House of Representatives

Tax Laws Amendment (2006 Measures No. 2) Bill 2006

Second Reading Speech

Mr DUTTON (Dickson-Minister for Revenue and Assistant Treasurer)

(10.15 a.m.)

I move:

That this bill be now read a second time.

This bill amends various taxation laws to implement a range of changes and improvements to Australia's taxation system.

Schedule 1 exempts from income tax ex gratia lump sum payments made to certain F111 aircraft maintenance personnel by the Department of Veterans' Affairs. This will ensure that those who receive this ex gratia payment will receive the full benefit of the payment.

The government is making the one-off ex gratia lump sum payments from the 2005-06 income year to certain personnel who experienced a unique working environment in the maintenance of F111 aircraft fuel tanks.

The payments are made in recognition of the difficulties eligible personnel suffered in the environment in which they worked, regardless of whether there is evidence of any adverse health impacts from that work environment. The amendments apply from the 2005-06 year.

Schedule 2 amends the lists of deductible gift recipients in the Income Tax Assessment Act 1997. Deductible gift recipient status will assist the listed organisations to attract public support for their activities.

Schedule 3 amends the Income Tax Assessment Act 1997 to correct unintended consequences from the rewrite of the capital gains tax provisions completed as part of the Tax Law Improvement Project. This measure broadly reinstates the position in the Income Tax Assessment Act 1936 in relation to options exercised on or after 27 May 2005, this being the date of announcement of these amendments.

Schedule 4 extends the scope of what is considered to be a compulsory acquisition for capital gains tax and uniform capital allowance purposes. It will extend the existing compulsory acquisition provisions to cases where a private acquirer compulsorily acquires an asset through recourse to a statutory power.

Schedule 5 of this bill amends the Income Tax Assessment Act 1997 to limit the circumstances in which the franking deficit tax offset is reduced. These amendments will apply from 1 July 2002, this being the commencement of the simplified imputation system.

Schedule 6 amends the Superannuation Guarantee (Administration) Act 1992 to allow more employees to choose the fund to which their employer makes compulsory superannuation contributions on their behalf.

The government will override state laws which require employers that are constitutional corporations to make contributions to a superannuation fund specified in that law. This will particularly benefit coalminers in Queensland, Western Australia and New South Wales as employers will be able to contribute to a superannuation fund of an employee's choosing from 1 July 2006.

Schedule 7 makes various technical corrections and amendments to the taxation laws and also some general improvements to the law of a minor nature. These corrections and amendments include fixing duplicated definitions, missing asterisks from defined terms, incorrect numbering and referencing, and outdated guide material.

While not implementing any new policy, the technical corrections and amendments in this bill are an important part of the government's commitment to improving the taxation laws.

Full details of the measures in the bill are contained in the explanatory memorandum, which I present to the House.

Debate (on motion by Mr Murphy) adjourned.