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Thursday, 11 April 1957

Mr Bryant t asked the Treasurer, upon notice -

1.   In what way is an aboriginal living on the fringe of white communities by casual labour subject to taxation?

2.   What steps are taken to refund to aborigines, where this would apply, any surplus of deductions over the tax due?

3.   Is it possible or probable that amounts of money are held by the Commonwealth in such circumstances, due to the likely ignorance of the taxpayer of his rights and obligations?

Sir Arthur Fadden - The answers to the honorable member's questions are as follows: -

1.   An aboriginal deriving income in excess of the statutory minimum for income tax purposes is liable for assessment of tax on the same basis as all other taxpayers, and his earnings would be subject totax instalment deductions in accordance with the prescribed scale.

2.   No special differential arrangements are made in respect of aboriginals. The usual method of refunding excess instalment deductions is by calculation of precise liability on the basis of return lodged after the close of the year and comparison of this liability against group certificates or tokens returned.

3.   It is possible, therefore, that the Commonwealth may, as in the case of any particular employee who omits to lodge returns, temporarily retain amounts which upon lodgment of a return and the assessment thereof is disclosed as refundable to him. The amounts involved so far as aborigines are concerned would not be substantial.

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