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Thursday, 31 August 1972
Page: 1014

Mr GARLAND (Curtin) (Minister for Supply and Minister assisting the Treasurer) - I move:

That the Bill be now read a second time.

This Bill will give effect to the estate duty proposals announced in the Budget Speech. At present an estate is exempt from duty if its value is $20,000 or less and it passes to the spouse, children or grandchildren of the deceased. The corresponding amount where no part passes to these close relatives is $10,000. For primary producer estates the outright exemption is $24,000 for estates passing to close relatives and $12,000 where no part so passes. In broad terms, a primary producer estate is one that consists principally of farm assets, including land, and which results from the death of a person domiciled in Australia whose income was, in the 5 years before death, principally derived from a business of primary production.

This Bill proposes to double the exemption limits. The general exemptions will thus become $40,000 for an estate passing wholly to close relatives and $20,000 for an estate passing wholly to other persons. The exemptions for primary producer estates will become $48,000 and $24,000. The exemptions will continue to diminish at the existing rate of $2 for every $8 by which the value of an estate exceeds the outright exemption level. This means they will cut out for estates generally at $200,000, where the whole of the estate passes to close relatives, and at $100,000 where no part so passes. For primary producer estates the cut-out points will be $240,000 and $120,000 respectively.

As a result of the proposals in this Bill, about one-half of the estates that would have become liable for duty under the present law will be wholly exempt. Most estates that remain dutiable will benefit from some reduction in the amount of duty payable. The new exemptions will apply to estates of persons who died or die after 15th August 1972. A memorandum explaining the provisions of the Bill is being made available to honourable members. I commend the Bill to the House.

Debate (on motion by Mr Crean) adjourned.

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