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Wednesday, 23 November 1938

Mr FORDE (Capricornia) .-I understand that the Commonwealth Commissioner for Taxation is desirous of having this bill passed as quickly as possible so that assessments may be sent out, and that the Treasurer (Mr. Casey) wishes the bill to be put through this afternoon. However, I can give him no undertaking that it will be put through this afternoon, or even to-night. Probably a number of honorable members desire to speak on it. The amendments proposed are not of a controversial nature, they are mostly technical, and can better be dealt with in committee. Therefore, I do not propose to speak on the bill at any length.

I understand that, as the result of a report of the Royal Commission on Taxation, the Commonwealth and State Governments agreed to pass certain amending legislation adopting, as far as possible, a uniform income tax assessment law. This was eventually accomplished after considerable delay, and much negotiation. With a view to achieving uniformity in the taxation laws of the Commonwealth and the States, it was agreed between the various governments that no amendments would be made to income tax assessment acts without prior consultation. This led to the holding of what are now known as the biennial conferences of taxation commissioners, who try to arrive at uniform conclusions regarding amendments to 'be submitted to their respective governments. This amending bill, I take it, is the result of the last of those biennial conferences, and I understand that it meets with the approval of the Commonwealth and State Commissioners for Taxation. We have been informed that such amendments as are relevant to the State ' acts will be introduced in similar amending bills in the various State parliaments. As the measure is purely a machineryone, and is non-controversial, I do not intend to hold it up.

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