Yesterday the Treasurer published an exposure draft of the Tax and Superannuation Laws Amendment (2014 Measures No.2) Bill 2014:refunding Excess GST. The legislation will repeal s 105-65 of Schedule 1 to the TAA and introduce Division 142 into the GST Act. Legislation was originally introduced into the House of Representatives on 26 June 2013, but the legislation lapsed after the election was called.
The legislation can be accessed here. The Explanatory Memorandum can be accessed here. The relevant page from the Treasury website can be accessed here.
The key changes to the earlier legislation are stated to be as follows:
- restore rights of review for taxpayers following a subsequent finding by the Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT) that it does not have jurisdiction to consider refund matters under the existing refunds provisions in section 105-65 in Schedule 1 to the Taxation Administration Act 1953;
- strengthen the integrity aspects of the provisions by clarifying that tax invoices are only prima facie evidence of amounts being passed on to another entity to the extent that the amount of GST ascertained from the tax invoice has been paid to the Commissioner of Taxation; and
- reduce uncertainty and compliance costs for industry by amending the measure to only apply on a prospective basis. Under the earlier legislation, the measure was to have applied for tax periods commencing on or after 17 August 2012 (the date of the original announcement of the measure) with exceptions for refunds claimed before the date of introduction of the Bill into the House of Representatives.
Submissions are due by Friday 28 February 2014.
Clearly the only windfalls that are moral are those in favour of the Revenue.
It is a curious conception of commercial morality or Constitutional law and convention that the Crown should hang on to illegally obtained moneys.
Dr Terry Dwyer