The Crest of the Commonwealth of Australia Treasury Portfolio Ministers
Picture of Helen Coonan

Helen Coonan

Minister for Revenue and Assistant Treasurer

26 November 2001 - 17 July 2004

Media Release of 13/10/2003

C095/03

13 October 2003

TAXATION OF FINANCIAL ARRANGEMENTS – MORE TIME TO MAKE ELECTIONS

The Government will introduce amendments to allow taxpayers additional time to make elections under the new tax regime for foreign currency transactions, Minister for Revenue and Assistant Treasurer, Senator Helen Coonan, announced today.

Reforms to the tax laws dealing with foreign currency gains and losses introduced into Parliament on 29 May 2003 and generally applying from 1 July 2003, contain a number of elections.

"In designing the new foreign currency taxation measures the Government was mindful of the sometimes significant compliance costs associated with foreign currency denominated transactions," Senator Coonan said.

"The elections are designed to reduce these costs."

The elections operate on a prospective basis and were drafted on the basis that the foreign currency reforms would be enacted and commence from 1 July 2003.

As the new measures have not yet been enacted, taxpayers have expressed concern that elections made under the proposed law cannot have effect from 1 July 2003. For these purposes, an election cannot be validly made before the legislation receives Royal Assent.

The proposed amendments will allow elections to apply from 1 July 2003, or from another date between 1 July 2003 and the making of the election, if the election is made within 30 days of the New Business Tax System (Taxation of Financial Arrangements) Bill (No 1) 2003 receiving Royal Assent.

The amendments will not allow the withdrawal or alteration of an election to have effect prior to when it is made.

"The amendments will ensure that taxpayers will be able to access the compliance cost saving measures from 1 July 2003 and have additional time to evaluate their options and make valid elections in the first year of the new foreign currency regime," Senator Coonan said.