Bills Digest No.153  1997-98 Commonwealth Places Windfall Tax (Imposition) Bill 1998


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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
Purpose
Background
Main Provisions
Endnotes
Contact Officer and Copyright Details

Passage History

Commonwealth Places Windfall Tax (Imposition) Bill 1998

Date Introduced: 5 March 1998

House: House of Representatives

Portfolio: Treasury

Commencement: This Bill will be taken to have commenced on 6 October 1997.

Purpose

The Commonwealth Places Windfall Tax (Imposition) Bill 1998 (the Windfall Tax Imposition Bill) is part of a package of four Commonwealth Bills dealing with the consequences of the High Court's decision in Allders International Pty Limited v Commissioner of State Revenue (Victoria) (Allders).(1) The package of legislation is designed to overcome constitutional obstacles, so that certain State taxes will continue to apply to Commonwealth places located within the States and past State revenues are protected.

The purpose of the Windfall Tax Imposition Bill is to impose a windfall tax of 100%. With its companion law, the Commonwealth Places Windfall Tax (Collection) Bill 1998, the Bill is designed to protect State revenues from claims for refunds in relation to certain taxes applied in Commonwealth places. Claims by various taxpayers to a refund would be expected to flow from the Allders decision on the basis that the taxes were constitutionally invalid. A 100% windfall tax will deter refund claims and protect State revenues.

The purpose of the package of four Bills and the main features of the regime they establish are set out in more detail in the Bills Digest for the Commonwealth Places (Mirror Taxes) Bill 1998.

Background

A detailed 'background' to the package of Bills designed to respond to the High Court decision in Allders International Pty Limited v Commissioner of State Revenue (Victoria) is provided in the Bills Digest for the Commonwealth Places (Mirror Taxes) Bill 1998.

Two Bills have been used to implement the windfall tax presumably due to the provisions of section 55 of the Commonwealth Constitution. Section 55 provides amongst other things that laws imposing taxation can deal only with the imposition of taxation. As a result, the same bill must not contain measures providing for the imposition of a tax and the establishment of machinery necessary for it to be collected.

Main Provisions

Clause 4 imposes the Commonwealth places windfall tax at the rate of 100%.

Endnotes

  1. (1996) 186 CLR 630

Contact Officer and Copyright Details

Sean Brennan
11 March 1998
Bills Digest Service
Information and Research Services

This paper has been prepared for general distribution to Senators and Members of the Australian Parliament. While great care is taken to ensure that the paper is accurate and balanced, the paper is written using information publicly available at the time of production. The views expressed are those of the author and should not be attributed to the Information and Research Services (IRS). Advice on legislation or legal policy issues contained in this paper is provided for use in parliamentary debate and for related parliamentary purposes. This paper is not professional legal opinion. Readers are reminded that the paper is not an official parliamentary or Australian government document.

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 1328-8091
© Commonwealth of Australia 1997

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.



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