Iain Blakeley

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

Overseas news

Australia leads NZ 2 – 0

The Australian Government looks likely to change its GST treatment of digital currencies. In NZ we're left wondering what our Government's position is. This is the second time in about as many weeks Australia has taken steps to...

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...

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...

12 GST thoughts of Christmas

12 GST thoughts of Christmas: 1. There's no GST on gifts (so Santa is probably not GST registered). 2. GST registered businesses can claim back the GST on gifts they buy for staff, suppliers and customers. 3. If you buy someone a gift voucher for Christmas it's quite...

Taxing energy drinks unconstitutional

A recent decision in France has concluded a government tax on energy drinks contravenes the country's constitution. Under France's tax laws a tax was imposed on energy drinks with at least 220 mg of caffeine per 1,000 ml. The tax was challenged and the Constitutional...

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...

Bahamas VAT

The Bahamas will have a new VAT from 1 January 2015: 7.5% (0% for exports) on a broad range of goods and services, few exemptions, small business concessions, "inclusive" pricing and an extensive public education programme. Confirmed by the PM and Minister for...

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,...

“Australia should follow NZ GST”?

NZ's GST is certainly the most efficient form of VAT in the world. The "VAT Revenue Ratio" is used by the OECD as a measure of VAT efficiency. The average in the OECD is about 50%. The least efficient is Turkey's VAT at about 30%. NZ ranks top at a little more than...

Are you ready for the 1st of April 2014?

Change to tax law is as certain as tax itself.The 1st of April is a favourite of governments around the world for ushering in tax changes.Here's a snippet of some changes that are coming into force in GST, VAT and other indirect taxes on 1 April:Albania - Supplies of...

Grant versus fee!

The Woking Museum and Arts and Crafts Centre is a charity set up to "advance the education of the public in local national and international history and arts and crafts". In 2003 it entered into an agreement with the Woking Borough Council [In the UK] to "provide...

GST and online shopping – is there a cure?

The NZ Government has delayed the Customs / IRD report on GST and online trading to allow the issue to be considered as part of the wider review of how global corporates are taxed. I think the merger of the issues was unavoidable. They are closely linked and the...

Good news

Might as well start the year with a bit of good news, even if it's a little old by now. On 11 December the Government gave us a xmas present with the announcement by the Minister of Customs the Temporary Import period for yachts, launches and small craft will be...

12 GST thoughts of Christmas

12 GST thoughts of Christmas: 1. There's no GST on gifts (so Santa is probably not GST registered). 2. GST registered businesses can claim back the GST on gifts they buy for staff, suppliers and customers. 3. If you buy someone a gift voucher for Christmas it's quite...

At least it’s a start

More pressure from retailers for the Government to remove the iow value import threshold for goods. http://www.nzherald.co.nz/business/news/article.cfm?c_id=3&objectid=11171599 This isn't going to go away. It's part of the wider debate on how to tax the digital...