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Thursday, 4 December 1986
Page: 3404


Senator SIDDONS(5.49) —I move:

Page 47, clause 55, proposed new section 14zab, leave out the definition of ``required fee'', insert the following definition:

`` `required fee', in relation to a request to refer an objection decision to the Tribunal or a court, means-

(a) $10, in respect of a request by a person to whom paragraph (b) does not apply and from whom tax is collected by instalments under the Income Tax Assessment Act 1936;

(b) $100, in respect of a request by a person who is liable to pay provisional tax under that Act; or

(c) $200, in respect of a request by any other person,

or, if another amount is, at the time when the request is lodged with, or sent to, the Commissioner, payable, in respect of a request by a person included in a class of persons referred to in paragraph (a), (b) or (c), under the regulations made under the Administrative Appeals Tribunal Act 1975 as the fee in respect of an application made to the Tribunal under sub-section 188a (3) of the Income Tax Assessment Act 1936, that other amount.''.

This amendment relates, as I mentioned in my brief remarks in the second reading debate, to a realignment of a fee imposed by the Government to those taxpayers who wish to challenge the assessment of the Commissioner of Taxation. It has the effect of allowing ordinary pay as you earn tax payers to pay a fee of $10 instead of $200. The point was that $200 was far too high a fee for many taxpayers who have a legitimate complaint to take to the Administrative Appeals Tribunal. The amendment proposes that provisional taxpayers pay a fee of $100 and that all other taxpayers-companies and those better able to meet fees for challenging decisions-pay a fee of $200. I believe that this is a reasonable gradation of fees and would be a much fairer way of administering the Income Tax Assessment Act. To increase fees from $2 to $200 is unfair by any standards. It is an enormous increase and it will give the Australian Taxation Office the opportunity to ride roughshod over legitimate complaints that ordinary taxpayers may have. So, for these very important reasons, I commend this amendment to the Committee.