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Wednesday, 26 November 1941

Mr SPOONER (Robertson) .- I support the amendments, but I desire to make an observation on the clause as it will be amended. The clause provides for taxing certain gifts that may have been made prior to the commencement of the act, though the gift has not been formally completed. The amendment will minimize the risk that will arise from the incompletion of the transaction, but T believe that the scope of the amendment would need to be enlarged in order to give full protection. The principle that should be adopted is that, where the equitable title in the subject of the gift had passed from the donor to the donee, there should not be any possibility of gift duty being payable merely because of the incompletion of some formality which may be delayed for months after the vesting of the property in the donee. The Minister has provided that, where the instrument under which a gift is made is lodged for registration, no duty shall be levied, but I am informed that that will not cover all the circumstances. However, I am obliged for the concession made in this amendment. It is an improvement on tlie original bill, but I suggest that next year the Government might review the provision with a view to amending it in the direction I have indicated.

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