Twenty years on, burning platform is here for GST reform: Ken Henry

Original article by John Kehoe
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 1 & 36 : 29-Jun-20

Former Treasury secretary Ken Henry has called for an overhaul of Australia’s tax system in response to the coronavirus-induced recession. Henry was a top tax adviser to the Howard government when it introduced the goods and services tax. Former federal treasurer Peter Costello says Australia’s tax system has become increasingly complex since the GST was introduced two decades ago, arguing that it needs to be simplified. He concedes that the GST base should have been broader with fewer exemptions; however, he is cautious about expanding it now, arguing that ‘populist politics’ in the Senate could result in even more exemptions than at present.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF THE TREASURY

No justice for SMEs when the tax office smells blood

Original article by Robert Gottliebsen
The Weekend Australian – Page: 31 : 21-Dec-19

The Administrative Appeals Tribunal’s landmark ruling in favour of the Australian Taxation Office against gold refiner EBS has significant implications for small and medium enterprises. The case – which centred on the tax treatment of bullion and scrap gold under the GST regime – had gone on for about six years, and the appeals process is likely to take another several years. The majority of SMEs simply cannot afford the cost of such lengthy legal proceedings. The small business appeals tribunal may provide some relief for SMEs, but government action is needed to make it easier for SMEs to conduct business in Australia.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIAN TAXATION OFFICE, AUSTRALIA. ADMINISTRATIVE APPEALS TRIBUNAL, EBS

Make states raise own revenue, say Liberal MPs

Original article by Phillip Coorey
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 5 : 6-Nov-19

Prime Minister Scott Morrison recently ruled out any increase in the goods and services tax. However, there is growing support within the Coalition’s ranks for an overhaul of fiscal relations between the federal and state governments. Some Liberal MPs have proposed giving the states more power to raise their own revenue. Former prime minister Malcolm Turnbull proposed such a move in 2016, whereby federal income tax rates would be reduced and the states would impose their own income tax to make up for the revenue shortfall.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF THE PRIME MINISTER AND CABINET, LIBERAL PARTY OF AUSTRALIA, NEW SOUTH WALES. THE TREASURY

‘We’re not doing it’: PM quickly nixes call to raise GST

Original article by Phillip Coorey
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 5 : 29-Oct-19

Prime Minister Scott Morrison has ruled out any changes to the goods and services tax regime without seeking a mandate from voters. Morrison has indicated that the federal government looked at broadening the GST when he was Treasurer, but such a move was deemed to have little economic benefit. Liberal senator Dean Smith recently broke ranks with his Coalition colleagues by advocating an increase in the rate and scope of the GST, arguing that the additional revenue would allow the states to abolish payroll taxes.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF THE PRIME MINISTER AND CABINET, AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF THE PRIME MINISTER AND CABINET, LIBERAL PARTY OF AUSTRALIA, AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF FINANCE, AUSTRALIAN LABOR PARTY, NEW SOUTH WALES. THE TREASURY

Tax office wins fight over GST on scrap gold

Original article by Nick Evans
The Australian – Page: 23 : 5-Jul-19

The Australian Taxation Office has secured an important legal victory in its ongoing battle to withhold tax credits that were allegedly wrongfully claimed under a GST gold swindle. Deputy commissioner Jeremy Geale says the significance of its latest win in the Administrative Appeals Tribunal is that it was against a gold refiner, whereas the previous wins have been against gold dealers or scrap merchants. It is claimed that the swindle has cost federal Treasury over $1 billion.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIAN TAXATION OFFICE, AUSTRALIA. ADMINISTRATIVE APPEALS TRIBUNAL, AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF THE TREASURY

Banks in GST war with ATO

Original article by John Kehoe
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 1 & 2 : 8-Jan-19

The Australian Taxation Office wants to cut the amount of goods and services tax credits that banks and other financial institutions claim for providing home loans, credit cards and transactional accounts. Experts suggest that the ATO’s clampdown could cost each of the big banks between $60 million and $80 million a year, while bank executives acknowledge that it will be very difficult for them to pass on any higher tax costs to customers, given the current poor reputation of the banking sector.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIAN TAXATION OFFICE, AUSTRALIAN BANKING ASSOCIATION

Morrison’s $9bn GST fix facing Labor, states revolt

Original article by Andrew Burrell, Rachel Baxendale
The Australian – Page: 1 & 4 : 4-Oct-18

The federal government’s proposed changes to the formula for distributing goods and services tax revenue was rejected by the majority of state treasurers at a meeting on 3 October. The reforms had the support of Western Australia’s Treasurer Ben Wyatt, but other state treasurers warned that the Coalition must guarantee that no state or territory will be worse off. Federal Labor also opposes the GST reforms, and Prime Minister Scott Morrison says he will take the GST policy to the next election if it is blocked in parliament.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIAN LABOR PARTY, WESTERN AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF TREASURY AND FINANCE, AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF THE PRIME MINISTER AND CABINET, VICTORIA. DEPT OF TREASURY AND FINANCE, NEW SOUTH WALES. THE TREASURY, QUEENSLAND. TREASURY, TASMANIA. DEPT OF TREASURY AND FINANCE, SOUTH AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF TREASURY AND FINANCE

PM stares down states over GST compensation

Original article by Phillip Coorey
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 4 : 3-Oct-18

Proposed changes to the formula for the distribution of goods and services tax revenue will head the agenda of a meeting of the federal and state treasurers on 3 October. Prime Minister Scott Morrison has given assurances that no state will worse off, but the eastern states are concerned that the GST reforms favour Western Australia and that they will lose more in revenue than the federal government has proposed to offer by way of compensation. Morrison has indicated that he will legislate to make the changes even if the reforms are not supported by the eastern states.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF THE PRIME MINISTER AND CABINET, AUSTRALIAN LABOR PARTY, VICTORIA. DEPT OF TREASURY AND FINANCE

PM to sandbag seats with GST overhaul

Original article by Andrew Burrell
The Australian – Page: 1 & 4 : 1-Oct-18

Prime Minister Scott Morrison is poised to announce plans for changes to the formula for distributing goods and services tax revenue. The legislation, which would provide the states and territories with an additional $7.2bn in funding, is expected to be put forward during the next session of Parliament. The changes will benefit Western Australia in particular, where the Liberal Party is in danger of losing up to five seats at the next federal election. The proposed changes will include the introduction of a GST floor of $0.70 in the dollar from 2022-23, which will increase to $0.75 in 2024-25.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF THE PRIME MINISTER AND CABINET, AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF THE TREASURY, AUSTRALIAN LABOR PARTY

Dutton’s $7.5b GST idea a budget blower

Original article by Phillip Coorey
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 4 : 23-Aug-18

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and Treasurer Scott Morrison have criticised a proposal by Peter Dutton to reduce the cost of electricity by exempting household power bills from the goods and services tax. Turnbull has warned that the states would have to be compensated for loss of GST revenue, while Morrison says it would result in a Budget blowout. Dutton has also proposed royal commissions into the electricity and fuel sectors, as well a reduction in Australia’s annual migrant intake.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF THE PRIME MINISTER AND CABINET, AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF THE TREASURY, AUSTRALIAN LABOR PARTY