Iain Blakeley

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

Overseas news

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...

Importing costs

NZ Customs have a feature on their website called "What's my duty?". It's a great tool for calculating how much GST and other charges you might be up for when you buy stuff on line. Here it is: http://www.whatsmyduty.org.nz/ The calculator isn't intended to be a final...

Time to make GST compliance easier?

The Australian Labor Party has announced that from 1 July 2014 businesses with turnover of less than $20m will be able to lodge their GST activity statements annually http://www.alp.org.au/cutting_red_tape_reducing_the_burden_of_the_gst. That's ten times the current...

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...

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...

VAT refunds for tourists

I recently traveled through Europe and Singapore. Now I'm not the world's biggest shopper by any means but I did spend enough to consider applying for a VAT refund as I left the EU. But consider it is all I did. When I saw the queues and paper work involved I decided...

VAT global expansion continues

Suriname is the latest country to announce an intention to replace a turnover tax with VAT. The new tax is expected to apply from 2014 and basic food items are likely to be zero rated. The policy and tax administration arguments for VAT are pretty compelling. Also,...

Starting a new business?

If you're thinking about starting a new business be careful how much you spend on "preparatory and exploratory" work. An Australian tax court has just concluded that a couple could not claim back GST on "preparatory and exploratory" expenditure because their business...

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...

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 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 refunds – how long should you wait?

The Federal Court in Australia has ruled the requirement for the Australian Tax Office to pay out GST refunds "within a reasonable period" did not allow them to withhold payment until they had completed an investigation into the accuracy of the refund claims. This was...

Who’s making submissions?

I'm interested in hearing from anyone who is considering making a submission in response to the latest discussion document from Inland Revenue on GST. They are looking for feedback on the suggestion of loosening the rules for overseas businesses wanting to recover GST...

Eating Australian style

The Australian Tax Office has updated their GST Food List. The 86 page Food List details from 'A' to 'Z' the GST treatment of hundreds of food items. It is necessary because in Australia some foods are subject to GST and some are not. For example, a fruit bun with a...

All Black Rugby World Cup jerseys

The furore over being able to buy the new AB jerseys overseas for less than they are sold locally once again calls into question how well our tax legislation is dealing with internet commerce. The pricing of the jerseys overseas would seem to allow them to be imported...

“Fresh fruit and vegetables”

So the Labour Party has confirmed their policy to remove GST on "fresh fruit and vegetables". This is new ground for NZ's GST policy and it will be interesting to watch the debate unfold as producers strive to get their products within the concessionary rate. For my...

How complicated can you get?

The Australian legislature has just passed some new regulations confirming parking charges, road tolls, facility hire charges, tip fees and fees for access to information are subject to GST. One thing we should be thankful for as taxpayers is that we live in a country...

Insurance claims

A lot of issues are appearing with insurance claims and leaky homes settlements. A recent bulletin from the Australian Tax Office is a good example of why it's important to get it right. The ATO's bulletin deals with a situation where a home owner makes an insurance...

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