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Monday, 13 February 2012
Page: 1017


Mr BRADBURY ( Lindsay Parliamentary Secretary to the Treasurer ) ( 17:10 ): I thank all members who have contributed to the debate on the Tax Laws Amendment (2011 Measures No. 9) Bill 2011. I wish to acknowledge those members whose contributions I have witnessed in the time that I have been here in the chamber—in particular, the members for Parramatta, Fraser and Throsby. I also acknowledge the contribution of the member for Wright. I thank him for his support of the bill and also for livening up the debate—even if that was with some rather misguided comments.

Schedule 1 of the bill allows regulations to prescribe the operating details of a scheme that allows the ATO to assist lost superannuation fund members to electronically consolidate their benefits. Lost members will be able to visit the ATO website, fill in a form online and submit it electronically to the ATO. The ATO will conduct verification processes and, if they are successful, they will send the form to the fund which reported the member as lost. This process will make it simpler and easier for people to claim their lost super. By consolidating their accounts, members will reduce the fees that they pay on multiple accounts and maximise their benefits on retirement.

Schedule 2 broadens access to certain CGT rollovers to make it easier for businesses to restructure. These changes provide greater flexibility for entities that convert from a body to an incorporated company, entities that use a share or sale interest facility for foreign interest holders in a restructure, and demerger groups that include corporations sole or complying superannuation entities.

Schedule 3 implements three of the recommendations agreed to by the government arising out of the Treasury's review of the GST financial supply provisions. The remaining measures require amendments to the GST regulations. This schedule amends the GST law to increase the first limb of the financial acquisition threshold from $50,000 to $150,000 , to exclude financial supplies consisting of a borrowing made through the provision of deposit accounts by an Australian authorised deposit-taking institution from the current concession for borrowings and to allow taxpayers who account on a cash basis to claim input tax credits for acquisitions made under hire purchase agreements upfront. The amendments will reduce compliance costs for businesses by reducing the number of businesses that are prevented from claiming input tax credits on acquisitions that relate to making financial supplies, removing the distortion between hire purchase and other forms of financing for cash based taxpayers, and ensuring that hire purchase agreements are treated the same regardless of whether taxpayers account on a cash basis or a non-cash basis. The amendments will also better target the borrowing exemptions to reflect the policy intent by no longer providing access to input tax credits for expenses related to borrowings in the form of deposit accounts provided by Australian authorised deposit-taking institutions.

The amendments in schedule 4 deal with the new residential premises provision and will ensure GST is payable on the full value added to newly constructed residential premises by developers and builders. This is achieved by ensuring GST is applied to the retail sale of new residential premises to home owners and investors as well as the wholesale supply of the premises to the developer or builder.

Schedule 5 amends the deductible gift recipient provisions of the Income Tax Assessment Act 1997. Taxpayers can claim an income tax deduction for gifts to organisations that are DGRs. Schedule 5 adds one new organisation to the act—namely, the Rhodes Trust in Australia. Making this organisation a DGR will assist it to attract public support for its activities. This schedule also recognises the name change of Playgroup Australia Inc. to Playgroup Australia Ltd. Finally, schedule 6 covers miscellaneous and technical amendments to the tax laws. These amendments are part of the government's commitment to the care and maintenance of the tax law and include some legislative issues raised by the public through the Tax Issues Entry System, or TIES for short. I commend the 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.