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Wednesday, 1 October 1958

Mr Ward d asked the acting Minister for Trade, upon notice -

What action has been taken by the Government to deal with excessive prices charged by the motor trade for spare parts, representing, in some instances, over 500 per cent. of the landed cost, to which the Tariff Board directed attention in a report submitted some months ago?

Mr Townley - I take it that the honorable member is aware that early this year, when the tariff amendments associated with the motor vehicle tariff items were under consideration in this chamber, and in another place, considerable discussion took place on the particular issue he has revived. Although it invited attention to the matter, the Tariff Board made no recommendation thereon. However, I suggest that the absence of a recommendation by the Tariff Board could be accounted for on the grounds that the matter was obviously not one which lent itself to tariff action. The honorable member might consider that the question could be dealt with by price control but, as he is aware, price control is a matter for the State governments.

Travelling Expenses as Tax Deductions.

Mr Bryant (WILLS, VICTORIA) t asked the acting Minister for Trade, upon notice -

1.   How many copies of " Income Tax for the Manufacturer " have been printed and distributed, and at what cost?

2.   Why, on page 10 of this publication, in the paragraph headed " Allowable Deductions ", was the term " travelling and entertainment expenses actually incurred in gaining or producing assessable income " not explained so that the public might know on what principles and to what extent such deductions are allowed?

3.   Is it possible for a taxpayer to go overseas accompanied by his wife and have their fares and accommodation charges deducted partly or fully for taxation purposes; if so, what limits in money terms are applied in such cases?

4.   Approximately how much revenue is lost annually because of the advantage taken by businessmen and others travelling abroad, with or without their wives, of this allowable deduction?

Mr Townley - The answers to the honorable member's questions are as follows: -

1.   Twenty-five thousand copies at a cost of £1,312.

2.   The words referred to by the honorable member follow closely the terms of the income tax law under which deductions are allowable for outgoings " incurred in gaining or producing assessable income. It is a question of fact whether an expense is incurred in gaining or producing assessable income. Each case requires consideration in the light of its own facts and it was not practicable in the publication to refer to the many factors associated with travelling and entertainment expenses incurred in a variety of circumstances.

3.   A deduction is allowable for fares and accommodation incurred in gaining or producing assessable income but expenses of a private, domestic or capital nature are not deductible. The amount, if any, deductible is not limited to any particular amount of money but is determined by a consideration of the facts of each case in conjunction with the tests imposed by the law.

4.   The information is not available.

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