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Wednesday, 15 December 1993
Page: 4747

(Question No. 719)

Senator Watson asked the Minister representing the Treasurer, upon notice, on 18 October 1993:

  With reference to the industrial action by staff of the Cash Receivables Section of the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) banning the banking of taxpayers' cheques for the payment of taxation liabilities:

  (1) Will taxpayers be exposed to late payment additional tax and penalty interest pursuant to sections 207 and 207A of the Income Tax Assessment Act as a consequence of the non-presentation of taxpayers' cheques.

  (2) What is the value of the unpresented cheques held by the ATO arising from this industrial dispute.

Senator McMullan —The Assistant Treasurer has provided the following answer to the honourable senator's question:

  (1) Taxpayers will not be exposed to penalties as a result of the delay in presentation of their cheques. This is because there were no delays in crediting taxpayers' accounts; the industrial bans only affected the presentation of cheques.

  However penalties may apply in cases where cheques are subsequently dishonoured.

  (2) When the industrial dispute was resolved, the value of unpresented cheques held by the ATO as a result of the dispute totalled $943.2m. Cheques were withheld in only nine of the 24 Branch Offices. All cheques have now been presented.