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Monday, 21 June 2010
Page: 5916

Ms LEY (4:26 PM) —I am pleased to speak on the Tax Laws Amendment (2010 GST Administration Measures No. 3) Bill 2010. This bill was introduced into this place on 26 May 2010 and it implements some of the 46 recommendations made by the Board of Taxation from its review of the legal framework for the administration of the goods and services tax. Legislation implementing some other recommendations from the Board of Taxation’s review included the Tax Laws Amendment (2009 GST Administration Measures No.1) Bill 2010 and the Tax Laws Amendment (2009 GST Administration Measures No.2) Bill 2010, which passed through the House earlier this year. As I did with those earlier bills, I would like to say at the outset that the coalition will be supporting the passage of this bill through the House and the other place.

Schedule 1 of the bill amends the A New Tax System (Goods and Services Tax) Act 1999 to ensure the supply of goods transport services in Australia GST free if that supply is made as part of the international transport of goods to a nonresident that is not in Australia. Schedule 1 also changes the liability for paying GST on the transport of goods within Australia, where that transport is part of the international transport of imported goods from the transport service provider to the importer of the goods. The amendment will mean that importers will add the cost of domestic transport into the ‘value of taxable importation’ used to calculate GST liability on importation and remove the GST liability on the supply of domestic transport services made to a nonresident. This will ease compliance costs for domestic transporters and nonresidents. The amendments in schedule 1 were announced by the then Assistant Treasurer in the 2009-10 budget on 12 May 2009. Schedule 1 has a revenue cost of $2 million a year.

Schedule 2 of this bill amends the A New Tax System (Goods and Services Tax) Act 1999 to ensure that global roaming telecommunication services remain GST free. Schedule 2 was initially announced by the former coalition government. The then Assistant Treasurer, the Hon. Peter Dutton MP, announced, on 21 December 2006, that the government would clarify the law to maintain the intention that supplies of global roaming telecommunication services would remain GST free. There was a requirement for clarification in this area of GST law because a tax ruling by the Australian Taxation Office cast doubt on the treatment of such supplies. These supplies were always intended to be GST free in accordance with Australia’s obligations under the Melbourne agreement on international telecommunication regulations. The former coalition government began consultation with the telecommunications industry to ensure that the amendments were properly targeted. As the amendments reflect the original intention and operation of the law in this area, the amendments will apply retrospectively from 1 July 2000.

Schedule 3 of this bill amends the A New Tax System (Goods and Services Tax) Act 1999 to allow entities to make appropriate adjustments where the entities are members of the same GST group, GST religious group or GST joint venture. These amendments are in addition to the amendments made in a previous bill, the Tax Laws Amendment (2010 GST Administration Measures No. 1) Bill 2010, which was passed with the support of the coalition earlier this year.

As I said at the outset, the coalition supports the measures in this bill. I commend the bill to the House.