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Tuesday, 10 February 2015
Page: 262


Senator CORMANN (Western AustraliaMinister for Finance) (13:53): The first point I would make is that this measure in this legislation was announced as part of the 2013-14 budget back in May 2013 by the then Gillard Labor government. Now the government has agreed with crossbench senators to delay the start date of the research and development targeting measure to income years beginning on or after 1 July 2014, in order to minimise the risk of the law applying to companies retrospectively because of the delays that Labor has driven against its own savings measure.

Under the original date of effect of 1 July 2013 this measure would have affected income years that may have finished and would therefore raise the risk of companies being required to make an amended tax assessment. By delaying the start date of the measure to income years beginning on or after 1 July 2014 the amendments will only apply to companies—and this is the very important point that you need to listen to—lodging their tax returns from 1 July 2015 onwards. This will provide affected companies with additional time and notice to plan for the changes in the law.

The point here—through you, Chair—is: the Gillard Labor government announced this measure in May 2013 to take effect from 1 July 2013, and it would have impacted on companies lodging tax returns from 1 July 2014. In an abundance of transparency, and taking on board the feedback from the crossbench, we have delayed that by one year, so it is now only due to come into effect in relation to companies lodging their tax returns from 1 July 2015. Now, when I last looked, we are not yet past 1 July 2015; when I last looked 1 July 2015 was still more than four months away. I do not know how Senator Carr, given that this was announced in 2013 and will not come into practical effect until 1 July 2015, could describe it as a retrospective measure in any way, shape or form.