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Thursday, 20 June 2013
Page: 6580

Mr BRADBURY (LindsayAssistant Treasurer and Minister Assisting for Deregulation) (11:46): I thank the member for Dunkley for his contribution. I will not take issue with some of the more gratuitous contributions that he made this morning, but I do want to take the opportunity to acknowledge the cooperative way in which the government and the opposition have been able to work in relation to these matters. In particular, I wish to acknowledge Senator Cormann and his office, my office, and of course the department for the good work they have done in ensuring that some of the concerns of stakeholders have been adequately addressed.

Schedule 1 ensures the consistent regulation of all forms of tax advice, whether it is provided by a tax agent, a BAS agent or an entity in the financial services industry. A sound regulatory environment gives confidence to the public about the quality of the service they receive and strengthens the integrity of the tax system. These amendments will provide certainty to the financial services industry. The commencement of the new regime from 1 July 2014 and the three-year transitional period thereafter will provide ample time for industry to prepare for the regime.

Further consultation has demonstrated that no other changes were required to the amendments previously introduced, including the definition of tax financial advice. Nevertheless, the government is always happy to provide further clarity and certainty about the operation of the regime. In responding to concerns of stakeholders and, indeed, to some of the issues raised by the opposition, we believe that these matters have now been given the clarity that is necessary in order to ensure that all stakeholders have a full appreciation of any obligations that arise as a result of this legislation.

Schedule 2 also amends the Tax Agent Services Act 2009 to correct a range of technical issues. Schedule 3 amends the deductible gift recipient provisions of the Income Tax Assessment Act 1997. Taxpayers, of course, can claim an income tax deduction for gifts to organisations that are DGRs. Schedule 3 adds two new organisations to the act—namely, the Australian Council of Social Service Inc. and Make a Mark Australia Inc. Making these organisations deductible gift recipients will assist them to attract public support for their activities and will allow them to continue to undertake the good work they already do. I commend the bill to the House.

The DEPUTY SPEAKER: The question is that the bill be now read a second time.

Question agreed to.

Bill read a second time.

Ordered that this bill be reported to the House without amendment.