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Thursday, 10 November 1938

Mr CASEY (Corio) (Treasurer) . - I move-

That the bill be now read a secondtime.

When speaking to the motion in Committee of Ways and Means I described the two formulae in respect of residents and absentees, so it is not necessary for me to repeat what I then said. Clause 2 provides for the repeal of section 4 of the Financial Relief Act 1932-1935, and by clause 3, section 4a of the principal act is also repealed. These repeals are required, as the reductions authorized by those sections are effectuated in the first and second schedules of the bill. In other words, the reductions and alterations of the original formulas contained in the two sections of the acts which I have mentioned are no longer necessary, because two new formulas are provided in this measure. Opportunity is also taken, in clause 4, to amend section 5 of the principal act in order to bring it into linewith section 12 of the Land Tax Assessment Act and so authorize the Commissioner to issue assessments after the close of a relevant financial year. Usually assessments are issued within the financial year for which the tax is payable, but frequently it happens for various reasons in individual cases that it is not practicable to issue the assessment within the year. In addition, cases of default are constantly being discovered. For this reason it is necessary to have power to issue retrospective assessments, and the amendment made by clause 4 will leave no doubt as to the authority of the Commissioner to do this. The existing disability has come to light only in recent years. Honorable members will, I think, agree that it is desirable that the Commissioner should have power to deal with such cases.

Mr Gregory - How far back will that power extend?

Mr CASEY - Power to deal with defaulters who have evaded payment of the tax will, I think, extend back for any number of years.

Mr Collins - Why not make the practice uniform with the Income Tax Act?

Mr CASEY - I think that would be difficult. I explained clauses 5 and 6 in Committee of Ways and Means. Clause 7 merely provides that the amendments repealing section 4 of the Financial Relief Act 1932-1935 and section 4a of the principal act, as well as the schedules embodied in the bill, shall apply to assessments for the current financial year and subsequent years.

Mr Forde - How much of the amount will be paid by absentees?

Mr CASEY - I have not the figures, but I shall make inquiries.

Debate (on motion by Mr. Forde) adjourned.

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