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Wednesday, 14 October 1970


Mr Whitlam asked the Treasurer, upon notice:

What would be the loss to revenue which would result if (a) deductions were allowed under the Income Tax Assessment Act for gifts for works of art to be exhibited in parks or squares or buildings open to the public and (b) exemptions were granted under the Estate Duty Assessment Act for works of art devised or bequeathed for exhibition in parks or squares or buildings open to the public (Hansard, 21 April 1970. page 1379).


Mr Bury - The answer to the honourable member's question is as follows:

(a)   Gifts of S2 and upwards to a public library, public museum or public art gallery are allowable under section 78 of the Income Tax Assessment Act as deductions for income tax purposes. Deductions are also available under this provision for gifts to such institutions of property purchased by the taxpayer within 12 months immediately preceding the making of the gift. No statistics are available that would enable a reliable estimate to be made of the loss to revenue that would result from extending the range of gifts deductible for income tax purposes to cover all gifts of the kind mentioned in the honourable member's question.

(b)   Bequests of works of art lo public libraries or religious institutions are exempt from estate duty whether or not they are for exhibition in buildings or areas open to the public. Bequests of works of art to public museums and public art galleries in Australia are exempt from estate duty as bequests for public education purposes. No information is available on which a reliable estimate could be made of the loss lo revenue that would arise if the range of bequests exempt from estate duty were extended to cover all bequests of the kind referred to in the honourable member's question.







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