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Wednesday, 26 November 1941

Mr SPOONER (Robertson) . - I support these amendments. The Government satisfied the special committee that gifts of inscribed stock should not be exempted from gift duty. In Queensland, people have on occasions taken advantage of the provisions of the Inscribed Stock Act in order to convert money into inscribed stock, and make gifts of stock in order to escape gift duty imposed in that State. This practice is contrary to the policy of such, legislation, and the Government is wise in: ensuring that it shall not occur in regard to this Commonwealthwide legislation.

Mr Jolly - The High Court did not say that the practice was wrong.

Mr SPOONER - But it was not definite on the point. There is sufficient room for doubt to justify the inclusion of this provision in the bill. In new clause 38b the Government has conceded the principle that there should not be double taxation in instances where legislation similar to this operates in other countries. The only other country in which such legislation operates, to my knowledge is New Zealand and the Treasurer informed the special committee that he would discuss the matter with the New Zealand Government with the intention of securing, if possible, the passage of reciprocal legislation so that a person making, in Australia, a gift of assets in New Zealand, will not be subject to duty both in Australia and in New Zealand, and vice versa. If the Treasurer can arrange for the New Zealand Government to insert, in its legislation, a clause similar to this new clause, one-half of the duty will be paid to each Government in respect of all transactions, whether the donor is domiciled in this country or in New Zealand.

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