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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2008 Week 06 Hansard (Thursday, 26 June 2008) . . Page.. 2048 ..

Duties Amendment Bill 2008 amends the Duties Act 1999 to abolish duty on the establishment of and changes to trusts over non-dutiable property. The passage of the bill is necessary to give effect to a revenue measure introduced in the ACT 2008-09 budget—namely, the removal of some minor taxes.

Minor taxes removed by the bill are applied under provisions that impose duty on the establishment of and changes to trusts. Currently, $200 or $20 duty is charged on an instrument that declares a trust over non-dutiable property. The most common of these instruments include a family discretionary trust over a small settled amount of money and an instrument that establishes or varies a superannuation fund. However, duty on the establishment of or change to a trust over dutiable property will not be abolished as a result of the bill. A declaration of trust over dutiable property will continue to be liable for duty at the rate applicable to the type of dutiable property over which the trust is declared. For example, a declaration of trust over land will still be liable to duty.

The 2007-08 revenue forecast for the elimination of these minor taxes is $200,000. A relatively small amount of revenue forgone also involves the removal of inordinate administrative and compliance costs associated with these minor taxes. Furthermore, the removal of the requirement to lodge and pay duty on related instruments will reduce administrative costs to the professional community and the general public.

There is a small amendment, which has been circulated. I foreshadow that, post agreement in principle, if that is the will of the Assembly, I will move that small technical amendment. But I thank members for their contributions and for their support of, as has been expressed, a significant tidying up of what is essentially a nuisance tax or charge—one that probably does not even pay for its administration and compliance. I commend the bill to the Assembly.

Question resolved in the affirmative.

Bill agreed to in principle.

Detail stage

Bill, by leave, taken as a whole.

MR STANHOPE (Ginninderra—Chief Minister, Treasurer, Minister for Business and Economic Development, Minister for Indigenous Affairs, Minister for the Environment, Water and Climate Change, Minister for the Arts) (12.06): I move amendment No 1 circulated in my name [see schedule 1 at page 2191]. I table a supplementary explanatory statement to the government amendment. As I indicated, this is a very minor technical amendment that goes simply to the commencement of the bill.

Amendment agreed to.

Bill, as a whole, as amended, agreed to.

Bill, as amended, agreed to.

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