Iain Blakeley

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

Internet purchases

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...

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...

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...

NZ businesses are getting it wrong

I'm seeing increasing evidence of misunderstanding over how the zero rating rules apply. From 1 April 2014 non-resident businesses can register for GST in NZ under a new system which allows them to claim GST refunds on business related costs. Historically a business...

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

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...

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

There's a lot of chatter about South Africa's proposed law requiring foreign businesses to charge VAT on sales of digital products to South African residents. If passed the law will cover things like music, videos, software and games sold on line. At the moment, like...

Online trading – again

Once again the issue of internet purchases coming in to NZ GST free is hitting the news. See here In my view this needs to be addressed. The size of the problem will only increase. Having any kind of exemption like this distorts our GST system and favours some at the...

Good news for non resident businesses

Non resident businesses looking to establish supply chains into New Zealand have to go through hoops to register for GST here and recover the GST on their NZ expenses. Often it means they're at a disadvantage when compared to businesses established in New Zealand....

Tax free shopping zone for Christchurch?

A tax free zone in Christchurch has been suggested by a new business owners' group there. I think it is a well intentioned idea which poses some reasonably big challenges in practice. The intention is to encourage businesses (and shoppers)to return to the CBD during...

Low value import de minimis stays at $60

The Minister of Customs has just announced the low value import de minimis is to stay at $60. This follows a review of the threshold which considered whether it should be increased. The review was also to look at how the de minimis applied because it can be confusing...

Debate on GST and private imports

Today's NZ Herald editorial argues collecting GST on low value imports is more trouble than it's worth and advocates retaining an exempt threshold. Seehere The debate seems to be gaining momentum and the Customs Department are in the middle of a public consultation...