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Thursday, 8 August 1946

Mr Harrison n asked the Treasurer, upon notice -

1.   Is it a fact that sales tax is charged on the freight of goods sent by city wholesale merchants to country branches which re-sell the goods by wholesale?

2.   If so, is this tantamount to an increase in freight charges?

3.   Have city warehouses which rail goods to the country an advantage over wholesalers with country branches, in that the former do not have to pay sales tax on freight of goods?

4.   Is it a fact that this creates an anomaly insofar as country wholesalers are placed at a disadvantage in competing with firms in capital cities, and that their country clients are thereby penalized?

5.   Have many requests been received from country centresto have the Sales Tax Act amended to remove the tax charged upon the freight of goods?

6.   Will he give consideration to rectifying this anomaly so that wholesalers with country branches will not be at a trading disadvantage compared with other city wholesalers who send identical goods to the same country centres?

Mr Chifley - The answers to the honorable member's questions are as follows : -

1.   No. When goods are so transferred by city wholesale merchants to country branches, the sales tax is not payable at all. It is true, however, that tax is payable upon the amount for which taxable goods are finally sold by wholesale.

2.   No. 3, 4, 5 and 6. Similar questions were recently asked in the House by the honorable member and were replied to on that occasion.

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