The federal government has ruled out bringing the next sitting of parliament forward a week to legislate its promised tax cuts by the end of this financial year.
Finance Minister Mathias Cormann says an earlier return won’t change how quickly people can access the upcoming tax relief.
“The parliament will resume on the second of July, and I mean the truth is it makes no practical difference,” he told Sky News on Wednesday.
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“People will only be able to lodge their tax returns from 1 July and as long as the parliament passes our income tax relief plan in full swiftly the first week of July, the tax office will be in a position to process the tax returns and put more money into people’s pockets.”
.@ljayes: If the govt wanted to it could bring back parliament next week, will you do that?@MathiasCormann: No, parliament will resume on the 2nd of July. We want parliament to pass our income tax relief plan in full swiftly in the first week.
— Sky News Australia (@SkyNewsAust) June 18, 2019
Despite the looming change, the senator said Australians should file their tax as they usually would.
“People should lodge their tax returns of course in the ordinary course of events and the tax office will process the tax returns in the ordinary course of events.”
The Australian Taxation Office has said it can retrospectively amend tax assessments to provide cuts if the laws passed after June.
The coalition is yet to lock in the support it needs from Labor or at least four crossbenchers in the upper house to get the three-stage tax package across the line.
Labor supports the first stage of the $158 billion plan, which will mean extra cash for low and middle income-earners.
But it believes the later stage, aimed at flattening the tax rates by mid-2024, shouldn’t be legislated years in advance and may be skewed toward the wealthy.
The coalition has ruled out splitting up the plan, arguing the final stage brings much-needed structural reform.
The opposition has called for more detailed information about how much of the package will benefit those earning more than $180,000.
But Senator Cormann says the budget papers are detailed enough.
“We’ve provided all of the relevant information,” he said.
One Nation leader Pauline Hanson, who directs two Senate votes, has said she won’t back the plan because major infrastructure spending would be a better way to stimulate the economy.
Centre Alliance, which also has two votes, remains on the fence, amid concerns the extra cash for workers could be lost to rising power costs.
© AAP 2019