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Wednesday, 14 May 2014
Page: 3653

Mr HUNT (FlindersMinister for the Environment) (10:49): I would like to thank all of those members who have contributed to this debate from both sides of the House. Schedule 1 of the Tax Laws Amendment (2014 Measures No. 1) Bill contains improvements to the Farm Management Deposit Scheme which will enhance the scheme's effectiveness as a financial risk management tool for farmers. As set out by the member for Wannon, it is a sensible and practical way forward. The three amendments to the Income Tax Assessment Act 1997 and the Banking Act 1959 that comprise this measure are: firstly, allowing consolidation of multiple farm management deposits; secondly, raising the non-primary production income threshold; and, thirdly, removing farm management deposits from the unclaimed moneys rule. These will allow the Farm Management Deposits Scheme to better achieve its primary objective of assisting farmers to run a sustainable business with a steady flow of income.

Schedule 2 amends the GST law to allow taxpayers to determine whether they are entitled to a refund by reference to objective conditions rather than having to rely on the commissioner to exercise a discretion to refund an excess amount of GST. Schedule 2 to the bill also amends the GST law to allow taxpayers to determine their entitlement to a refund of an overpayment of GST irrespective of whether the overpayment arises as a result of a mischaracterisation or miscalculation of the GST payable. Schedule 2 also amends the Taxation Administration Act 1953 to restore taxpayers' review rights under existing refund provisions, following the recent decision of the Administrative Appeals Tribunal. The provisions are intended to prevent taxpayers from receiving a windfall gain of overpaid GST and encouraging suppliers to refund their customers for overpaid GST. The government does not support the pious amendment moved by the opposition. I would also, on behalf of the parliament, thank all of those officials, both within Parliament House and within the department, for helping to progress, consult on and deliver these sensible changes. I commend this bill to the House.

The DEPUTY SPEAKER ( Mr Mitchell ): The original question was that this bill be now read a second time. To this the honourable member for Fraser has moved as an amendment that all words after 'That' be omitted with a view to substituting other words. The immediate question is that the amendment be agreed to.

Question negatived.

Original question agreed to.

Bill read a second time.

Message from the Governor-General recommending appropriation announced.