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The GST amendments: A disaster averted

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PLS Resource Development To:


23 June 1999

The GST amendments: A disaster averted

Common sense has prevailed in the GST amendments averting a major disaster for food retailers, the Australian Society o f Certified Practising Accountants (CPAs) said today. ,

“A number o f the original Democrat proposals have been abandoned in the GST amendments following evidence presented by the ASCPA,” Angela Ryan, ASCPA Tax Director said today.

Ms Ryan said that the amendments have averted a major crisis for many food retailers, particularly small retailers such as small grocery stores and milk bars.

“Among the changes, the amendments will adopt a ‘through the chain’ administration o f GST free food. This is a stark difference to the original Democrat proposal to make food GST free only at the retail stage.

“ The original proposal would have meant that food retailers would have had to classify each o f the items in their store to determine their tax status - an impossible burden when you consider that many food retailers stock over 1000 product lines. This would have meant onerous adm inistration j ust for the tax man with no benefit to the business.

“The ‘through the chain’ approach to GST free food also averts a significant cash flow crisis for small business where they would have been paying GS T on all o f their stock but would not be collecting GST on sales - which would send many small food retailers broke.

“The through the chain approach that has been adopted will also lessen the need for sophisticated point o f sale equipment such as new scanners and advanced computerised cash registers.

“The irony o f GST free goods and services is that it is much more complicated to administer for those businesses involved.

“The administration o f GST free food was an issue that the ASCPA tnnk up directly with the Democrats. We are thrilled that despite our initial confrontation on this issue common sense has prevailed,” Ms Ryan said.


C ontact: Angela Ryan, ASCPA Tax Director, 03 9606 9830 (bh), 0414 865 339 (mob), ο.- Lisa Armstrong, PR Manager- NSW, 02 9375 6205 (bh), 0414 834 700 (mob).

Australian Society of Certified Practising Accountants 170 Queen Street, Melbourne, Victoria 3000 Tel.: 03 9606 9606 Fax: 03 9602 1163 ACN 008 392 452