Page 1642 - Week 06 - Thursday, 7 June 2007

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declare a rental property. The administration of interest and penalty tax under the Taxation Administration Act will remain unaffected by these amendments.

I thank members for their contribution and support. I commend the bill to the Assembly.

Question resolved in the affirmative.

Bill agreed to in principle.

Leave granted to dispense with the detail stage.

Bill agreed to.

Revenue Legislation Amendment Bill 2007

Debate resumed from 29 May 2007, on motion by Mr Stanhope:

That this bill be agreed to in principle.

MR MULCAHY (Molonglo) (8.41): The opposition will be supporting this bill, which we believe corrects several ambiguities and errors in the revenue legislation more accurately to reflect the intent of this legislation.

In relation to the amendment to the Land Tax Act 2004, when a person purchases land in the territory, usually as part of a conveyance of a home, the ACT Revenue Office issues a certificate of rates, land tax and other charges which sets out any outstanding charges against the land. These are charges that were incurred by the seller when they owned the land and are usually paid out during the conveyance, with an adjustment to the settlement between the buyer and seller to properly reflect the charges.

In some cases the revenue office later discovers a further liability that the seller should have incurred on the land before it was sold. In this case, it is clear that it is inequitable for this charge to be levied against the new owner, who has relied on the certificate issued by the revenue office. In any case, the former owner who incurred the debt is usually liable to reimburse the new owner for any such charge under the contract of sale.

The bill amends the Land Tax Act 2004 to ensure that the revenue office does not hold the purchaser of land liable for land tax debts on the land that were not drawn to their attention in the certificate issued by the revenue office. Instead, the revenue office will recover this debt from the person who was the owner of the land at the time the debt was incurred. The opposition believes that this is the correct way to proceed.

In relation to the amendment to the Duties Act 1999, this bill removes the liability of the housing commissioner for a grant of crown land. Previously the commissioner was required to pay the concessional rate of duty. The amendment removes an administrative burden from both the commissioner and the revenue office.

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