Today marks the first anniversary of this site going live.
The past 12 months have been a busy time for GST in Australia. We have seen a number of decisions by the Courts and Tribunals, significant legislative change and activity by the ATO. Some of the highlights include:
- one decision of the High Court (Qantas); two applications for special leave to appeal to the High Court by the Commissioner (Qantas – successful, Multiflex – unsuccessful); four decisions of the Full Federal Court – three in favour of the taxpayer (Unit Trend, Multiflex, Qantas) and one in favour of the Commissioner (MTAA Superannuation Fund), two decisions of the Federal Court (ECC Southbank, Yacoub), plus multiple decisions of the Tribunal
- Legislative developments including: self assessment for GST from 1 July 2012; the Commissioner’s ability to retain refunds pending investigation (s 8AAZLG of Schedule 1 to the TAA); exposure draft for new GST refund provisions (proposed Division 36 of the GST Act)
- The Commissioner has published four GST Rulings, eight GST Determinations, 12 ATO IDs dealing with GST issues, and around 600 private rulings dealing with GST issues have been published on the ATO’s Private Ruling Register
In my view, there will continue to be a lot of activity in the area of GST. Some things to look forward to over the coming year include:
- the fallout from the decision of the High Court to allow the Commissioner’s appeal in Commissioner of Taxation v Qantas Airways Ltd  HCA 41 and the Full Federal Court to allow the taxpayer’s appeal in Unit Trend Pty Ltd v Commissioner of Taxation  FCAFC 112 (dealing with the application of the anti-avoidance provisions in Division 165 of the GST Act);
- the finalisation of the proposed amendments to GST refunds through the introduction of Division 36 into the GST Act to replace s 105-65 of Schedule 1 to the TAA;
- an appeal to the Full Federal Court in Yacoub v Commissioner of Taxation  FCA 678 – the decision provides an opportunity for the Full Federal Court to consider the often difficult distinction between a joint venture and a partnership in the context of GST;
- an appeal to the Federal Court in AP Group Limited and Commissioner of Taxation  AATA 409, involving the GST treatment of certain “incentive” payments by car manufacturers to dealers.
- an appeal to the Federal Court in Wynnum Holdings No 1 Pty Ltd and Commissioner of Taxation  AATA 616, involving the question of whether a trustee was carrying on an enterprise or whether it was a bare trustee and whether a retirement village was properly characterised as commercial residential premises.
I would like to thank those people who have supported this site during the last year. In the past year the site (and its various pages) has received in excess of 18,000 views and 130 people have signed up to receive updates by way of email. These statistics appear to reflect the level of interest in GST in Australia and the continued activity in the area.