The Full Federal Court of Australia has decided a mini ciabatta is a “cracker”.

This is a decision of some significance because it means mini ciabatta are subject to GST. On the other hand, if the Court decided they are “bread” there would be no GST.

Here’s a picture of a mini ciabatta.

This was the decision of the Court in the case Lansell House Pty Ltd v FC of Taxation [2010] ATC 20-173 dated 4 February.

Essentially the Court considered the mini ciabatta is part of the “cracker” class, generally known to be thin, crisp, dry and hard biscuits.

Unfortunately in New Zealand lawyers and courts don’t get to spend 5 or more years arguing over GST cases like this. It’s a real shame. GST life would be so much more interesting if they did.

Still, if the Labour Party wins the next election we’re promised GST exemptions for “fresh fruit and vegetables”. Perhaps that will liven things up for us GST geeks!

By the way, I must get a new dictionary. My Collins Concise Dictionary says a “ciabatta” is “a type of open-textured bread made with olive oil”.


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