Media Release by The Hon Jenny Macklin MP

Government clarifies native title tax treatment

Joint Media Release with:

  • Nicola Roxon MP, Attorney-General, Minister for Emergency Management
    David Bradbury MP, Assistant Treasurer, Minister Assisting for Deregulation

New laws to clarify the income tax treatment of native title benefits were introduced into Parliament today.

The Tax Laws Amendment (2012 Measures No. 6) Bill 2012 introduced into Parliament today delivers on a Gillard Government commitment announced earlier this year on the occasion of the 20th anniversary of Mabo to ensure certain payments and benefits arising from native title agreements will not be subject to income tax.

The amendments also confirm that certain capital gains from native title rights are not taxable.

“This change will help improve native title agreement-making and ensure Indigenous Australians are able to unlock the economic potential of their native title,” Attorney-General Nicola Roxon said.

“These changes are part of the Government’s broader native title reform package to improve agreement-making and ensure native title benefits are sustainable for future generations of traditional owners,” Ms Roxon said.

Minister for Indigenous Affairs, Jenny Macklin said the current native title reforms will help achieve sustainable outcomes under native title agreements.

“This legislation responds to stakeholder calls for reform and will assist traditional owners when they are negotiating native title agreements,” Minister Macklin said.

Assistant Treasurer David Bradbury said the changes complement the Government’s broader not-for-profit reform agenda, which will reduce red tape and enhance trust and confidence in the not-for- profit sector.

“The legislation resolves a long standing uncertainty about the way native title benefits interact with the income tax system,” Mr Bradbury said.

The amendments will apply from 1 July 2008.