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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1999 Week 3 Hansard (25 March) . . Page.. 817 ..

MS CARNELL (continuing):

The other technical amendments proposed in the Bill are unlikely to have any noticeable impact on the day-to-day application of the Public Sector Management Act 1994. The changes are minor in nature and refer to incorrect paragraph references in various parts of the Act. They are necessary to correct a number of errors and omissions of a technical nature.

There are no adverse financial implications associated with these changes as most of the proposed amendments will have no noticeable impact on the day-to-day operations of ACT Public Service agencies.

Debate (on motion by Mr Berry ) adjourned.


MS CARNELL (Chief Minister and Treasurer) (11.02): Mr Speaker, I present the Payroll Tax (Amendment) Bill 1999, together with its explanatory memorandum.

Title read by Clerk.


That this Bill be agreed to in principle.

Mr Speaker, this Bill amends the Payroll Tax Act 1987 to provide ACT employment agencies with a more objective regime of exemptions to determine their liability for payroll tax purposes.

The current legislation provides certain exemptions from payroll tax for employment agents. These include an exemption requiring the Commissioner for ACT Revenue to be satisfied that the agent has procured the services of a person who is bona fide rendering services to the public generally. Under current arrangements, Mr Speaker, employment agents have often expressed their concern at the difficulties they face in obtaining information to satisfy these exemptions and/or complying with the requirements of the tests, particularly in relation to the aggregation of 90 days employment in a financial year.

Following recent Victorian Supreme Court decisions, most recently in 1998, the scope of the exemption has been broadened to such an extent that it could undermine the entire employment agent provisions. In addition, the commissioner is burdened in determining exemptions in each individual case.

Mr Speaker, this Bill moves the guidelines currently contained in the relevant revenue circulars into the Payroll Tax Act itself and makes further amendment to clarify other exemption provisions for employment agents. Essentially, Mr Speaker, the Bill makes wages paid by employment agents to their contractors exempt from ACT payroll tax where the supply of goods or equipment is more than 50 per cent of the value of the contract; the person engaged to perform the work provides services which are not of

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