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TAXATION (UNPAID COMPANY TAX) ASSESSMENT BILL 1982

Order of the Day read for the adjourned debate on the Question-That this Bill be now read a second time.

Senator Walsh moved an amendment, viz: At end of motion, add '', but the Senate - (a) condemns the abject failure of the Treasurer and the Government, knowing of the existence of straw company tax evasion schemes since at least 1978, to respond quickly and effectively to the massive tax evasion occurring through the use of such schemes;

(b) is of the opinion that the Bill is grossly inadequate in that: (i) it deals only with company and undistributed profits tax remaining unpaid on current and prior year profits and does not recoup personal income tax lost in relation to accumulated after-tax profits disposed of by vendor shareholders in the same transactions,

(ii) fails to recoup sales tax evaded by the use of straw companies,

(iii) allows for non-recovery of a substantial proportion of the company and undistributed profits tax lost by use of the scheme because of the deliberate exclusion of an important category of use of the scheme, and

(iv) provides for more leniency to tax evaders in respect of the time allowed to pay their assessed tax irrespective of the degree of hardship being experienced;

(c) notes that because of the Bill's deficiencies the sum to be recouped will be far less than that which has been lost through straw company tax evasion schemes ; and

(d) calls on the Government to amend the Bill and associated measures so as to ensure that all the tax lost through straw company schemes will be recouped''.

Debate ensued.

On the motion of the Minister for National Development and Energy (Senator Sir John Carrick) the debate was adjourned.

Ordered-That the resumption of the debate be an Order of the Day for a later hour of the day.