The information has been sourced from the ATO legislation page on its website and the Treasury website at http://www.treasury.gov.au
- Improving the integrity of GST on property transactions – On 9 May 2017 the Government announced that it will strengthen compliance with the GST law by requiring purchasers of newly constructed residential properties or new subdivisions to remit the GST directly to the ATO as part of settlement. Under the current law (where the GST is included in the purchase price and the developer remits the GST to the ATO), some developers are failing to remit the GST to the ATO despite having claimed GST credits on their construction costs. As most purchasers use conveyancing services to complete their purchase, they should experience minimal impact from these changes. This change takes effect from 1 July 2018. On 6 November 2017 an Exposure Draft of the legislation was introduced:
- Removing the double taxation of digital currency – On 9 May 2017, the Government announced that from 1 July 2017 it will align the GST treatment of digital currency (such as Bitcoin) with money. Until the law is amended, consumers who use digital currencies as payment can effectively bear GST twice: once on the purchase of the digital currency and again on its use in exchange for other goods and services subject to GST. The announced legislative amendments will ensure that from 1 July 2017 purchases of digital currency are no longer subject to the GST. The Treasury Laws Amendment (2017 Measures No. 6) Act 2017 received Royal Assent on 30 October 2017.
- Applying GST to low value goods imported by consumers – in the 2015/16 Budget the Government announced that the GST would be extended to low value goods imported by consumers – on 4 November 2016 the Government introduced an Exposure Draft of the legislation:
Submissions are due on the Exposure Draft on 2 December 2016
- GST cross-border transactions between businesses – The changes ensure that Australia does not draw non-residents into the GST system unnecessarily. It relieves non-resident suppliers of the obligation to account for GST on certain supplies, therefore reducing their compliance costs – It also reduces the compliance costs for GST registered importers in calculating the value of taxable importations. On 5 May 2017 the Tax and Superannuation Laws Amendment (2016 Measures No.1) Act 2016 received Royal Assent. The Explanatory Memorandum can be accessed here.
- Applying GST to digital products and services imported by consumers – in the 2015–16 Budget, the Government announced that the application of the Goods and Services Tax (GST) will be extended to cross border supplies of digital products and services imported by consumers from 1 July 2017. On 5 May 2017 the Tax and Superannuation Laws Amendment (2016 Measures No.1) Act 2016 received Royal Assent. The Explanatory Memorandum can be accessed here. An initial Exposure Draft of the legislation was issued on 12 May 2015. After consultation, a further Exposure Draft was issued on 7 October 2015.
- Refunds of overpaid GST – On 30 May 2014 the Tax Laws Amendment (2014 Measures No.1) Act received royal assent. The Bill replaces the regime in s 105-65 of Schedule 1 to the TAA with Division 142 of the GST Act. The Explanatory Memorandum to the Act can be accessed here.
- Amendments for the National Disability Scheme – In the 2013-14 Budget it was announced that the GST law would be amended to make GST free certain supports delivered under the National Disability Insurance Scheme Act 2013. This is intended to mirror the existing GST treatment of service to people with a disability. On 29 June 2013 the Tax Laws Amendment (2013 Measures No.2) Act 2013 received royal assent. On 3 July 2013 the GST-free Supply (National Disability Insurance Scheme Supports) Determination 2013 was introduced.
- Extending access to the GST instalment system (see also 2011) – on 28 June 2013 the Tax and Superannuation Laws Amendment (2013 Measures No.2) Act 2013 received royal assent. The legislation gives effect to Treasury’s intention to extend the current GST instalment system to allow access for small businesses that are in a net refund position.The new legislation applies from the first quarterly tax period starting 1 July 2013.
- Refunds of overpaid GST – On 26 June 2003 the Tax Laws Amendment (2013 Measures No.4) Bill 2013 was introduced into the House of Representatives. The legislation proposes the introduction of Division 142 into the GST Act. The Division will replace s 105-65 of Schedule 1 to the Taxation Administration Act. The legislation is to take effect for tax periods starting on or after 17 August 2012.
- Commissioner’s ability to retain refunds pending verification checks – in the wake of the Multiflex decision, Tax Law and Superannuation Laws Amendment (2012 Measures No.1) Act 2012 amends the TAA to allow the Commissioner to retain refunds for verification prior to payment
- GST treatment of Australian taxes fees and charges – on 2 May 2012 exposure draft regulations were released specifying the GST treatment of certain government fees and charges
- Margin scheme and subdivided land – On 28 June 2013 the Tax Laws Amendment (2012 Measures No.6) Act 2012 received royal assent. The legislation seeks to ensure that taxpayers are able to use the consideration method, the valuation method, or the GST-inclusive market value method, whichever is appropriate, when calculating the margin on a taxable supply of subdivided land.
- Reduced input tax credits for credit unions – A New Tax System (Goods and Services Tax) Amendment Regulation 2012 (No.4) was made on 30 August 2012 to amend the GST law to ensure that credit unions do not lose access to a reduced input tax credit for credit union services when they rebrand as banks but otherwise do not change their corporate services
- Refunds of overpaid GST – on 17 August 2012 the Assistant Treasurer released draft legislation for public consultation dealing with refunds of overpaid GST. The legislation repeals the discretion in s 105-65 of Schedule 1 to the TAA and introduces Division 36 into the GST Act which does not provide any discretion but simply provides when refunds will (and will not) be payable, which will allow taxpayers to self-assess their entitlements to refunds. The amendments are to apply to tax periods commencing on or after today, effectively meaning monthly tax periods starting 1 September and quarterly tax periods starting 1 October.
- Exempting taxes, fees and charges from the GST – in the 2010-11 Budget the Government announced it would amend the GST law to replace the current mechanism in Division 81 for exempting Australian taxes, fees and charges with a principles-based legislative exemption – Amending legislation received royal assent in June 2011
- Extending access to the GST instalment system – on 5 November 2012 exposure draft legislation was released for comment to give effect to Treasury’s intention to extend the current GST instalment system to allow access for small businesses that are in a net refund position
- Goods and services tax treatment of new residential premises – Tax Laws Amendment (2011 Measures No.9) Act 2012 amends the law to clarify how residential property is treated under the GST legislation. The amendments were introduced following the decision of the Full Federal Court in Commissioner of Taxation v Gloxinia Investments (Trustee)  FCAFC 46
- GST and the export of boats – The Tax Laws Amendment (2011 Measures No.3) Act 2011, No.51 received royal assent on 27 June 2011. Schedule 1 amends the GST Act to allow eligible boats to be sold in Australia GST-free if certain conditions are met.
- GST cross-border transaction – As part of the Board of Taxation review, the application of GST to cross-border transactions is being considered, particular the extent of non-resident participation. On 15 February 2011 the Treasurer released a discussion paper.
- GST financial supply provisions – Tax Laws Amendment (2011 Measures No.9) Act 2012 covers GST financial supply provisions from the Board of Taxation review of the GST administration – the amendments have effect from 1 July 2012
- GST groups and GST joint ventures – further amendments to ensure the appropriate GST outcome is achieved in relation to GST groups and joint ventures
- GST and appropriations – Tax and Superannuation Laws Amendment (2012 Measures No.1) Act 2012 ensures that non-commercial activities of government are not subject to GST. The measures are in response to the decision of the Full Federal Court in TT-Line Co Pty Ltd v FCT  FCAFC 178
- Non-profit sub-entities – The Tax Laws Amendment (2010 Measures No.5) No 61 Act 2011 amends the GST Act to allow non-profit sub-entities to access the same GST concessions as their parent entity
- Outstanding recommendations for GST from the Board of Taxation review – these matters remain yet to be formally addressed
- Reforms to the GST margin scheme – in the 2010-11 Budget the Government announced reforms to the GST margin scheme
- Running balance accounts – applying of credits – The Tax Laws Amendment (2010 Measures No.5) No 61 Act 2011 amends the Taxation Administration Act to ensure that it will not be mandatory to apply a payment, credit or running balance account surplus against a tax debt that is an activity statement amount unless it is due and payable.
- Self assessment for indirect taxes – Indirect Tax Laws Amendment (Assessment) Act 2012 introduces self-assessment for indirect taxes in relation to recommendations 19,21 and 42 from the Board of Taxation review of the GST administration
- Third party payment adjustments – further amendments – further amendments to the GST Act to ensure that the appropriate GST outcome is achieved in relation to third party payments where the taxable status of the supply alters as it moves through the supply chain or the payee obtains a refund under the TRS
- Third party procured GST-free health status – Tax and Superannuation Laws Amendment (2012 Measures No.1) Act 2012 amends the GST law to ensure that certain supplies made to health insurers in the course of settling health insurance claims are GST-free
- Treatment of property in possession of a mortgage – Tax Laws Amendment (2012 Measures No.4) Act 2012 amends the gST law to ensure that Division 105 operates to the exclusion of Division 58 where a representative of an incapacitated entity is a creditor and of the incapacitated entity and makes a supply in satisfaction of a debt that the incapacitated entity owes the representative.
- Attribution of input tax credits – Tax Laws Amendment (2010 GST Administration Measures No.1) Act 2010 received royal assent on 24 March 2010. Schedule 2 of the Act clarifies the rules for attributing GST credits to tax periods.
- Changes to tax invoices and recipient created tax invoices – Tax Laws Amendment (2010 GST Administration Measures No.2) Act 2010 was enacted on 28 June 2010 and includes measures to simplify the requirements for a document to be a tax invoice.
- Changes to GST – Tax Laws Amendment (2009 GST Administration Measures) Act 2010 – six new measure from the Board of Taxation Review
- Changes to GST – Tax Laws Amendment (2010 GST Administration Measures No.1) Act 2010 – two new measures from the Board of Taxation review affecting the attribution of input tax credits and adjustments for third party payments
- Changes to the rulings regime – Tax Laws Amendment (2010 GST Administration Measures No.2) Act 2010 means that from 1 July 2010 the general rulings regime includes GST
- GST groups and GST joint ventures – Tax Laws Amendment (2010 Administration Measures No.2) Act 2020 means that entities are able to , on any day during a tax period form, change and dissolve a GST group or a GST joint venture, change a representative member or joint venture operator
- Incapacitated entities and GST liability – recent changes to the GST Act ensure representatives of incapacitated entities are liable for GST consequences during the term of their appointment – in response to the decision in PM Developments
- International telecommunications supplies – mobile telephone global roaming – ensures that Australia’s GST treatment of global roaming supplies is consistent with Australia’s obligations under the International Telecommunications Regulations
- Third party payment adjustments – Division 134 – Schedule 1 to Tax Laws Amendment (2010 GST Administration Measures No.1) Act 2010 amends the GST Act with the introduction of Division 134