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Goods and services tax

Date

H. Goods and Services Tax

H1 Financial supplies — financial acquisitions threshold — input tax credits

General public services — Financial and fiscal affairs ($m)
2011-12 2012-13 2013-14 2014-15 2015-16 2016-17 2017-18 2018-19
* * * * * * * *
Tax expenditure type: Concessional rate 2014 TES code: H1
Estimate Reliability: Not Applicable * Category 3+
Commencement date: 1 July 2000 Expiry date:  
Legislative reference: Sections 11-15(4) and 189-5 of the A New Tax System (Goods and Services Tax) Act 1999

Generally, financial supplies are not subject to GST and input tax credits cannot be claimed for such supplies. However, entities that make financial supplies without exceeding the financial acquisitions threshold are entitled to input tax credits for acquisitions used or intended to be used for making the financial supplies.

An entity does not exceed the financial acquisitions threshold if the input tax credits it would have been entitled to for the acquisitions do not exceed $150,000 or 10 per cent of their total input tax credits for the year.

H2 Financial supplies — input taxed treatment

General public services — Financial and fiscal affairs ($m)
2011-12 2012-13 2013-14 2014-15 2015-16 2016-17 2017-18 2018-19
2,450 2,650 2,900 3,100 3,250 3,450 3,650 3,850
Tax expenditure type: Exemption, Concessional rate 2014 TES code: H2
Estimate Reliability: Medium — Low    
Commencement date: 1 July 2000 Expiry date:  
Legislative reference: Subdivision 40-A of the A New Tax System (Goods and Services Tax) Act 1999

Generally, financial supplies are not subject to GST and input tax credits cannot be claimed for such supplies. For example, banks do not charge GST on the supply of bank accounts to customers, and cannot claim back the GST component of the costs they incur in supplying bank accounts. A positive tax expenditure arises in this situation as the GST paid is less than 10 per cent of the final value of the financial supply.

A negative tax expenditure arises where the financial supply is to a business. This is because no GST would actually be payable under the benchmark (subjecting financial services to GST) in this situation as businesses would claim an input tax credit for the GST amount. However, under actual tax arrangements, some GST is paid as input tax credits cannot be claimed on financial supplies to businesses.

H3 Financial supplies — reduced input tax credits

General public services — Financial and fiscal affairs ($m)
2011-12 2012-13 2013-14 2014-15 2015-16 2016-17 2017-18 2018-19
620 660 720 780 820 860 920 960
Tax expenditure type: Concessional rate 2014 TES code: H3
Estimate Reliability: Low    
Commencement date: 1 July 2000 Expiry date:  
Legislative reference: Division 70 of the A New Tax System (Goods and Services Tax) Act 1999

Generally, financial supplies are not subject to GST and input tax credits cannot be claimed for such supplies. However, input tax credits may be claimed for the acquisition of certain supplies (known as reduced credit acquisitions), but at a reduced rate (either 55 or 75 per cent of the standard input tax credit entitlement depending on the acquisition).

H4 Charitable institutions and non-profit bodies

General public services — General services ($m)
2011-12 2012-13 2013-14 2014-15 2015-16 2016-17 2017-18 2018-19
* * * * * * * *
Tax expenditure type: Exemption 2014 TES code: H4
Estimate Reliability: Not Applicable * Category 3+
Commencement date: 1 July 2000 Expiry date:  
Legislative reference: Subdivision 38-G of the A New Tax System (Goods and Services Tax) Act 1999

Non-profit bodies are entitled to a higher GST registration threshold of $150,000. They are entitled to GST-free treatment on non-commercial activities, certain retirement village services, bingo, and sale of second hand goods. Charities can elect to have fund raising treated as input taxed. This option is also available to gift deductible entities and government schools. Simplified accounting methods may be available and a range of other concessions apply.

Certain entities have the option of separately identifying some or all of their operations and treating each as a separate entity for GST purposes.

H5 Child care services

Housing and community amenities ($m)
2011-12 2012-13 2013-14 2014-15 2015-16 2016-17 2017-18 2018-19
770 880 1,020 1,150 1,270 1,390 1,670 1,840
Tax expenditure type: Exemption 2014 TES code: H5
Estimate Reliability: Medium — Low    
Commencement date: 1 July 2000 Expiry date:  
Legislative reference: Subdivision 38-D of the A New Tax System (Goods and Services Tax) Act 1999

Generally, child care will be GST-free if provided at facilities that are eligible to receive government funding or if the provider is a registered carer or child care service for the purposes of the relevant Commonwealth legislation. All supplies that are directly related to child care are also GST-free.

H6 Water, sewerage and drainage

Housing and community amenities ($m)
2011-12 2012-13 2013-14 2014-15 2015-16 2016-17 2017-18 2018-19
720 760 850 870 950 1,040 1,140 1,240
Tax expenditure type: Exemption 2014 TES code: H6
Estimate Reliability: Medium    
Commencement date: 1 July 2000 Expiry date:  
Legislative reference: Subdivision 38-I of the A New Tax System (Goods and Services Tax) Act 1999

A supply of water is GST-free unless it is supplied in, or transferred into, a container with a capacity of less than 100 litres. The draining of storm water, the emptying of a septic tank and sewerage and sewerage-like services are also GST free. Water sold as a beverage is included in tax expenditure H28.

H7 Diplomats, diplomatic missions and approved international organisations

General public services — Foreign affairs and economic aid ($m)
2011-12 2012-13 2013-14 2014-15 2015-16 2016-17 2017-18 2018-19
7 7 7 9 9 9 10 10
Tax expenditure type: Exemption 2014 TES code: H7
Estimate Reliability: Medium    
Commencement date: 1 July 2000 Expiry date:  
Legislative reference: Section 10B of the Diplomatic Privileges and Immunities Act 1967
Section 10A of the Consular Privileges and Immunities Act 1972
Section 11C of the International Organisations (Privileges and Immunities) Act 1963

Diplomatic missions, consulates and certain international organisations may be reimbursed the GST included in their purchases of certain goods and services, where the purchase is for the official use of the organisation. The GST included in purchases by diplomatic and consular staff, or certain staff of some international organisations, for the private use of the person may also be refundable. The refund must be within the scope of the Diplomatic Privileges and Immunities Act 1967, the Consular Privileges and Immunities Act 1972, or the International Organisations (Privileges and Immunities) Act 1963.

H8 Global roaming by visitors to Australia

Transport and communication ($m)
2011-12 2012-13 2013-14 2014-15 2015-16 2016-17 2017-18 2018-19
* * * * * * * *
Tax expenditure type: Exemption 2014 TES code: H8
Estimate Reliability: Not Applicable * Category 1+
Commencement date: 1 July 2000 Expiry date:  
Legislative reference: Section 38-570 of the A New Tax System (Goods and Services Tax) Act 1999

Telecommunication supplies for global roaming services provided to visitors to Australia are GST-free, consistent with Australia’s treaty obligations under the International Telecommunication Regulations (the Melbourne Agreement).

H9 Tourists

Other economic affairs — Tourism and area promotion ($m)
2011-12 2012-13 2013-14 2014-15 2015-16 2016-17 2017-18 2018-19
* * * * * * * *
Tax expenditure type: Exemption 2014 TES code: H9
Estimate Reliability: Not Applicable * Category 2+
Commencement date: 1 July 2000 Expiry date:  
Legislative reference: Division 168 of the A New Tax System (Goods and Services Tax) Act 1999

International travellers visiting Australia and Australians travelling overseas may be able to claim a refund of GST paid on certain goods bought in Australia if the total value of the goods is $300 or more, they are purchased within 60 days of departure and the goods are taken with the traveller when they depart Australia.

In addition, residents of Australia’s External Territories (such as Norfolk, Cocos (Keeling) and Christmas Islands) can claim refunds of GST under the tourist refund scheme. Claims can be made if Australian External Territory residents leaving Australia can show proof that the goods have been exported to their External Territory within the required period after the goods were acquired.

H10 Boats for export

Other economic affairs — Other economic affairs, nec ($m)
2011-12 2012-13 2013-14 2014-15 2015-16 2016-17 2017-18 2018-19
10 10 10 10 10 10 10 10
Tax expenditure type: Exemption 2014 TES code: H10
Estimate Reliability: Low    
Commencement date: 1 July 2000 Expiry date:  
Legislative reference: Item 4 of section 38-185 of the A New Tax System (Goods and Services Tax) Act 1999

Supplies of eligible boats used for recreational purposes are GST-free if the boats are exported by the purchaser from Australia within 12 months, with effect from 1 July 2011. Other goods must be exported from Australia within 60 days in order to be GST-free.

H11 Digital products and services

Other economic affairs — Other economic affairs, nec ($m)
2011-12 2012-13 2013-14 2014-15 2015-16 2016-17 2017-18 2018-19
150 170 180 190 210 230 - -
Tax expenditure type: Exemption 2014 TES code: H12
Estimate Reliability: Low    
Commencement date: 1 July 2000 Expiry date:  
Legislative reference: Section 13-1 and Division 84 of the A New Tax System (Goods and Services Tax) Act 1999

Digital products and services which are not subject to a reverse charge are not subject to GST. This includes, for example, software supplied electronically to Australian consumers by overseas vendors. From 1 July 2017, these products and services will be subject to GST.

H12 Importation threshold

Other economic affairs — Other economic affairs, nec ($m)
2011-12 2012-13 2013-14 2014-15 2015-16 2016-17 2017-18 2018-19
350 400 390 410 430 440 460 480
Tax expenditure type: Exemption 2014 TES code: H11
Estimate Reliability: Low    
Commencement date: 1 July 2000 Expiry date:  
Legislative reference: Section 42-5 of the A New Tax System (Goods and Services Tax) Act 1999
Schedule 4 to the Customs Tariff Act 1995.

With the exception of consignments containing tobacco, tobacco products or alcoholic beverages, a GST exemption applies to imports of goods with a customs value of no more than $1,000.

H13 Tourism — domestic travel as part of an international arrangement

Other economic affairs — Other economic affairs, nec ($m)
2011-12 2012-13 2013-14 2014-15 2015-16 2016-17 2017-18 2018-19
* * * * * * * *
Tax expenditure type: Exemption 2014 TES code: H13
Estimate Reliability: Not Applicable * Category 2+
Commencement date: 1 July 2000 Expiry date:  
Legislative reference: Section 38-355 of the A New Tax System (Goods and Services Tax) Act 1999

Domestic air or sea travel within Australia by residents or non-residents as part of a wider international arrangement is not subject to GST. Domestic air travel within Australia by non-residents is also GST-free if the ticket is purchased outside Australia. Transport insurance for the above supplies is also GST-free.

H14 Tourism — inwards duty free

Other economic affairs — Other economic affairs, nec ($m)
2011-12 2012-13 2013-14 2014-15 2015-16 2016-17 2017-18 2018-19
* * * * * * * *
Tax expenditure type: Exemption 2014 TES code: H14
Estimate Reliability: Not Applicable * Category 3+
Commencement date: 1 July 2000 Expiry date:  
Legislative reference: Section 38-415 of the A New Tax System (Goods and Services Tax) Act 1999

Supplies made through an inwards duty free shop to inbound international travellers are not subject to GST.

H15 Tourism — travel agents — overseas travel

Other economic affairs — Other economic affairs, nec ($m)
2011-12 2012-13 2013-14 2014-15 2015-16 2016-17 2017-18 2018-19
135 130 130 135 135 140 145 145
Tax expenditure type: Exemption 2014 TES code: H15
Estimate Reliability: Low    
Commencement date: 1 July 2000 Expiry date:  
Legislative reference: Section 38-360 of the A New Tax System (Goods and Services Tax) Act 1999

The arranging of overseas travel, accommodation and other services by travel agents in Australia in the course of their business is GST-free. The arranging service must relate to a holiday or supply that takes place or is used overseas.

H16 Education

Education ($m)
2011-12 2012-13 2013-14 2014-15 2015-16 2016-17 2017-18 2018-19
3,050 3,350 3,650 3,850 4,200 4,550 4,950 5,350
Tax expenditure type: Exemption 2014 TES code: H16
Estimate Reliability: Medium    
Commencement date: 1 July 2000 Expiry date:  
Legislative reference: Subdivision 38-C of the A New Tax System (Goods and Services Tax) Act 1999

Certain education supplies are GST-free. These include education courses, directly related administrative services, curriculum-related goods, student accommodation for students attending a primary, secondary or special education course, excursions and field trips and supplies related to the recognition of prior learning.

H17 Health — drugs and medicinal preparations

Health ($m)
2011-12 2012-13 2013-14 2014-15 2015-16 2016-17 2017-18 2018-19
420 470 490 520 560 600 640 690
Tax expenditure type: Exemption 2014 TES code: H17
Estimate Reliability: Medium    
Commencement date: 1 July 2000 Expiry date:  
Legislative reference: Section 38-50 of the A New Tax System (Goods and Services Tax) Act 1999

Most medicines for human use are GST-free. GST-free medicines include: medicines that can only be supplied on prescription; medicines supplied as a pharmaceutical benefit; non-prescription drugs that can only be supplied by a doctor, dentist, pharmacist or other prescribed person as described by relevant state or territory law; medicines supplied under the Special Access Scheme; and certain analgesics covered by a written determination by the Federal Health Minister.

H18 Health — medical aids and appliances

Health ($m)
2011-12 2012-13 2013-14 2014-15 2015-16 2016-17 2017-18 2018-19
95 100 110 115 125 135 140 150
Tax expenditure type: Exemption 2014 TES code: H18
Estimate Reliability: Low    
Commencement date: 1 July 2000 Expiry date:  
Legislative reference: Sections 38-38, 38-45, 38-47 and Subdivision 38-P of the A New Tax System (Goods and Services Tax) Act 1999

A medical aid or appliance is GST-free if the medical aid or appliance is listed in Schedule 3 to the A New Tax System (Goods and Services Tax) Act 1999, or specified in the regulations and specifically designed for people with an illness or disability and not widely used by others.

The supply of cars for use by disabled persons, spare parts for medical aids and appliances and the services related to the provision of the medical aid or appliance are GST-free. Goods that are the subject of a written determination by the Federal Health Minister are also GST-free, including certain disability supports delivered under the National Disability Insurance Scheme Act 2013.

H19 Health — medical and health services

Health ($m)
2011-12 2012-13 2013-14 2014-15 2015-16 2016-17 2017-18 2018-19
2,900 3,100 3,250 3,450 3,700 4,000 4,250 4,550
Tax expenditure type: Exemption 2014 TES code: H19
Estimate Reliability: Medium    
Commencement date: 1 July 2000 Expiry date:  
Legislative reference: Sections 38-7, 38-10, 38-15, 38-20 of the A New Tax System (Goods and Services Tax) Act 1999

Medical services are GST-free if: they are a service for which a Medicare benefit is payable under the Health Insurance Act 1973; they are supplied by, or on behalf of, a medical practitioner; and they constitute a service that is generally accepted in the medical profession as being necessary for the treatment of the patient.

Health services rendered by a recognised professional, as well as hospital treatment are also GST-free. Goods supplied in the course of making GST-free health care services are generally GST-free.

H20 Health — residential care, community care and other care services

Health ($m)
2011-12 2012-13 2013-14 2014-15 2015-16 2016-17 2017-18 2018-19
870 910 970 1,030 1,100 1,180 1,260 1,350
Tax expenditure type: Exemption 2014 TES code: H20
Estimate Reliability: Medium    
Commencement date: 1 July 2000 Expiry date:  
Legislative reference: Sections 38-25, 38-30, 38-35, 38-38, 38-40 of the A New Tax System (Goods and Services Tax) Act 1999

Some services provided by care and specialist disability providers are GST-free, including certain disability supports delivered under the National Disability Insurance Scheme Act 2013. The quality of care principles found in the Aged Care Act 1997 apply in determining the tax status of specific care services. In general, publicly funded aged or disability care services are GST-free, as are privately funded aged care services which meet the quality of care principles found in the Aged Care Act 1997 and are provided to those needing daily living activities assistance or nursing services.

H21 Private health insurance

Health ($m)
2011-12 2012-13 2013-14 2014-15 2015-16 2016-17 2017-18 2018-19
250 250 260 290 290 300 310 320
Tax expenditure type: Exemption 2014 TES code: H21
Estimate Reliability: Medium    
Commencement date: 1 July 2000 Expiry date:  
Legislative reference: Sections 38-55, 38-60 of the A New Tax System (Goods and Services Tax) Act 1999

A supply of private health insurance by a private health insurer (within the meaning of the Private Health Insurance Act 2007) is GST-free. In line with the GST treatment of general insurance, the tax expenditure for this item is based on the difference between the premium income of private health insurers and the value of benefits paid out.

H22 Religious services

Recreation and culture ($m)
2011-12 2012-13 2013-14 2014-15 2015-16 2016-17 2017-18 2018-19
30 35 35 40 45 45 50 55
Tax expenditure type: Exemption 2014 TES code: H22
Estimate Reliability: Low    
Commencement date: 1 July 2000 Expiry date:  
Legislative reference: Section 38-220 of the A New Tax System (Goods and Services Tax) Act 1999

Supplies of religious services are GST-free if supplied by a religious institution and the supplied service is integral to the practice of that religion.

H23 Supplies of farm land

Agriculture, forestry and fishing ($m)
2011-12 2012-13 2013-14 2014-15 2015-16 2016-17 2017-18 2018-19
* * * * * * * *
Tax expenditure type: Exemption 2014 TES code: H23
Estimate Reliability: Not Applicable * Category 2+
Commencement date: 1 July 2000 Expiry date:  
Legislative reference: Subdivision 38-O of the A New Tax System (Goods and Services Tax) Act 1999

Specific supplies of farm land are GST-free. This includes: farm land supplied for farming on which a farming business has been carried on for at least five years and upon which a farming business is intended to continue to be carried on; and subdivided farm land that is potential residential land that is supplied to associates for nil or inadequate consideration.

H24 Registration thresholds

Other economic affairs — Other economic affairs, nec ($m)
2011-12 2012-13 2013-14 2014-15 2015-16 2016-17 2017-18 2018-19
* * * * * * * *
Tax expenditure type: Exemption 2014 TES code: H24
Estimate Reliability: Not Applicable * Category 3+
Commencement date: 1 July 2000 Expiry date:  
Legislative reference: Section 23-15 and Part 4-5 of the A New Tax System (Goods and Services Tax) Act 1999
Regulations 23-15.01 and 23-15.02 of the A New Tax System (Goods and Services Tax) Regulation 1999

Entities (other than taxi operators) with a GST turnover less than $75,000 or $150,000 for non-profit entities are not required to register for GST. Supplies made by unregistered entities are not subject to GST.

H25 Simplified accounting methods

Other economic affairs — Other economic affairs, nec ($m)
2011-12 2012-13 2013-14 2014-15 2015-16 2016-17 2017-18 2018-19
13 12 11 10 9 8 8 7
Tax expenditure type: Concessional rate 2014 TES code: H25
Estimate Reliability: Low    
Commencement date: 1 July 2000 Expiry date:  
Legislative reference: Division 123 of the A New Tax System (Goods and Services Tax) Act 1999

The Commissioner of Taxation can create simplified accounting methods (SAMs) that some small businesses can choose to apply to reduce their GST compliance costs. SAMs allow taxpayers to apply simple ratios to calculate their GST liabilities (or components of them) rather than accounting for each supply to determine if it is taxable or non-taxable. Being ratios, SAMs will benefit some taxpayers by reducing their GST liabilities while increasing the GST liabilities of others, relative to the amounts calculated using a full GST calculation.

While SAMs are designed to reduce compliance costs rather than provide a tax concession, entities that expect to receive a tax benefit from applying SAMs are more likely to adopt this methodology than those that do not. This would be expected to result in a net tax concession.

H26 Precious metal

Mining, manufacturing and construction ($m)
2011-12 2012-13 2013-14 2014-15 2015-16 2016-17 2017-18 2018-19
* * * * * * * *
Tax expenditure type: Exemption 2014 TES code: H26
Estimate Reliability: Not Applicable * Category 2+
Commencement date: 1 July 2000 Expiry date:  
Legislative reference: Subdivision 38-L of the A New Tax System (Goods and Services Tax) Act 1999

The first supply of a precious metal (after its refining by or on behalf of the supplier) to a precious metal dealer is GST-free. Subsequent supplies of precious metals are input taxed. The importation of precious metals is a non-taxable importation and GST is not charged on the importation. The tax expenditure here is the loss of tax on the GST-free and input taxed supplies and imports (where this would not be offset by input tax credits) reduced by any input tax credits denied for acquisitions related to the input taxed activities.

H27 Cross-border transport supplies

Transport and communication ($m)
2011-12 2012-13 2013-14 2014-15 2015-16 2016-17 2017-18 2018-19
2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2
Tax expenditure type: Exemption 2014 TES code: H27
Estimate Reliability: Low    
Commencement date: 1 July 2010 Expiry date:  
Legislative reference: Section 13-20 of the A New Tax System (Goods and Services Tax) Act 1999

Since 1 July 2010, the total transport and insurance cost of imported goods is included in the calculation of the value of the taxable importation. If the imported good is a non-taxable importation (for example, the supply of the good would be GST-free or the value of the good does not exceed the import threshold of $1,000), the domestic transport or insurance component of the transportation supplied is still not taxed.

H28 Food

Other economic affairs — Other economic affairs, nec ($m)
2011-12 2012-13 2013-14 2014-15 2015-16 2016-17 2017-18 2018-19
5,800 6,000 6,300 6,500 6,800 7,000 7,300 7,600
Tax expenditure type: Exemption 2014 TES code: H28
Estimate Reliability: Medium    
Commencement date: 1 July 2000 Expiry date:  
Legislative reference: Subdivision 38-A of the A New Tax System (Goods and Services Tax) Act 1999

Most food items for human consumption that are prepared and/or consumed at home are GST-free. Examples of GST-free food include fresh fruit and vegetables, fish, dairy products, bread and meat. Examples of GST-free beverages include unflavoured milk products, tea, coffee, water and fruit juices. Food and beverages subject to GST include: restaurant and takeaway meals, confectionary, savoury snacks, ice cream, biscuits and soft drinks.