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Thursday, 28 November 1935

Senator Sir GEORGE PEARCE (Western Australia) (Minister for External Affairs) [3.13].- I move-

That the bill be now read a second time.

This bill is the annual taxing measure which is necessary in order that the income tax for the current financial year may be assessed and collected upon the income derived by taxpayers during the year 1934-35. The schedules to the bill set out the rates of ordinary income tax which are to be levied upon income from personal exertion, upon income from property, and upon combined incomes derived from both personal exertion and property. These basic rates are set out in the first three schedules to the bill. The rates ave the same as those which have been in force since the 1933-34 assessment. The schedules which follow also impose rates and amounts of tax similar to those which have been in force since 1933-34. The special property tax of 5 per cent, of the taxable income .derived from property is set out in clause 5.

It will be observed that the only alteration of the former rates of tax is in relation to the rate of the special property tax. It is proposed to reduce that rate from 6 per cent, to 5 per cent. As stated in. the Treasurer's budget speech for the current year, the Government regards this special property tax as a severe form of emergency taxation from which relief should be given as soon as reasonable opportunity presents itself. It has, unfortunately, not been found possible at present to do more- than reduce the tax to the extent now proposed. The reduction of revenue from the special property tax resulting from the lowering of the rate is estimated at £200,000 for the total assessment for 1935-36 which must be based on the 1934-35 income. The income tax collections during 1935-36 have been estimated at £8,800,000. Of that amount, it is expected that over £5,000,000 will be collected by the 30th June, 1936, on account of the assessment for the financial year 1935-36. The remainder of the £8,800,000 represents estimated collections during the present financial year on account of taxes amounting to £4,380,000, outstanding at the 30th June, 1935, and also on account of assessments made during 1935-36 in respect of earlier assessment years.

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