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Tax Laws Amendment (2007 Measures No. 1) Bill 2007

Schedule 1 Project Wickenby taskforce

   

Administrative Decisions (Judicial Review) Act 1977

1  Paragraph (f) of Schedule 1

After “subsection 3E(1)”, insert “, 3G(1) or 3H(1)”.

Freedom of Information Act 1982

2  Schedule 3

Omit “ Taxation Administration Act 1953 , subsection 3C(2), paragraph 8WB(1)(c) and subsection 8XB(1)”, substitute “ Taxation Administration Act 1953 , subsections 3C(2), 3G(6) and (9) and 3H(5) and (8), paragraph 8WB(1)(c) and subsection 8XB(1)”.

Taxation Administration Act 1953

3  At the end of subsection 3B(1AA)

Add:

             ; and (e)  set out:

                              (i)  the number of occasions (if any) during the year on which the Commissioner was requested to disclose documents under subsection 3G(1) in relation to the Project Wickenby taskforce; and

                             (ii)  the number of occasions (if any) during the year on which the Commissioner disclosed documents under that subsection; and

                      (f)  set out, in relation to a taskforce that has been prescribed under section 3H:

                              (i)  the number of occasions (if any) during the year on which the Commissioner was requested to disclose documents under subsection 3H(1) in relation to the taskforce; and

                             (ii)  the number of occasions (if any) during the year on which the Commissioner disclosed documents under that subsection.

4  At the end of Part IA

Add:

3G   Providing taxation information to the Project Wickenby taskforce

Disclosure of taxation information by the Commissioner

             (1)  The Commissioner may disclose information acquired under a taxation law to a person to whom subsection (2) applies (a Project Wickenby officer ) if:

                     (a)  the Commissioner is satisfied that the information is relevant to a purpose of the Project Wickenby taskforce; and

                     (b)  the disclosure occurs before 1 July 2012, or a later prescribed date.

Project Wickenby officer

             (2)  This subsection applies to a person:

                     (a)  who holds an office in, is employed in, or is performing services for:

                              (i)  an agency in the Project Wickenby taskforce; or

                             (ii)  an agency that is supporting the Project Wickenby taskforce; and

                     (b)  whose duties relate to a purpose of the Project Wickenby taskforce.

Project Wickenby taskforce agencies

             (3)  The following agencies are agencies in the Project Wickenby taskforce:

                     (a)  the Australian Taxation Office;

                     (b)  the Australian Crime Commission;

                     (c)  the Australian Federal Police;

                     (d)  the Australian Securities and Investments Commission;

                     (e)  the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions;

                      (f)  a prescribed agency.

Project Wickenby taskforce supporting agencies

             (4)  The following agencies are agencies supporting the Project Wickenby taskforce:

                     (a)  the Attorney-General’s Department;

                     (b)  the Australian Transaction Reports and Analysis Centre;

                     (c)  the Australian Government Solicitor;

                     (d)  a prescribed agency.

Purposes of Project Wickenby taskforce

             (5)  The purposes of the Project Wickenby taskforce are to:

                     (a)  detect; and

                     (b)  deter; and

                     (c)  investigate; and

                     (d)  enforce the law relating to;

the promotion of or participation in arrangements (within the meaning of the Income Tax Assessment Act 1997 ) of an international character, or purported international character, that relate to one or more of these:

                     (e)  tax avoidance or evasion;

                      (f)  breaches of laws regulating financial markets and corporations;

                     (g)  criminal activity in the nature of fraud or obtaining benefits by deception (including deceiving investors or creditors);

                     (h)  money laundering;

                      (i)  concealing income or assets.

Offence—disclosure of taxation information by Project Wickenby officer

             (6)  A person commits an offence if:

                     (a)  the person is or has been a Project Wickenby officer; and

                     (b)  the person:

                              (i)  makes a record of information about the affairs of a second person; or

                             (ii)  discloses to a third person information about the affairs of a second person; and

                     (c)  the information was disclosed to the person under this section.

Penalty:  Imprisonment for 2 years.

             (7)  Subsection (6) does not apply if the person:

                     (a)  makes a record of the information for a purpose of the Project Wickenby taskforce; or

                     (b)  discloses the information:

                              (i)  to a Project Wickenby officer; and

                             (ii)  for a purpose of the Project Wickenby taskforce.

Note:          A defendant bears an evidential burden in relation to the matters in subsection (7): see subsection 13.3(3) of the Criminal Code .

             (8)  Subsection (6) does not apply if:

                     (a)  a record of the information is made, or the information is disclosed to a person, for the purposes of, or in connection with:

                              (i)  an actual, proposed or possible criminal, civil or administrative proceeding; or

                             (ii)  the exercise of an administrative power or the performance of an administrative function;

                            relating to a purpose of the Project Wickenby taskforce; or

                     (b)  the information is voluntarily communicated to a court or tribunal in the course of a proceeding of a kind referred to in subparagraph (a)(i).

Note:          A defendant bears an evidential burden in relation to the matters in subsection (8): see subsection 13.3(3) of the Criminal Code .

Offence—disclosure of taxation information by other people

             (9)  A person commits an offence if:

                     (a)  information is disclosed to the person in accordance with paragraph (8)(a); and

                     (b)  the person makes a record of the information, or discloses the information to another person.

Penalty:  Imprisonment for 2 years.

           (10)  Subsection (9) does not apply to the person if a record of the information is made, or the information is disclosed to another person, for the purposes of, or in connection with, the proceeding or the exercise of the power or the performance of the function referred to in paragraph (8)(a).

Note:          A defendant bears an evidential burden in relation to the matters in subsection (10): see subsection 13.3(3) of the Criminal Code .

No requirement to disclose taxation information to a court etc.

           (11)  A person who is or has been a Project Wickenby officer is not to be required to disclose to a court or tribunal information that was disclosed to the person under this section unless it is necessary that the information be disclosed for the purposes of a taxation law.

Other matters

           (12)  This section:

                     (a)  has effect despite any provision of a taxation law that prohibits the communication or divulging of information; and

                     (b)  is in addition to, and does not detract from, any other provision of this Act or of any other law relating to the communication of information.

3H   Providing taxation information to prescribed taskforces

Disclosure of taxation information by the Commissioner

             (1)  The Commissioner may disclose information acquired under a taxation law to a taskforce officer of a prescribed taskforce if the Commissioner is satisfied that the information is relevant to a purpose of the prescribed taskforce.

Taskforce officer

             (2)  A person is a taskforce officer of a prescribed taskforce if:

                     (a)  the person holds an office in, is employed in, or is performing services for, an agency in the prescribed taskforce; and

                     (b)  the person’s duties relate to a purpose of the prescribed taskforce.

Taskforce may be prescribed

             (3)  The regulations may prescribe a taskforce for the purposes of this section. A major purpose of the taskforce must be protecting the public finances of Australia.

             (4)  Without limiting subsection (3), regulations made for the purposes of this section may deal with the following matters:

                     (a)  the purposes of the taskforce;

                     (b)  the agencies in the taskforce;

                     (c)  the period during which information can be disclosed to a taskforce officer of the prescribed taskforce.

Offence—disclosure of taxation information by taskforce officer

             (5)  A person commits an offence if:

                     (a)  the person is or has been a taskforce officer of a prescribed taskforce; and

                     (b)  the person:

                              (i)  makes a record of information about the affairs of a second person; or

                             (ii)  discloses to a third person information about the affairs of a second person; and

                     (c)  the information was disclosed to the person under this section.

Penalty:  Imprisonment for 2 years.

             (6)  Subsection (5) does not apply if the person:

                     (a)  makes a record of the information for a purpose of the prescribed taskforce; or

                     (b)  discloses the information:

                              (i)  to a taskforce officer of the prescribed taskforce; and

                             (ii)  for a purpose of the prescribed taskforce.

Note:          A defendant bears an evidential burden in relation to the matters in subsection (6): see subsection 13.3(3) of the Criminal Code .

             (7)  Subsection (5) does not apply if:

                     (a)  a record of the information is made, or the information is disclosed to a person, for the purposes of, or in connection with:

                              (i)  an actual, proposed or possible criminal, civil or administrative proceeding; or

                             (ii)  the exercise of an administrative power or the performance of an administrative function;

                            relating to a purpose of a prescribed taskforce; or

                     (b)  the information is voluntarily communicated to a court or tribunal in the course of a proceeding of a kind referred to in subparagraph (a)(i).

Note:          A defendant bears an evidential burden in relation to the matters in subsection (7): see subsection 13.3(3) of the Criminal Code .

Offence—disclosure of taxation information by other people

             (8)  A person commits an offence if:

                     (a)  information is disclosed to the person in accordance with paragraph (7)(a); and

                     (b)  the person makes a record of the information, or discloses the information to another person.

Penalty:  Imprisonment for 2 years.

             (9)  Subsection (8) does not apply to the person if the record of the information is made, or the information is disclosed to another person, for the purposes of, or in connection with, the proceeding or the exercise of the power or the performance of the function referred to in paragraph (7)(a).

Note:          A defendant bears an evidential burden in relation to the matters in subsection (9): see subsection 13.3(3) of the Criminal Code .

No requirement to disclose taxation information to a court etc.

           (10)  A person who is or has been a taskforce officer of a prescribed taskforce is not to be required to disclose to a court or tribunal information that was disclosed to the person under this section unless it is necessary that the information be disclosed for the purposes of a taxation law.

Other matters

           (11)  This section:

                     (a)  has effect despite any provision of a taxation law that prohibits the communication or divulging of information; and

                     (b)  is in addition to, and does not detract from, any other provision of this Act or of any other law relating to the communication of information.

5  Application

The amendments made by this Schedule apply to disclosures of information made on or after the day on which this Act receives the Royal Assent (whenever the information was obtained).