The Tax and Superannuation Laws Amendment (2012 Measures No.
1) Bill 2012 (the Bill) continues the Government’s superannuation reforms and consolidates
aspects of the tax system. The Bill will simplify superannuation consolidation,
give individuals relief from the excess contributions tax, increase the
information about superannuation contributions on payslips, pause the
indexation of the superannuation concessional cap and provides the ATO with the
discretion to withhold high risk tax refunds.
Schedule 1 ensures that a supply made by a health care
provider to an insurer, government entity, compulsory third party scheme
operator, or other certain bodies, is treated as a GST-free supply. Following a
court case in 2009, Schedule 2 restores the policy intent that, when funded
through appropriations, the non-commercial activities of government-related
entities are not subject to GST.
Schedule 3 pauses indexation of the superannuation
concessional cap in 2013-14, leading to fiscal savings of approximately half a
billion dollars over the forward estimates. It is anticipated that the impact
on the relatively small number of individuals that will be affected will be
marginal but the cumulative impact will improve Australia’s fiscal position.
Schedule 4 implements a one-off refund for individuals who
exceed the superannuation contribution cap by up to $10,000. This will protect
individuals who inadvertently exceed the cap from being subject to the excess
contributions tax. Although, the superannuation industry sought a review of the
excess contributions tax, the committee supports Schedule 4 because it provides
targeted relief to taxpayers.
Schedule 5 will allow the ATO to provide super funds with
details of members’ accounts. Members will provide their consent to the ATO
prior to the disclosure of account details. Currently, there are 5 million lost
superannuation accounts worth $20 billion and 1.3 million new accounts
created every year. This measure will help people find and consolidate their
Schedule 6 allows the Government to make regulations to
require employers to provide certain information about superannuation on
payslips. The regulation initially requires employers to provide the amount and
expected date of payment of the contribution, with the longer term aim of
providing the actual date of payment. The committee suggests that it would be
more efficient to have a single commencement date which would provide for the
reporting of actual contributions. Therefore, the committee has concluded that
if the industry could meet the 1 July 2013 deadline for introducing the
reporting of actual contributions then the government should cease plans for
interim reporting. However, if the industry cannot meet the proposed 1 July
2013 deadline for actual reporting then, in this case, interim measures should
The remainder of the Bill deals with other tax matters. The
key provisions for this inquiry are in Schedule 7, which provides the ATO with
the discretion to withhold and review tax refunds for as long as is reasonable.
The committee believes allowing the ATO to withhold potentially high risk
refunds provides the appropriate balance between taxpayers’ needs and revenue
In summary, the Bill builds on the Government’s agenda of
strengthening Australia’s superannuation system and consolidates aspects of the
tax system. The committee concludes that the Bill should be passed.
On behalf of the committee I thank the organisations that
assisted the committee during the inquiry through submissions or participating
in the hearings in Canberra. I also thank my colleagues on the committee for
their contribution to the report.
Julie Owens MP