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Wednesday, 27 September 1972
Page: 1199

Senator GIETZELT (NEW SOUTH WALES) - I direct my question to the Acting Leader of the Government in the Senate in his capacity as Minister representing the Acting Treasurer. Is the Minister aware of the accelerated practice of companies purchasing luxury homes for top executives? Are not these capital purchases, annual rates and taxes and depreciation of such assets recognised as a legitimate tax deduction? Would the Minister raise with the Acting Treasurer the desirability of preventing such fringe benefits being tax deductible, and of stopping companies avoiding tax responsibility by dispersing their profits through these means?

The PRESIDENT - Order I think that in the rearrangement of ministerial responsibilities this question should have been directed to Senator Cotton.

Senator COTTON - I know of the matter mentioned by the honourable senator. I think there was an article on it in the National Times'. 1 am not sure when it was, but I think it was only a few days ago. The article referred to the practice. It also referred to comments made by the Deputy Commissioner of Taxation in New South Wales, Mr Gray, in which he pointed out that it was the responsibility of the Commissioner of Taxation to assess back into income any such benefit as could be construed as income and to make allowances for it. I know the Taxation Office is conscious of this matter. I think that the remedy is in the area of bringing it back into the income of the recipient. Undoubtedly there is an area here that needs watching very closely. I will be happy to refer the question to the Treasurer and through him to the Commissioner of Taxation. I think that the honourable senator can regard the matter as being under pretty close scrutiny.

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