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Minister announces GST workshop for WA fisheries.

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17 May 2000 AFFA00/89WT


The Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry, Warren Truss, today announced a series of free goods and services tax (GST) workshops for commercial fishers in Western Australia.

Mr Truss said five workshops would be held this month, at Hillarys (22 May), Geraldton (23 May), Lancelin (24 May), Fremantle (25 May) and Jurien Bay (26 May) to help commercial fishers prepare their businesses for the introduction of the GST on 1 July 2000.

The WA Fishing Industry Council (WAFIC) has organised the seminars in association with the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry - Australia (AFFA) and with funding from the GST Start-up Assistance Program, $15.25 million has been provided for a GST education program for farmers and small to medium rural businesses.

"I urge fishers to take this opportunity to get themselves GST-ready by calling the WAFIC on (08) 9244 2933 to register for a workshop," Mr Truss said. "Similar seminars organised for farmers by State farming organisations in association with AFFA have been very successful and I am sure fishers will find seminars tailored to their needs just as useful.

"I also remind fishers that they have until the end of this month to register for an Australian Business Number (ABN) to be part of the GST system by 1 July. Fishing businesses with an annual turnover of $50,000 or more are required to register for both the GST and an ABN by 31 May. This can be done on the same application form.

"Those who have not yet registered for an ABN should consider doing so as a matter of priority so that they benefit from the new tax system. Without an ABN, your customers may withhold 48.5 per cent of sales made by your fishing business as withholding tax.

"Even if you are not required to register for the GST, there could be advantages in doing so."

"As part of the GST system, your fishing business can claim input tax credits — refunds of GST. If GST has been included in anything you buy to use or costs you incur in your business, then you can get a refund from the Australian Taxation Office (ATO)."

"Furthermore, after you register you will be sent a certificate for $200 to help get your financial record and management system GST-ready."

Fishers can register electronically through the Business Entry Point on the Internet at, through their tax agent or by mail. Registration packages are available from newsagents, major banks, post offices or by calling 13 24 78.

Mr Truss said fishers could get free GST information and resources prepared for fishers by calling 13 30 88. They can also phone 13 24 78 to arrange a free advisory visit by a specially trained ATO field officer to get information on the GST.

Further inquiries:

Minister's office: Andrew Hall (02) 6277 7520 or 0419 996 766

Last updated 17 May 2000 URL: Commonwealth of Australia 2000