Iain Blakeley

Barrister - Tax Expert - Business Adviser - Director, Professional, Practical, Fast, Affordable

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Australia jumps ahead of NZ in taxing digital commerce

The Australian Government has released draft legislation proposing to apply GST to downloads and streaming of digital content and other services supplied from offshore to Australian consumers. This will affect media such as games, movies, e-books and music downloaded...

GST heat goes on internet sales

Debate is turning into action over taxing internet sales. The Australian Treasurer told media at the Council on Federal Financial Relations Meeting in Canberra on 9 April his Government will require overseas companies selling intangibles into Australia to register and...

Govt raises stakes for online shoppers

The NZ Prime Minister says his government will go it alone if the OECD doesn't move quickly enough to impose GST or VAT on online sales. http://www.nzherald.co.nz/business/news/article.cfm?c_id=3&objectid=11418586 The fact the Prime Minister is raising this now is...

Charges for failing to turn up to parties

A parent in the UK invoiced the parents of a five year old GBP15.95 because their son failed to turn up to a birthday party after they had accepted the invitation on his behalf. See the story here: http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-england-cornwall-30876360 They're...

Governments using lotteries to collect tax

Tax collectors in the EU are looking more closely at the use of lotteries to tackle VAT evasion. This paper, just published, discusses how existing lottery schemes work and reveals there could be upside for governments. It concludes more empirical evidence is needed...

Australian Tax Office rules on Bitcoin

The ATO has just issued a ruling on the GST treatment of Bitcoin. Here: http://law.ato.gov.au/atolaw/view.htm?docid=%22GST%2FGSTR20143%2FNAT%2FATO%2F00001%22 In brief: 1. A transfer of bitcoin is a "supply" for GST purposes. 2. Bitcoin is not "money" under the GST...

Savings up + GST collections down = GST rate up?

Kiwi households are saving more than at any time since 1995 according to the latest national accounts. http://www.beehive.govt.nz/release/household-savings-rate-positive-five-years The flip side is with low inflation and lower consumption the Government's GST take is...

GST and tips

Some discussion lately on tips and GST. It's become more common for eftpos devices to offer customers a tipping option when paying their bills. The GST implications of this are more complex than the old-fashioned method of slipping a bit of extra cash to the staff...

Election 2014 – your GST vote

This weekend's New Zealand general election offers some choice in GST policy. So, if you're a GST geek like me you might be swayed by what the different parties intend doing about GST. Here's what I've been able to find out about some of the main parties' GST...

Good news for Australian tiramisu lovers

The Australian Tax Office publishes a detailed food list which, over 88 pages, gives their opinion on the GST status of everything from abalone to zabaglione. Tiramisu was on the list as subject to GST. However, on 27 August the Tax Office removed tiramisu from the...

Fat taxes

"Unhealthy diets are now a greater threat to global health than tobacco" - said UN Investigator Professor Olivier de Schutter to the World Health Organisation annual summit on 19 May. http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/05/19/us-health-food-idUSKBN0DZ15H20140519...

NZ GST legislation inadequate

The NZ GST Act inadequately deals with online supplies of services and should be fixed immediately.I'm referring to how the Act treats those selling products online such as e-books, movies, professional advice, teaching materials, photographs and lots of...

VAT and online sales

This is a very good item on the wider business implications of proposed changes in Europe to the VAT treatment of online digital media sales. http://performance.ey.com/2014/02/20/vat-change-online-sales-just-tax-concern/ Cheers Iain

Global VAT alignment edges closer

At the Global Forum on VAT in Tokyo last week 86 countries signed up to the first agreed framework for applying VAT to internationally traded services and intangibles. The new guidelines set out core VAT principles to be applied when taxing services and intangibles,...