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Wednesday, 9 February 2005
Page: 33

Senator MURRAY (11:51 AM) —Thank you, Minister, for your early response to my remarks. At present, a reasonable or unreasonable explanation remains a matter for the tax office. It is a private matter. But when you are deemed to be insolvent or moving towards bankruptcy it becomes the subject of a different law and a different jurisdiction, and that is why you need a reasonable explanation process in that area as well.

It seems to me from what you have said, Minister, that, whether or not this amendment passes or whether or not it is accepted by government, it will continue to be the case that a person can transfer property and put in a tax return—either before or after they have transferred property—and thereafter sit back and not put in tax returns. In other words, that situation would not be altered by this amendment. What this amendment does address, based on what you have said, is at least part of the issue and part of the problem. I am not sure it is a negative. I accept the view that it is not sufficient—that it does not cover all the bases—but I am not sure it is a negative.