House of Representatives

Income Tax Assessment Amendment Bill (No. 5) 1980

Income Tax Assessment Amendment Act (No. 5) 1980

Explanatory Memorandum

(Circulated by authority of the Treasurer, the Hon. John Howard, M.P.)

Main Features

Taxation relief for Australians working overseas on approved projects (Clause 3)

A new section is to be inserted in the income tax law to provide for exemption, either wholly or in part, of income derived by Australian resident individuals from personal services performed by them over a continuous period of 3 months or more in an overseas country on projects approved by the Minister for Trade and Resources where the income is not taxed in that overseas country : income derived overseas by non-residents of Australia, or such income derived by residents that is taxed in the country of source, is already exempt from Australian tax. The section will apply where services are performed for an Australian resident, the government of an overseas country or certain international bodies and will have effect in relation to income earned on projects which are approved and commence after 19 August 1980.

Gifts, calls on afforestation shares, pensions, etc. (Clause 6)

The deduction for gifts of property (other than money) under the general gift deduction provisions is limited to property that had been purchased by the taxpayer within the preceding 12 months, and then to the amount for which the taxpayer purchased it. However, gifts of property (other than money, buildings or land) made under the Taxation Incentives for the Arts Scheme, during the trial period of 1 January 1978 to 31 December 1980, towards collections maintained by the Australiana Fund, or by a public library, museum or art gallery are not subject to these limitations.

Clause 6 proposes that the Taxation Incentives for the Arts Scheme be extended indefinitely by removing the present termination date of 31 December 1980. Gifts made on or after 1 July 1979 to the Artbank collection are also to come within the Scheme.

Release of taxpayers from liability in cases of hardship (Clause 11)

The income tax law contains provisions under which a taxpayer may be released, wholly or in part, from liability to pay tax where a Relief Board considers that payment of the full amount of the tax would entail serious hardship. Where the relief applied for is not less than $2,000 the Relief Board must first refer the case to a Taxation Board of Review for examination and report. Clause 11 will increase this amount to $10,000.

Where the amount of tax involved in an application for relief does not exceed $200 the Commissioner of Taxation is empowered to exercise the powers conferred on the Relief Board, and that amount is being increased to $500.

Employer failing to issue group certificate or deliver tax stamps sheet (Clause 10)

This amendment will make clear that it is mandatory under section 221Q of the Principal Act for the Commissioner of Taxation to allow credit in the assessment of an employee where PAYE tax instalments have been deducted from the salary or wages of the employee, but the employer has failed either to issue a group certificate or to deliver a tax stamps sheet as required.

A more detailed explanation of the clauses of the Bill is contained in the following notes.

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