The Assistant Treasurer has released for public consultation a package of exposure draft legislation, Regulations and associated explanatory materials to amend aspects of the tax laws related to farm management deposits (FMDs), and the unclaimed money provisions in section 69 in the Banking Act 1959. Primary producers affected by applicable natural disasters who have withdrawn their FMDs within 12 months of deposit will retain concessional tax treatment under the FMD scheme, subject to conditions. Subject to the passage of the legislation, retention of concessional tax treatment will apply retrospectively to withdrawals made from 1 July 2010 to provide support to primary producers affected by the natural disasters in Australia in late 2010 and early 2011. Other elements of the exposure draft package, which are to apply from 1 July 2012, include: removal of the restriction on primary producers from holding FMDs simultaneously with more than one FMD provider; more frequent and timely reporting of various statistics by FMD providers that hold FMDs to allow for better monitoring of the take-up rate and operation of the FMD scheme; and ensuring that reasonable efforts will be made by FMD providers that are authorised deposit-taking institutions to contact FMD owners who have not used their FMD accounts for seven years or more, before they forward the 'unclaimed moneys' to the Commonwealth in accordance with section 69 of the Banking Act 1959.
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