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Thursday, 13 October 2011
Page: 11909


Mr BRADBURY (LindsayParliamentary Secretary to the Treasurer) (10:41): I would like to thank those members who contributed to this debate and in particular the member for Shortland for her contribution. Schedule 1 amends the income tax law to make it easier for families and carers to make a financial contribution to a special disability trust in order to provide for the future care and accommodation needs of a family member with severe disability. These changes will enable families and carers to donate assets to a special disability trust without facing a CGT liability and will ensure that a special disability trust can access the CGT main residence exemption.

Schedule 2 reduces the lowest marginal tax rate for Pacific seasonal workers, improving remittance outcomes for participants in the government's Pacific Seasonal Worker Pilot Scheme. It will also help alleviate the relatively high effective tax rates that these workers are currently subjected to. These changes help support the government's broader Pacific engagement strategy, which is designed to improve the economic development of our Pacific neighbours. Australian workers and other nonresidents will not be impacted by this change. Further, as nonresidents, Pacific seasonal workers do not have access to the tax-free threshold or the low-income tax offset.

Schedule 3 amends the pay-as-you-go instalment provisions to ensure that the concept of instalment income and the concepts of gain and loss in the taxation of financial arrangements, the provisions in stages 3 and 4, interact appropriately and in a way that does not impose significant compliance costs for affected taxpayers or administrative costs for the ATO.

The amendments in schedule 4 provide some administrative flexibility so that affected TOFA taxpayers are not prevented from obtaining the compliance benefits of the transitional election. Schedule 5 makes a number of changes to the farm management deposit scheme. The amendment to exempt primary producers from the 12-month rule will remove the existing situation whereby primary producers affected by drought are treated more generously than those affected by natural disasters such as floods and bushfires. This schedule gives effect to the government's 2011-12 budget announcement.

Schedule 6 amends the application provision of the temporary loss relief for merging superannuation funds to extend the end date by three months to 30 September 2011. This will benefit affected funds by providing additional time for mergers to take place before the loss relief expires. The requirement that affected mergers are completed in a single income year is relaxed to permit funds to benefit from the extension. Schedule 7 ensures that certain director penalty notices remain valid. These retrospective amendments will help preserve the integrity of the tax compliance framework by clarifying that certain penalty notices remain valid and the penalties attaching to these notices will remain recoverable.

Schedule 8 honours the government's 2010-11 budget commitment to improve the integrity of public ancillary funds and to provide the trustees of such funds with greater certainty as to their philanthropic obligations. Following a thorough public consultation process, this schedule amends the Income Tax Assessment Act 1997, the Taxation Administration Act 1953 and the A New Tax System (Australian Business Number) Act 1999 to improve the integrity of public ancillary funds.

Schedule 9 makes a number of changes to the film tax offsets. The amendment to the producer offset will refine delivery of government support to screen producers, reduce the financial and administrative burden on applicants and improve operational efficiency. These amendments to the film tax offset will reduce the compliance cost for affected taxpayers and this schedule gives effect to the government's 2011-12 budget announcement.

The bill deserves the support of the parliament. I thank those members who have contributed and 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.