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Monday, 1 December 2008
Page: 7771

Senator CONROY (Minister for Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy) (9:55 PM) —The self-assessment income tax act works in exactly that way: if you have done your tax, you sign a document that says you comply with the regulations. If there is an audit and you are found to have not complied with the regulations, then you are fined and other penalties apply. This works in exactly the same way. If people lie and cheat on the form—

Senator Coonan —It’s the tax act.

Senator CONROY —Yes, it is the tax act. Senator Coonan is trying to assist. I am at a loss to explain something that is as straightforward as that. Maybe I am just doing it really badly, Senator Milne, and if I am I apologise. But self-assessment is self-assessment. If you sign a document that legally says, ‘Here is what my opinion is,’ and it is subsequently discovered that you have falsely declared that, you are fined. That is the way self-assessment works. Once again, I apologise if I am not explaining it clearly, but I am not sure that I am going to be able to explain it any more clearly than that.