability for unpaid indirect tax amounts.

The amendments in schedule 2 of the bill will expand the income tax rulings regime to include GST, luxury car tax and wine equalisation tax rulings and excise advice. This introduces a range of features, including the right to object to a private, indirect tax or excise ruling. Providing consistent rules across different taxes will simplify the tax law and increase certainty for taxpayers.

The amendments contained in schedule 3 of the bill will introduce more flexible requirements for tax invoices and allow errors in tax invoices to be disregarded by recipients where the relevant information can be obtained from other documents issued by the supplier. As a result of this measure, minor errors in tax invoices will no longer result in taxpayers incurring the compliance costs associated with revising their input tax credits and obtaining a corrected tax invoice. The measures contained in this bill apply on and from 1 July 2010. I commend this bill to the House.

Question agreed to.

Bill read a second time.

Message from the Governor-General recommending appropriation announced.

Ordered that this bill be reported to the House without amendment.