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Monday, 8 May 1989
Page: 1960

Senator JONES —My question is directed to the Minister representing the Treasurer. Is it correct, as reported in today's Australian that convicted drug runner Paul Hayward will not have to pay tax on the reported $30,000 he is said to have received from a television station for the rights to his story?

Senator WALSH —Mr President, the secrecy provisions of the Income Tax Assessment Act-I think it is section 16-prevent me, or even the Treasurer, from discussing this case with the Commissioner of Taxation. They also prevent the Commissioner from disclosing information about any specific case to the Treasurer or anybody else. However, some general comments can be made about the issues raised in that story in the Australian. My information is that, in general, such payments are treated by the Commissioner as capital receipts and are not subject to income taxation, per se. For taxation purposes they normally fall within section 160m (7) which relates to capital gains. That is the sort of transaction, among others, for which capital gains tax was introduced. I was interested to see that the Premier of New South Wales is reported to have said that it would be outrageous if such payments were not taxable. I note with some satisfaction that the Premier of New South Wales is supporting the Government's policy on capital gains taxation, as distinct from the position taken by the Opposition which has a policy of effectively abolishing capital gains taxation.