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Tuesday, 21 August 1973
Page: 187

Mr Graham (NORTH SYDNEY, NEW SOUTH WALES) asked the Minister for Minerals and Energy, upon notice:

(   1 ) Did he say on 12 April that the estimated cost of concessions to shareholders under Sections 77A, 77D, 77C, and 78 of the Income Tax Assessment Act in respect of the contribution of share capital to petroleum exploration and petroleum mining companies was $ 1 1 Om for the period 1 958 to 1 97 1 .

(2)   If so, does this sum include concessions to search operations in Papua New Guinea.

(3)   How much of the sum assisted (a) Australian and (b) international companies.

(4)   Can he say whether tax concessions are granted by the United States Government to American companies spending money in exploration programs within Australia.

Mr Connor (CUNNINGHAM, NEW SOUTH WALES) (Minister for Minerals and Energy) - The answer to the honourable member's question is as follows:

(   1 ) Yes. In relation to the remainder of the question, the Commissioner of Taxation has advised-

(2)   These concessions apply in respect of exploration and mining in Australia and Papua New Guinea.

(3)   Australian and international companies are not distinguished in company income tax statistics. The only relevant classification available is resident or non-resident status. The companies which issued shares qualifying for deductions under sections 77A, 77D, 77C and 78 that were included in the latest survey on which the estimated cost of the concessions was based were resident companies. It should be pointed out, however, that for income tax purposes resident companies include companies incorporated in Australia, irrespective of their degree of foreign ownership.

(4)   It is understood that the United States tax law permits deductions in United States tax assessments for expenditure incurred by a United States company in exploring for oil in Australia. However, the United States tax law does not contain provisions similar to sections 77A, 77C, 77D and 78.

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