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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2009 Week 13 Hansard (12 November) . . Page.. 4919..

MS GALLAGHER (Molonglo-Treasurer, Minister for Health, Minister for Community Services and Minister for Women) (10.23): I move:

That this bill be agreed to in principle.

The Revenue Legislation Amendment Bill 2009 amends the First Home Owner Grant Act 2000 and the Taxation Administration Act 1999. This bill does not impose any new taxation measures but improves administrative issues and addresses matters of revenue leakage for the ACT Revenue Office.

The bill contains four amendments, three of which relate to the First Home Owner Grant Act, and the fourth to the Taxation Administration Act. The first amendment to the First Home Owner Grant Act clarifies the term "reviewable decision". The amendment inserts a reference to another section of the act which removes any ambiguity in the use and/or meaning of the term. It merely clarifies that a reviewable decision is a decision made by the Commissioner for ACT Revenue under the First Home Owner Grant Act.

The second amendment relates to the residency requirements under the First Home Owner Grant Act. The act currently allows applicants a period of 12 months to apply to the commissioner for an extension in or exemption from the six months continuous residency requirement. The amendment will extend the 12-month period to apply to the commissioner by six months to 18 months, which would allow for those applicants who, due to unforeseen circumstances, cannot meet or cannot see out the remainder of their residency.

The third amendment to the First Home Owner Grant Act also relates to residency. In cases where an application is made by joint applicants and not all of those applicants can meet the residency requirement, it provides an automatic exemption for the non-complying applicants provided at least one applicant does comply. The amendment will remove the administrative burden on the commissioner to exercise his discretion to exempt the non-complying applicant.

The fourth and final amendment is to the Taxation Administration Act. It introduces a five-year time limit in which a taxpayer may apply to the commissioner for a refund of tax paid. Five years is considered a reasonable period of time in which the taxpayer would know they overpaid an amount of tax. This time allows the taxpayer ample opportunity to apply for a refund of that overpaid amount, and this amendment brings ACT tax refunds into line with other jurisdictions in relation to time limits on refunds. I commend the Revenue Legislation Amendment Bill to the Assembly.

Debate (on motion by Mr Seselja) adjourned to the next sitting.

Health Legislation Amendment Bill 2009

Ms Gallagher, pursuant to notice, presented the bill, its explanatory statement and a Human Rights Act compatibility statement.

Title read by Clerk.

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