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Wednesday, 16 September 1942

Mr SPOONER (Robertson) .- I support the submissions of the Leader of the Opposition (Mr. Fadden) in respect of clause 17. The duties of the Commissioner of Taxation in the administration of taxing measures generally, and also in the exercise of discretionary powers such as those provided in clauses 17 and18 need some attention. The whole position is highly complicated to-day. It is only necessary to interview the Commissioner on such matters to realize this fact. Important questions of technique need consideration by him before he can give decisions. It is not possible for him personally to investigate entertainment of this type in order to see whether or not it is such as should be exempt from entertainments tax. Of necessity, he delegates this task to some officer of his department. That is not quite fair either to him or to the public. If the Treasurer reviews the provisions of clauses 17 and 18, he must see that it would really be the function of some other organization to investigate the many applications that will come forward, in order to determine whether or not they are of such a character that they fall within the ambit of those provisions. If the public generally desire to hold entertainments of this character, they should have the opportunity to state their case to some authority external to the administration and collection of taxation. If such applications be made formally to the Commissioner, and he rejects them, there should be the right of appeal to another authority.

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