GST legislative determinations

The following goods and services (GST) determinations have been made:

●: which replaces the Simplified GST Accounting Methods Legislative Instrument, and corrects some minor errors and clarifies a number of matters. The determination provides eligible retailers with the choice to use a simplified accounting method to help work out their GST net amount by estimating the proportion of their sales and purchases of trading stock that are GST-free.

●: which determines a class of goods that are incidental valuable metal goods. An incidental valuable metal good within the definition of the (the Act) is not prevented from being ‘second-hand goods’ for the purposes of the Act, following amendments made earlier this year in the .

Commonwealth Grants Commission’s Interim position on HFE

The Commonwealth Grants Commission, which makes recommendations each year for the distribution of GST revenue among the States, has released a paper which presents the Commission’s interim positions on the objective of horizontal fiscal equalisation (HFE), provides supporting principles and guidelines, and addresses associated implementation issues.

The States will be invited to make further submissions on the definition of HFE and the supporting principles and guidelines later in 2018, having regard also to any Government decisions on the findings of the Productivity Commission review of the system of HFE (see below).

Productivity Commission’s Draft Report on HFE

The Commonwealth Treasurer has welcomed the release of the Productivity Commission’s (PC) draft report on horizontal fiscal equalisation (HFE). The draft report provides a comprehensive analysis of how GST revenue is distributed to the States and Territories, the impact of the current method on national productivity, efficiency and economic growth, and how this could be better achieved.

A recommendation is made in the report that ‘revising the objective of HFE would be in the best interests of national productivity and wellbeing’. Furthermore, rather than undertaking a major overhaul of the current system, the draft report outlines a number of draft recommendations aimed at improving the way Australia’s GST revenue is distributed to achieve HFE goals.

Submissions can be made on the PC draft report until 10 November 2017.

Trusted Trader programme

The Federal Government has announced that the 100th business has signed up to the Australian Trusted Trader programme, and a new streamlined reporting benefit will be implemented along with easing administration of the China Australia Free Trade Agreement, with a view to enhancing border clearances, and reduce supply chain and compliance costs. For further information about the Trusted Trader programme, refer to our earlier publications.