The week in review:

TLA (Company Law Review) Bill introduced - The Taxation Laws Amendment(Company Law Review) Bill and Income Tax (Untainting Tax) Bill 1998 were introduced into Parliament on 8 April 1998 to implement the tax measures arising due to the changes being made to the Corporations Law by the Company Law Review Bill 1997.

Status of legislation - The Federal Parliamentary Autumn sittings have now finished and Federal Parliament will not resume sittings until 12 May 1998 (Federal Budget night). For your convenience, we have set out below the status of several tax related Bills as at 9 April 1998.

Name of Bill                            Bill status

Taxation Laws Amendment Bill (No 5)     Passed in the Senate and
1997                                    awaiting Royal Assent
Taxation Laws Amendment Bill (No 6)     Still in the Senate - not 
1997                                    considered since December 
Taxation Laws Amendment Bill (No 7)     Passed by the House with 
1997                                    amendments. To be introduced 
                                        into the Senate.
Taxation Laws Amendment Bill (No 4)     Introduced into the House. 
1998                                    Not yet debated.
Tax Law Improvement Bill (No 2) 1997    Passed by the House. To be
                                        introduced into the Senate.
Taxation Laws Amendment (Company Law    Introduced into the House. 
Review) Bill                            Not yet debated.
Income Tax (Untainting Tax)  Bill       Introduced into the House. 
1998                                    Not yet debated.
Taxation Laws Amendment (Trust Loss     Awaiting Royal Assent
and Other Deductions) Bill 1997
Taxation Laws (Technical Amendments)    Introduced into Senate 
Bill 1997                               and not yet debated
Superannuation Legislation Amendment    Introduced into the 
Bill 1997                               Senate.
Medicare Levy Amendment Bill (No 2)     Awaiting Royal Assent
Medicare Levy Consequential             Awaiting Royal Assent 
Amendment (Trust Loss) Bill 1997
Family Trust Distribution Tax           Received Royal Assent 
(Primary Liability) Bill 1997 
Family Trust Distribution Tax           Received Royal Assent      
(Secondary Liability) Bill 1997

Nil assessment was an assessment - Ryan's case - The Full Federal Court has held that a notice issued to a taxpayer stating that there was nil tax payable was an assessment for the purposes of the Income Tax Assessment Act 1936.

Malaysian pension taxable in Australia - Article 18(2) of the Australia/Malaysia Double Tax Agreement has been interpreted by the Administrative Appeals Tribunal to mean that Malaysian Government pensions are taxable both in Malaysia and Australia (Chong v FC of T).

Choice of superannuation fund start date deferred - The Assistant Treasurer announced on 8 April 1998 that the originally proposed start date of 1 July 1998 for superannuation fund choice for new employees will be deferred. The Government is giving urgent consideration to the most appropriate new start date.

New legislative framework for tax agent services - A new legislative framework for tax agent services was announced by the Assistant Treasurer on 6 April 1998. The proposed legislative changes are intended to create an improved environment for tax agent services by clearly defining the role of tax agents in a legislated Code of Practice.

NSW land tax submission and figures - The NSW Treasury made a submission to the Upper House land tax inquiry which revealed that 80% of revenue comes from people who own land worth more than $500,000; about 3,000 homes and 5% of rental properties are subject to land tax. The Treasury therefore concludes that given the need to raise revenues to pay for Government services, land tax is one of the better options.

For further information, contact:

Michael Croker
Coopers & Lybrand Tower
580 George Street
Sydney 2000

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Fax No: +61 29 26 18 777
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