House debates

Wednesday, 23 June 2021


Treasury Laws Amendment (COVID-19 Economic Response) Bill 2021; Second Reading

10:37 am

Photo of Stuart RobertStuart Robert (Fadden, Liberal Party, Minister for Employment, Workforce, Skills, Small and Family Business) Share this | | Hansard source

I thank all those members who have spoken and contributed to this important debate on the Treasury Laws Amendment (COVID-19 Economic Response) Bill 2021. Schedule 1 to the bill extends the existing power in the Income Tax Assessment Act 1997 that allows the Treasurer to declare eligible state and territory COVID-19 business support grant program payments free from income tax. This amendment will ensure that payments made under eligible programs can also be free from income tax when they're received in the 2021-22 income year. All states and territories are able to apply for this tax treatment where they have eligible grant programs focused on supporting small and medium-sized businesses facing the exceptional circumstances related to COVID-19. Schedule 2 to the bill amends the tax secrecy provisions in the Taxation Administration Act 1953 to allow the ATO to share protected taxpayer information with Services Australia to assist Services Australia with administering the COVID-19 disaster payment and to minimise the number of ineligible applicants receiving payments. This amendment will help ensure that only those eligible for COVID-19 disaster recovery payments actually receive them. I commend the bill to the House.

Photo of Tony SmithTony Smith (Speaker) Share this | | Hansard source

The original question was that this bill be now read a second time. To this the honourable member for Whitlam has moved as an amendment that all words after 'That' be omitted with a view to substituting other words. The immediate question before the House is that the amendment moved by the member for Whitlam be disagreed to.