Bills Digest 128 1996-97 Superannuation Contributions Surcharge Imposition Bill 1997


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WARNING:
This Digest was prepared for debate. It reflects the legislation as introduced and does not canvass subsequent amendments. This Digest does not have any official legal status. Other sources should be consulted to determine the subsequent official status of the Bill.

CONTENTS

Passage History

Superannuation Contributions Surcharge Imposition Bill 1997

Date Introduced: 13 February 1997
House: House of Representatives
Portfolio: Treasury
Commencement: Royal Assent

Purpose

To impose formally the surcharge payable under the Superannuation Contributions Surcharge (Assessment and Collection) Bill 1997.

Background

The reader is referred to the Digest for the Superannuation Contributions Surcharge (Assessment and Collection) Bill 1997.

Main Provisions

Clause 4 imposes formally the surcharge payable under the Superannuation Contributions Surcharge (Assessment and Collection) Bill 1997.

Clause 5 deals with the rate of surcharge payable. Where the assessable income and superannuation contributions of a superannuation fund member is between $70 000 and $84 999 the rate of surcharge that will apply in respect of that member in a financial year is the percentage obtained by using the following formula:

adjusted taxable income minus $70 000 divided by $1 000 (ie. 1% per $1 000 that adjusted taxable income exceeds $70 000)

Where the assessable income and superannuation contributions of a superannuation fund member is over $85 000 the rate of surcharge that will apply in respect of that member in a financial year is 15% of that member's surchargeable contributions for that year.

Where a member of a superannuation fund has not provided, in connection with the operation of the Superannuation Contributions Surcharge (Collection and Assessment) Bill 1997 his or her tax file number to their superannuation fund/s, and the Commissioner of Taxation has not otherwise found out their tax file number, the rate of surcharge that will apply in a financial year is 15% of their surchargeable contributions for that year.

Concluding Comments

The validity of the proposed Superannuation Contributions Surcharge (Assessment and Collection) Act 1997 has been questioned in submissions to the Senate Select Committee on Superannuation examining the package of legislation which this Bill forms part of. Mr Rose's argument was based on the difference between the liability to pay a tax and the obligation to collect the tax. According to Mr Rose's argument, under the legislation originally put to Parliament, the superannuation provider would not only be liable to collect the tax from those members liable to pay the surcharge but would also be liable to pay any amount that has not been collected, and so be liable to pay a tax that is levied on another. Mr Rose then argues that this is in breach of various High Court decisions and would result in the surcharge legislation being unenforceable as the main collection mechanism is unconstitutional.

The Prime Minister has responded to the opinion of Mr Rose in a 'Doorstop Interview' on 11 March 1997. The Prime Minister refuted the opinion of Mr Rose.

The Government has introduced a number of amendments designed to ensure that the argument raised by Mr Rose will not affect the Constitutional basis of the Bill. However, it has been reported that even if the amendments are passed, there may still be the same potential Constitutional difficulties with the surcharge scheme, although other provisions will be affected.(1)

Endnotes

  1. 1 Australian Financial Review, 26 March 1997, p. 3.

Contact Officer and Copyright Details

Chris Field
Ian Ireland
3 April 1997
Bills Digest Service
Information and Research Services

This Digest does not have any official legal status. Other sources should be consulted to determine whether the Bill has been enacted and, if so, whether the subsequent Act reflects further amendments.

IRS staff are available to discuss the paper's contents with Senators and Members and their staff but not with members of the public.

ISSN 1323-9031
Commonwealth of Australia 1996

Except to the extent of the uses permitted under the Copyright Act 1968, no part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, including information storage and retrieval systems, without the prior written consent of the Parliamentary Library, other than by Members of the Australian Parliament in the course of their official duties.

Published by the Department of the Parliamentary Library, 1997.

This page was prepared by the Parliamentary Library, Commonwealth of Australia
Last updated: 10 April 1997



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