Notes for the Minister's Second Reading Speech
In the course of his Budget Speech delivered on 16th August last, the Treasurer outlined a number of proposals to amend the income tax law. The Bill which I now bring before the Senate incorporates these amendments.
Among the amendments is a provision to increase the maximum amount on which depreciation at the special rate of 20% of cost is allowable in respect of residential accommodation provided for employees, tenants and sharefarmers engaged in primary industries. The industries concerned are the agricultural, pastoral and pearling industries.
The special rate of depreciation has hitherto applied to so much of the cost of accommodation for each employee, tenant or sharefarmer as did not exceed Pd2,750. In relation to buildings commenced after 30th June, 1960 and completed by 30th June, 1962 this amount is to be increased to Pd3,250.
The increased amount will also apply to buildings commenced by 30th June, 1962 and completed not later than 30th June, 1963.
Normal rates of depreciation will continue to be available on the amount of the cost over Pd3,250.
A further proposal is to increase the deduction allowable for periodical subscriptions paid for membership of a trade, business or professional association. The broad effect of the present law is to limit to Pd10.10. 0. the deduction for an annual subscription to each association of which a taxpayer is a member. This ceiling will be raised from Pd10.10. 0. to Pd21.
It is also proposed to allow deductions for gifts of Pd1 or more made to -
- the National Trust of Australia (Tasmania) Limited;
- the Art Gallery Society of New South Wales, and
- the Australian Productivity Council.
In addition, deductions are to be allowed for similar gifts to -
- the Australian Postgraduate Federation in Medicine;
- the College of Radiologists of Australia;
- the Australian College of General Practitioners; and
- the College of Pathologists of Australia.
In these latter four cases, however, deductibility will be conditional upon the gifts being made specifically for the purpose of education or research in medical knowledge or science.
This Bill also gives effect to the Government's decision announced by my colleague the Minister for National Development (Senator Spooner) on 17th May last regarding the exemption from tax of 20% of the profits derived from mining certain prescribed metals or minerals. The partial exemption which was due to terminate on 30th June, 1960 is being extended without limitation as to time.
Further explanations of the proposed amendments are provided in a memorandum that has been circulated with the Bill which I now submit for the consideration of the Senate.