Bills Digest No. 174  1999-2000Sales Tax (Excise) (Industrial Safety Equipment) Bill 2000

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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.


Passage History
Main Provisions
Contact Officer & Copyright Details

Passage History

Sales Tax (Excise) (Industrial Safety Equipment) Bill 2000

Date Introduced: 11 May 2000

House: House of Representatives

Portfolio: Treasury

Commencement: on Royal Assent


The Bill forms part of a package of Bills that modify the sales tax exemption for industrial safety equipment to provide that only goods of a kind that are mainly used for industrial safety purposes will qualify for sales tax exemption. The Bill provides for that modification to the extent that sales tax is a duty of excise.


This Bill, together with the Sales Tax (General) (Industrial Safety Equipment) Bill 2000 and the Sales Tax (Customs) (Industrial Safety Equipment) Bill 2000, are Bills which impose taxation.(1) Three separate Bills are required to satisfy section 55 of the Constitution, which in part provides:

'Laws imposing taxation, except laws imposing duties of customs or of excise, shall deal with one subject of taxation only; but laws imposing duties of customs shall deal with duties of customs only, and laws imposing duties of excise shall deal with duties of excise only.'

For further background the reader is referred to the Digest for the Sales Tax (General) (Industrial Safety Equipment) Bill 2000.(2)

Main Provisions

Clause 6 modifies Item 20 of Schedule 1 of the Exemptions Act 1992 by replacing 'ordinarily' with 'mainly'. This modification applies retrospectively to sales from 1 January 1993, which is the first taxing day under the Assessment Act 1992.(3)

Clause 4 deems the Act to be included in the definition of 'sales tax amending Act' in section 129 of the Assessment Act 1992. Section 129 provides that a sales tax amending Act may not make a person liable to a sales tax penalty for any act or omission which occurred within 28 days after Royal Assent to the sales tax amending Act. The package of Bills will operate principally on conduct prior to 1 July 2000, thus almost certainly prior to Royal Assent to these Bills if passed. Thus, the effect of section 129 is that although persons may be retrospectively liable to sales tax, they will not be liable to pay a penalty or be convicted for an offence.


  1. On one view, the Bills impose taxation, in that certain sales of industrial safety equipment which were formerly exempt from sales tax will now be subject to sales tax. On another view, as the Bills merely reflect Parliament's original intention, they do not alter any taxation liabilities. Out of caution, the Bills have been treated as though they do impose taxation.

  2. Bills Digest no. 172, 1999-2000.

  3. Section 5 of the Sales Tax Assessment Act 1992 defines 'first taxing day' as the first day of the fourth month after the month of the year in which the Act receives the Royal Assent. Royal Assent was given on 30 September 1992.

Contact Officer and Copyright Details

Katrine Del Villar
30 May 2000
Bills Digest Service
Information and Research Services

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ISSN 1328-8091
© Commonwealth of Australia 2000

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Published by the Department of the Parliamentary Library, 2000.

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