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Wednesday, 20 May 1936

Senator DUNCAN-HUGHES (South Australia) .- The Leader of the Opposition (Senator Collings) cannot dispose of the point raised by Senator Payne in that way. A definite change in the definition of " taxpayer " is proposed. Prior to the introduction of this measure a taxpayer was a person chargeable with income tax, but now a taxpayer is a. person deriving income. It is mom than a matter of mere verbiage, because the term "taxpayer" is now all embracing. The amended definition extends the operations of the act to probably hundreds of thousands of persons in receipt of a small income, who are not taxpayers, but who will be liable to furnish returns. Is it suggested that, in the past, the Commissioner has had any difficulty in dealing with such cases? If it is proposed to change, radically, the previous definition, such a change should be clearly set out. Perhaps this matter is not of enormous importance, but it is certainly one well worth careful consideration, because, in effect, the term " taxpayer " is now to embrace an enormous number of people who pay no tax at all.

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