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Thursday, 31 May 1973
Page: 3066

Mr Garland asked the Treasurer, upon notice:

(1)   In what further instances since the then Treasurer's reply of 17 November 1964 (Hansard, page 3181) have superior courts interpreted sections of the

Gift Duty Assessment Act in a way contrary to that contended for by, the Commissioner of Taxation.

(2)   Upon what sections of the Act were these decisions given.

(3)   What is the estimated loss to revenue each year as a result of these decisions.

(4)   What progress has been made in advising treasures to close the loopholes disclosed in these decisions (Hansard, 28 October 1964, page 2391).

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

The honourable member's question is expressedin similar terms to questions asked of former Treasurers by the present Prime Minister, the latest occasion being 15 August 1972. I refer the honourable member to the information provided by the then Treasurer in reply to the latest of these questions (see Hansard, page 3426 of 26 October 1972). There have been no further decisions of the court affecting this matter adversely to the Commonwealth. The recent decision of the High Court in the case of Ord Forrest Pty Ltd v. Federal Commissioner of Taxation has substantially reduced the loss of revenue resulting from the decision in Gorton's case.

I am examining the possibility of amendments to the estate duty and gift duty laws in the light of advice I have received from the Commissioner of Taxation and I hope to be in a position to announce the government's intentions to honourable members before very long.

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