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Taxation Laws Improvement Bill
(No. 2) 1997
House: House of Representatives
Commencement: Generally, the measures
contained in the Bill will apply for the 1998-99 and later tax
To implement the
second phase of the Taxation Laws Improvement Project (TLIP).
TLIP arose as a result of a November 1993 report
by the Joint Committee of Public Accounts which recommended the
establishment of a task force to rewrite the current income tax
laws contained in the Income Tax Assessment Act 1936
(ITAA) and the Fringe Benefits Tax Assessment Act 1986.
The recommendation was accepted by the government in December 1993.
According to Information Paper No. 1, August 1994, issued by
The aim of the project is to
restructure, renumber and rewrite the income tax law so that it can
be more easily understood by those who need to read it.(1)
TLIP aims to reduce compliance costs by making
income tax laws easier to understand but a basis of the project is
that it is not intended to reform the tax process or review tax
TLIP contains a consultative committee to
include the views of business, the professions and the wider
community. Exposure Drafts of the various sections of the rewrite
are also released prior to their adoption, subject to modification,
in legislation. Although there have been some disagreements between
the various interest bodies, the rewrite has aroused little media
or public attention. The Bills implementing TLIP, of which this is
the second, are considered by the Joint Committee of Public
Accounts and this Bill has been referred to that Committee.
TLIP was funded from 1 July 1994 and was
expected to last for 3 years.(3) TLIP has obviously exceeded its
original, proposed timeframe. While considerable work remains to be
done on the rewriting of the income tax laws, TLIP's Exposure Draft
No. 12, dated September 1997, states that TLIP is scheduled to
complete its work in mid 1999. That Exposure Draft also contains a
Table dealing with the areas already dealt with in earlier
legislation and Exposure Drafts and the areas yet to be covered.
The cost of TLIP to this date is not mentioned in either the
Explanatory Memorandum or Second Reading Speech to the Bill.
This Bill deals with:
- capital gains and losses;
- company bad debts;
- horticultural plants;
- averaging primary producers' tax liability;
- environment; and
- above average special professional income.
It may be noted that the Bill contains
amendments to both the ITAA and the Income Tax Assessment Act
As the Bill is not intended to implement any
policy changes, a comparison of the provisions of the Bill and the
ITAA would be beyond the available resources of the IRS and as the
Bill is being examined by the Joint Standing Committee of Public
Accounts, the individual provisions of the Bill will not be
- TLIP, The Broad Framework, Information Paper No. 1,
August 1994, 3.
- Ibid., 6. Also note that the Information Paper contains a
specific section on why TLIP is not about policy change.
- Ibid., 3 & 5.
12 March 1998
Bills Digest Service
Information and Research Services
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© Commonwealth of Australia 1997
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