Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2015 Week 13 Hansard (Tuesday, 17 November 2015) . . Page.. 4007 ..
The Taxation Administration Act looks at acting arrangements which allow the Under Treasurer to make acting arrangements for the Commissioner for ACT Revenue. Currently it has to be determined by the minister so the commissioner can get some leave, which might be appropriate in the lead-up to Christmas. Under the sale of land provisions the commissioner will be required to give notice that a parcel of land is in arrears once the owner has been notified.
They seem like sensible amendments. I note the consultation was all largely internal, and I have been assured by the briefing that I had—I thank the Treasurer for the briefing—that these are all revenue neutral. With that, we will support the bill.
MR RATTENBURY (Molonglo) (12.24): As Mr Smyth has noted, this bill is essentially a taxation SLAB. It makes a number of changes across seven different revenue-related acts to clarify and simplify some of the systems we have in place for our taxation as well as introducing a number of relatively minor but important improvements.
In terms of the Duties Act, this bill clarifies when duties are payable on off-the-plan purchase agreements. It clarifies the dutiable value of deceased estates, and it covers full duty relief with corporate transfer of assets, and this will now match other jurisdictions. In regards to land rent, the bill includes an administrative provision to reduce unnecessary requirements for documentation of income for eligibility for the land rent scheme, although it does not change the eligibility criteria. It very much goes to the administration of it.
It also introduces a new process whereby corporations carrying on business as a builder or developer on residential land will now have to apply for the automatic exemption at the beginning of the two-year period to ensure that they are aware that it is only a two-year exemption and that tax will be payable after that period.
When it comes to objections to interest, the bill introduces provisions to allow taxpayers who object to interest that has been accrued from land tax and from rates. These objections will give taxpayers rights to object that align with approaches taken on other taxes, which is clearly something that will improve consistency.
Finally, on payroll tax, this bill clarifies that contracts are not subject to payroll tax if they are solely for the conveyance of goods by an owner-provided vehicle. This is also in line with other jurisdictions. There are also a number of other minor technical and grammatical amendments across the various revenue acts. Overall, the amendments in this bill today are simple improvements on current practices, and the Greens will be supporting this legislation.
MR BARR (Molonglo—Chief Minister, Treasurer, Minister for Economic Development, Minister for Urban Renewal and Minister for Tourism and Events) (12.26), in reply: I thank members for their support of the bill. It is a simple and necessary bill developed to improve the administration of the territory’s taxes. It delivers improvements to a variety of tax legislation through simplification, clarification and consolidation of existing principles.