House debates

Thursday, 20 September 2018


Treasury Laws Amendment (2017 Measures No. 5) Bill 2017; Second Reading

1:15 pm

Photo of Stuart RobertStuart Robert (Fadden, Liberal Party, Assistant Treasurer) Share this | | Hansard source

I move:

That this bill be now read a second time.

This bill builds on the government's commitment to improve Australia's financial services taxation regime by setting an appropriate legislative framework for what is the largest managed funds industry in our region.

This bill also amends the Income Tax Assessment Act 1997to update the list of specifically listed deductible gift recipients, and to extend deductible gift recipient status to entities promoting Indigenous languages.

Finally, this bill makes changes to intellection property arrangements.

Schedule 1 to this bill contains a package of technical amendments to improve the operation of the new tax system for managed investment trusts, commonly referred to as the attribution tax regime. This regime was designed to give greater certainty to investors in managed funds, reduce compliance costs for the funds and enhance overall the competitiveness of Australia's funds management industry.

This bill progresses important reforms that ensure the new tax system for managed investment trusts operates as intended.

This bill will assist entities seeking to opt into the attribution tax regime by clarifying the intent of the law and providing greater alignment in the tax outcomes of managed investment trusts and attribution managed investment trusts.

This bill delivers on the industry's concerns by clarifying certain aspects of the law. It prioritises a package of technical amendments that will provide industry with increased investment certainty, while still ensuring the integrity of the tax system.

The government's commitment to progressing these amendments demonstrates our ability to work closely with industry to ensure the policy settings are appropriate, while balancing the need to protect the integrity of the tax system.

Schedule 2 to this bill updates the list of specifically listed deductible gift recipients to include Australian Sports Foundation Charitable Fund; Australian Women Donors Network; Paul Ramsay Foundation Limited; The Q Foundation Trust; Smile Like Drake Foundation Limited; and Victorian Pride Centre Limited.

Taxpayers who make gifts or donations of $2 or more to a deductible gift recipient can claim an income tax deduction.

Australian Sports Foundation Charitable Fund is a registered charity established to support projects where sport is the vehicle to achieve charitable aims.

By granting deductible gift recipient status to Australian Women Donors Network, the government is supporting the organisation to provide a voice for gender inclusive philanthropy across all focus areas, including education, health, disability, youth and the arts.

Paul Ramsay Foundation Limited is a registered charity established to be the recipient of the Ramsay bequest from the Paul Ramsay Foundation to pursue one or more of the following charitable purposes in Australia: advancing health, advancing education and advancing social or public welfare.

The Q Foundation Trust is a registered charity with the principal purpose of advancing education and engagement in science and technology in Australia.

By granting deductible gift recipient status to Smile Like Drake Foundation Limited, the government is supporting research into preventing drowning and provides water safety education programs for schools.

Lastly, Victorian Pride Centre Limited is a registered charity established to own and operate a centre in the State of Victoria that will facilitate and host support services, facilities and resources for the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and/or intersex community.

Specifically listing these will give the organisations the certainty they need to fundraise successfully.

Schedule 3 to this bill extends deductible gift recipient status to entities promoting Indigenous languages. The extension of this status provides appropriate assistance through the tax system for the public to make donations to these organisations.

This measure will enable entities promoting Indigenous languages to be endorsed as deductible gift recipients, under the category of cultural organisations, subject to the entities meeting the other requirements for deductible gift recipient status. This will enable taxpayers to claim an income tax deduction for donations of $2 or more to these entities.

Prior to these amendments, deductible gift recipient support was given to 'cultural organisations' that have a principal purpose of, among other functions, promoting the arts of Indigenous persons. However, this did not include organisations with a principal purpose of promoting the languages of Indigenous persons.

There are estimated to be 250 original Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander languages and over 600 dialects. The government has a range of other measures in place to prevent the loss of these languages.

Schedule 4 to this bill repeals subsection 51(3) of the Competition and Consumer Act 2010. The Productivity Commission recommended repealing subsection 51(3) in its 2016 intellectual property arrangements inquiry report. The 2015 competition policy review also recommended repealing subsection 51(3).

Subsection 51(3) exempts licensing or assignment of IP from most of the prohibitions on anticompetitive conduct in the Competition and Consumer Act. The Productivity Commission found that the rationale for the exemption has largely fallen away, as IP rights and competition are no longer thought to be in fundamental conflict. IP rights do not, in and of themselves, have significant competition implications.

The measure will ensure that commercial transactions involving IP rights, including the assignment and licensing of such rights, will be subject to the prohibitions on anticompetitive conduct in the Competition and Consumer Act.

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission will issue guidance on the application of the competition law to IP rights, as recommended by the Productivity Commission.

State and territory approval for the measure was sought, as required by the 1995 Conduct Code Agreement, and all jurisdictions support the measure.

The measure will take effect the day after the end of the period of six months beginning on the day the bill receives the royal assent. This transition period will allow individuals and businesses time to review existing arrangements to ensure they comply with the competition law. If necessary, they will be able to apply to the ACCC for authorisation of existing arrangements. Authorisation removes the risk of legal action under the competition provisions and may be granted by the ACCC where conduct is likely to provide a net public benefit.

Full details of the measures are contained in the explanatory memorandum. I commend the bill to the House.

Debate adjourned.