Iain Blakeley

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

ATO

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...

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...

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...

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...

GST refund claims: keep it real.

You can't claim GST back on an expense unless you actually receive whatever it is you are paying for. That's the message from the Australian Federal Court in a decision released on 1 November [Professional Admin Service Centres Pty Ltd v FC of T]. In that case the...

GST and vendor financing

A follow on from my re-blogged post below on vendor financing and the GST impact.The Australian Tax Office has issued a "Decision Impact Statement" on the Mathiesen case confirming it is consistent with earlier rulings they gave. The key points are:1. For GST purposes...

Commonsense prevails: well almost

Yesterday the Australian Tax Office issued a practice statement explaining when it would overlook an incorrect GST input claim made by a business. You can read it here On the face of it the practice statement reeks of commonsense. The supplier wrongly applies GST to...

If they take it, have you “supplied” it?

The Inland Revenue Department has published a draft view on whether a GST "supply" occurs when land is compulsorily taken by a Public Authority under the Public Works Act. At issue is whether a compulsory acquisition of land results in a "supply" being made by the...

Good news for tourists to Australia….

The Australian Government is looking at making its GST refund scheme for tourists more generous. Amongst the measures is a proposal to allow purchases made up to 60 days before departing Australia eligible for GST refunds (currently 30 days). They are also proposing...

Australian generosity

The Australian Government is to pass legislation providing for donations made to the Christchurch earthquake relief fund to be tax deductible in Australia for two years. Fantastic! See here

Interesting stats from the Australian Tax Office

According to a document on the integrity of GST systems in small to medium enterprises issued by the Australian Tax Office recently: - In 2009-10 the ATO identified on average $AUD42,000 of under reported GST for every small to medium enterprise they investigated. - A...