Saturday, 22nd July 2017
7:41:am in Sydney
06
June
2014

Calls for import GST threhold to be lowered - 6 June 2014

Friday, 06 June 2014

At present, there is a $1,000 threshold in relation to Australian import GST. Imports valued at less than this figure do not attract import GST. According to an analyst for Citi, if the threshold is lowered to $20, the result would be a boost to Australian retailers of more than $2.5 billion. To read more click here.

 

24
March
2014

New GST rules for sale of Australian businesses and farmland - 24 Mar 2014

The Assistant Treasurer has announced that the GST-free treatment of going concerns and farmland will be replaced by a reverse-charge mechanism. This means that the purchaser will have to account for any GST liability arising from the transaction. It is anticipated that in most circumstances, the purchaser will be able to claim a credit equal to the GST liability. The finer details have not yet been revealed. However, the change is set to take place during 2014.

 

20
February
2014

Refunding excess GST exposure draft released - 20 Feb 2014

The Australian government has released an exposure draft regarding amendments to the law surrounding the refunding of excess GST amounts. Earlier proposed legislation on this topic lapsed in August 2013. The exposure draft sets out some changes to the earlier proposed legislation, including ensuring that the measures would only apply on a prospective basis. To find out more, click here.

 

10
January
2014

Some announced changes to GST laws will not proceed - 10 Jan 2014

Friday, 10 January 2014

Last month, the Australian Government announced the outcome of consultations over the backlog of 92 announced but unlegislated tax and superannuation measures. The Government has decided that GST measures which will be reflected in new legislation include changes to the "connected with Australia rules", designed to reduce the number of non-residents drawn into Australia's GST system. However, 55 measures will not proceed. These 55 measures include previously announced variations to several GST administration matters, such as rules concerning change in use adjustments, vouchers, multi-party transactions, pre-registration adjustments and cessation adjustments. To learn more, click here.

 

07
November
2013

Federal Court decision regarding GST enterprise requirement - 7 Nov 2013

Thursday, 07 November 2013

In order to claim input tax credits (refunds of Australian GST), it is necessary that the relevant purchase or expense forms part of an "enterprise". In a Federal Court case decided this month, the Court held that an activity of litigation funding did not, in the circumstances of the case, constitute an enterprise. To understand the width of the definition of enterprise, here is a link to the Federal Court's decision in Professional Admin Service Centres Pty Ltd v Commissioner of Taxation [2013] FCA 1123.

 

12
September
2013

Refinement of GST Public Rulings continues

Thursday, 12 September 2013

During the past month, the Australian Taxation Office has issued amendments or “addenda” to 18 Public Rulings relating to GST. These amended Public Rulings cover topics including general law partnerships, vouchers, out-of-court settlements and the partitioning of land. The full list of GST Public Rulings is available here.

 

26
August
2013

Public Ruling on adjustment notes revised

Monday, 26 August 2013

On 21 August 2013, the Australian Taxation Office withdrew its original Public Ruling on adjustment notes, called GSTR 2000/1, and issued a revised Public Ruling on this topic. Adjustment notes are relevant when a supply (effective, a sale) is cancelled, the price is changed or changes occur to the extent to which the supply is taxable or creditable. To claim a reduced GST liability resulting from such an event, it is necessary to hold an adjustment note as supporting evidence. The new Public Ruling can be accessed here.

 

12
August
2013

Australian Tax Office changes guidance on GST related to international flights and voyages

Monday, 12 August 2013

On 31 July 2013, the Australian Taxation Office issued an update to its Public Ruling regarding GST on stores and spare parts for international flights and voyages. The update reflects legislative developments which in some circumstances restrict a vendor's ability to refund GST when the vendor has incorrectly applied GST. For example, it would be incorrect for a vendor to apply GST to sales of stores and spare parts for use on aircraft and ships with international destinations. The new legislation took effect from 1 July 2013 and can be viewed here. A corresponding Practice Statement has also been issued which describes the circumstances in which the Australian Taxation Office will allow a recipient which has wrongly been charged GST to claim an input tax credit for that amount.

 

01
July
2013

Inbound tour operator has mixed result in GST court case

Monday, 01 July 2013

An Australian inbound tour operator has had a mixed result in a case decided by the Federal Court.  The Court held that the inbound tour operator's sales to non-resident travel agents consisted of two supplies, only one of which gave rise to GST liability for the inbound tour operator.  However, the Court also held that the Commissioner of Taxation has a discretion to refuse GST refunds sought by the inbound tour operator.  An appeal and a cross-appeal have been lodged and so the matter is not yet fully resolved.  To read the text of the Federal Court's decision, click here.

 

26
June
2013

Taxpayers to determine whether entitled to a refund of GST

Wednesday, 26 June 2013

A Bill has been introduced into Australia's House of Repesentatives which clarifies the circumstances in which overpaid GST will be refunded by the Australian Taxation Office.  The proposed amendment to the law will apply where GST has been overpaid, due to mischaracterisation of a supply as being subject to GST or where a miscalculation has occurred.  In most cases, taxpayers will be allowed to determine whether or not they are entitled to a refund of overpaid GST.  If these new provisions operate to disallow a GST refund, the Commissioner of Taxation will still be able to exercise a discretionary power in exceptional circumstances to make the refund payment.  To read the text of the Tax Laws Amendment (2013 Measures No 4) Bill 2013, click here.

 

13
June
2013

Australian government agencies apply GST to fees and charges

Thursday, 13 June 2013

The Australian Taxation Office ("ATO") has released a Practice Statement relating to situations where government agencies apply GST to fees and charges.  More specifically, the Practice Statement sets out the administrative approach that will be taken by the ATO in certain circumstances, such as where a government agency has incorrectly treated a fee or charge as not being subject to GST.  To read the relevant Practice Statement, click here.

 

31
May
2013

New rules regarding GST refunds and payment by instalments

Friday, 31 May 2013

On 28 May 2013, the House of Representatives passed without amendment a Bill which includes new rules regarding GST refunds and payment by instalments. More specifically, entities which currently pay their GST liability by instalments will be affected. The changes will allow such entities to elect to continue to pay their GST liability by instalments even in circumstances where the entity becomes entitled to a refund of GST. The instalment option was first introduced in 2001 to ease the compliance burden on small businesses. The Explanatory Memorandum in relation to the relevant Bill (Tax and Superannuation Laws Amendment (2013 Measures No. 2) Bill 2013) can be found here.

 

24
May
2013

Tax Institute says review must include GST

Friday, 24 May 2013

Australia's leading professional tax body, The Tax Institute, contends that a review of the taxation system must include consideration of changes to the GST. A review would be likely if there is a change of Federal Government resulting from the election due to be held on 14 September 2013. Changes to be considered include an increase of the GST above the current rate of 10 percent and a broadening of the tax base, such as to include more food items. To learn more, click here.

 

17
May
2013

GST correction limit increased

Friday, 17 May 2013

Within certain limits, GST errors can be corrected on a subsequent GST return (called a Business Activity Statement). The Deputy Commissioner of Taxation has now issued, with effect from 10 May 2013, a determination called "Goods and Services Tax: Correcting GST Errors Determination 2013." The determination confirms that for businesses with a current GST turnover of less than $20 million, the debit error value limit is up to $10,000. The terms of the determination are set out here.

16
April
2013

Economics advisor lobbies for GST to be applied to wider range of supplies

Tuesday, 16 April 2013

A former economics advisor to the Prime Minister has argued that Australia's GST should be applied to a wider range of supplies. Education and health care are areas which currently enjoy significant exemptions from GST. However, such exemptions should be re-considered in order to ensure a Federal Budget surplus, argues Stephen Koukoulas, Director of advisory firm Market Economics. Click here to learn more.

25
February
2013

Draft legislation released regarding refunds of excess GST

Monday, 25 February 2013

Draft legislation has been released by the Assistant Treasurer concerning the circumstances where the Commissioner of Taxation will refund an overpayment of GST. The proposed new law is open for a second round of public consultation. The changes seek to clarify circumstances where the restriction on GST refunds will apply to overpayments of GST. More information is available from the website of The Treasury.

03
November
2012

Former Premier says GST is the key to tax reform

Saturday, 03 November 2012

The rate and scope of Australia's GST should be the subject of a national debate, according to former State premier Nick Greiner. Mr Greiner headed a review of how GST revenue is distributed between the various Australian States and Territories. Due to issues such as the exemption of food, health and education, the amount of GST collected is not growing as quickly as expected. Click here to read more about this topic.

29
June
2012

When GST errors can be corrected on a later return

Friday, 29 June 2012

The Commissioner of Taxation has updated published information regarding the circumstances in which GST errors can be corrected by a taxpayer through a subsequent GST return (called a Business Activity Statement). Strict limits apply. For example, a business with a turnover of less than $20 million has a GST correction limit of less than $5,000. Corrections must be made within a period of four years. Corrections exceeding the appropriate limit require a revision of the original activity statement. Details are set out at the website of the Australian Taxation Office.

03
January
2012

New GST property tool

Tuesday, 03 January 2012

The Australian Taxation Office has released a new online GST property tool. The aim of the tool is to clarify the GST treatment of property-related transactions. GST-free supplies of real property, claiming GST credits and the margin scheme are some of the issues covered by the tool. To learn more, click here.

28
September
2011

Complex rules result in GST mistakes

Wednesday, 28 September 2011

A large number of rules must be considered when preparing GST returns. Many businesses lack the expertise to correctly account for their GST liability and entitlement to input tax credits. One bookkeeping firm has highlighted ten common GST mistakes, such as in relation to the interaction between GST and stamp duty on an insurance policy - click here to read more.

20
July
2011

No GST on various levies

Wednesday, 20 July 2011

The Building and Construction Industry (Portable Long Service Leave) Authority in the Australian State of Queensland has clarified that several levies are not subject to GST. More specifically, no GST is payable on the Portable Long Service Leave Levy, the Work Health and Safety Levy and the Building and Construction Industry Training Levy. This mirrors the treatment under the sales tax regime prior to the introduction of GST on 1 July 2000. To learn more, click here.

25
February
2011

$50 billion in GST collections split between the States and Territories

Friday, 25 February 2011

The Australian States and Territories' governments are not uniformly happy with how the Federal government has chosen to allocate to them the annual share of GST collected. In particular, the Premier of the State of Victoria has critised the way the GST pot is divided. The most recent figures show that the amount of GST collected annually is approximately $50 billion. To read more, click here.

01
October
2010

Calls to increase the rate of Australian GST rejected

Friday, 01 October 2010

Both the Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard and the leader of the opposition have rejected calls for the GST to be raised from its current level of 10 percent. This is despite an International Monetary Fund recommendation that Australia's GST rate be increased. With effect from 1 October 2010, New Zealand's GST rose by 2.5 percentage points from 12.5 percent to 15 percent. For more information, click here.

01
March
2010

New regime for the registration of Australian tax professionals

Monday, 01 March 2010

A new regime for the registration of Australian tax professionals has come into operation. Where services are provided for a fee in relation to most aspects Australian GST, those services can only legally be provided by a registered Tax Agent or registered BAS agent. EasyGSTrefunds arranges for services to be provided by registered tax professionals. Details of the new registration regime are provided at the following link: www.tpb.gov.au

15
June
2009

Calls for an increase in the rate of GST

Monday, 15 June 2009

The Business Council of Australia is proposing that the rate at which GST is imposed be increased. This increase would allow for the rate of company tax to be halved and also provide scope for reductions in other taxes. According to the Business Council of Australia, compared to other nations Australia has a higher dependence on company tax than on indirect taxes, such as GST. For more information, click here.

22
April
2009

Public Ruling regarding cancellation fees

Wednesday, 22 April 2009

GST Public Ruling GSTR 2009/3 sets out the Commissioner's views concerning the GST consequences of cancellation fees. The Ruling considers payments made when an arrangement for a particular supply does not proceed or does not proceed in the manner originally contemplated. The focus of the Ruling is on arrangements that are cancelled by or on behalf of a recipient or intended recipient. GSTR 2009/3 can be found on the website of the Australian Taxation Office: www.ato.gov.au

22
April
2008

Prime Minister repeats promise not to raise rate of GST

Tuesday, 22 April 2008

Prime Minister Kevin Rudd has announced a major review of the Australian tax system. However, he has repeated a promise made during his election campaign not to raise the rate at which GST is imposed. For more information, click here.

24
November
2007

Change of Australia's Federal Government but no change to the GST

Saturday, 24 November 2007

After coming to power in 1996, John Howard's Coalition Government introduced Australia's GST with effect from 1 July 2000. In the lead-up to the 2007 Federal election, both the Howard Government and the Opposition Labor Party pledged not to make changes to the GST if elected (click here to read about the promises made). Voting on 24 November 2007 saw Labor's Kevin Rudd elected as the 26th Prime Minister of Australia and the second to preside over Australia's GST.

01
July
2007

Turnover threshold for compulsory GST registration increases by 50 percent

Sunday, 01 July 2007

Prior to 1 July 2007, businesses with an annual turnover of more than $50,000 were required to register for GST. From 1 July 2007 onwards, this compulsory registration threshold has now increased to $75,000. For non-profit organisations, the threshold has increased from $100,000 to $150,000. (Click here to read an overview of the changes.) For businesses located outside of Australia, special rules apply as to which sales count towards the turnover threshold for compulsory GST registration. GST registration is necessary in order to claim a GST refund and businesses below the turnover threshold may choose to voluntarily register for GST. EasyGSTrefunds can assist you in this process.

06
November
2006

Singapore's Prime Minister, Lee Hsien Loong, has announced that Singapore's GST, currently set at a rate of 5%, will rise to 7%; no such change has been foreshadowed for Australia's GST

Monday, 06 November 2006

Australia's GST is set at a rate of 10%. The legislation introducing Australia's GST includes a mechanism designed to prevent future Commonwealth parliaments from increasing the tax rate except with the agreement of each of the State and Territory governments. It is a question of constitutional law as to whether this attempt to fetter the legislative capacity of the Commonwealth is effective. There is no indication that the Australian government is currently contemplating an increase in the rate of Australia's GST.

[12  >>