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AUSDefence Force Housing Exempt from FBT Reporting

Australian Defence Force Housing Exempt from FBT Reporting

The Minister for Defence, John Moore, and the Minister Assisting the Minister for Defence, Bruce Scott, today announced that housing assistance provided to Australian Defence Force (ADF) personnel in Australia will be totally exempted from FBT reporting requirements.

"This decision by the Federal Government recognises the unique circumstances of ADF service in Australia," Mr Moore said.

"Military personnel are subject to frequent and compulsory relocations in accordance with Defence operational needs.

"The Government's decision reflects the fact that Defence provides housing assistance to personnel, not as part of their remuneration package, but to allow us to send ADF personnel wherever they are required to serve," said Mr Moore.

Today's announcement is the result of a review announced by Minister Scott in Parliament last week.

"The decision to exempt housing assistance provided to ADF personnel in Australia applies to ADF personnel who are subject to the Defence Force Discipline Act (1982) and who must serve wherever the Government demands," Mr Scott said.

"As a result of today's announcement, the amounts paid by Defence for housing assistance for ADF personnel will not be reported on indiviudals' Group Certificates."

Housing assistance is the major component of the amount that would have appeared on individual ADF members' Group Certificates under the original FBT reporting measures.

"By totally exempting ADF members' housing assistance from the reporting measure, the Federal Government has addressed the primary concerns of ADF families," Mr Scott said.

"The Federal Government has addressed the concerns of Defence families about major losses to take-home pay due to loss of Government benefits and increased payments such as child support."

"The Defence Minister and I are delighted to announce this very positive outcome for Defence families and personnel. The decision shows that the Federal Government has listened to their concerns and acknowledged their special circumstances."

ASSISTANCE TO SMALL AND MEDIUM SIZED BUSINESSES: IMMEDIATE TAX DEDUCTIBILITY FOR GST RELATED EXPENDITURE

The Government will legislate to allow immediate tax deductibility for small and medium sized businesses for expenditure on acquiring new plant or new software for the purposes of implementing the GST.

Assistance by way of immediate tax deductibility will have an estimated revenue cost of $175 million in 2000-01. It is in addition to the $500 million being provided in 1999-2000 to assist small and medium enterprises, charities and education bodies prepare for the commencement of the GST.

Providing immediate tax deductibility for GST related expenditure will be of major assistance to small and medium sized businesses as they prepare for the introduction of the GST.

For businesses with a turnover of not more than $10 million, the Government will legislate to extend the class of expenditures immediately deductible to include:

Expenditure incurred on acquiring new plant or new software (including upgrades) associated with gearing-up for the GST, provided the expenditure is incurred before 1 July 2000.

The Australian Taxation Office will be issuing a taxation ruling that sets out the tax treatment of expenditures that may be incurred by business taxpayers in preparing for the commencement of the GST. This ruling will apply to those businesses with turnover more than $10 million and will apply to all businesses for expenditures different from those covered by this announcement.

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