Indirect Tax Laws Amendment (Assessment) Bill 2012

Bills Digest no. 121 2011–12

PDF version [653 KB]

WARNING:
This Digest was prepared for debate. It reflects the legislation as introduced and does not canvass subsequent amendments. This Digest does not have any official legal status. Other sources should be consulted to determine the subsequent official status of the Bill.

Bernard Pulle
Economics Section
21 March 2012 

Contents
Purpose
Financial implications
Human rights implications
Background
Key provisions

Glossary

The following abbreviations and acronyms are used throughout the Explanatory Memorandum and in this Bills Digest.[1]

Abbreviation

Definition

Board’s report

Board of Taxation’s Review of the Legal Framework for the Administration of the Goods and Services Tax

Commissioner

Commissioner of Taxation

Customs

Australian Customs and Border Protection Service

Fuel Tax Act

Fuel Tax Act 2006

GST Act

A New Tax System (Goods and Services Tax) Act 1999

GST

goods and services tax

ITAA 1936

Income Tax Assessment Act 1936

ITAA 1997

Income Tax Assessment Act 1997

ITLA Bill

Indirect Tax Laws Amendment (Assessment) Bill 2012

LCT Act

A New Tax System (Luxury Car Tax) Act 1999

LCT

luxury car tax

MRRT

minerals resource rent tax

MRRT (CA&TP) Bill

Minerals Resource Rent Tax (Consequential Amendments and Transitional Provisions) Bill 2011

TAA 1953

Taxation Administration Act 1953

WET Act

A New Tax System (Wine Equalisation Tax) Act 1999

WET

wine equalisation tax

 


Date introduced:  29 February 2012
House:  House of Representatives
Portfolio:  Treasury
Commencement:  The formal sections of the Bill commence on Royal Assent. The commencement dates of the various Schedules and their application are indicated in the comments on each Schedule made in the main body of this Bills Digest.

Links: The links to the Bill, its Explanatory Memorandum and second reading speech can be found on the Bill's home page, or through http://www.aph.gov.au/Parliamentary_Business/Bills_Legislation. When Bills have been passed and have received Royal Assent, they become Acts, which can be found at the ComLaw website at http://www.comlaw.gov.au/.

Purpose

This Bill has four Schedules and the purpose of each Schedule is briefly outlined as follows.

  • Schedule 1 amends the Taxation Administration Act 1953 (the TAA 1953) and other taxation Acts to provide a self assessment regime for: the goods and services tax (GST), the luxury car tax (LCT), the wine equalisation tax (WET) and fuel tax credits, and to harmonise them with the self assessment regime that applies to income tax
  • Schedule 2 amends the A New Tax System (Goods and Services Tax) Act 1999 (the GST Act) to enable the Commissioner of Taxation to make a determination to allow a taxpayer to adjust the net amount in a GST return for a current period, for the errors made in working out net amounts in the GST returns of preceding tax periods.  Similarly, Schedule 2 also amends the Fuel Tax Act 2006 (the Fuel Tax Act) to enable the Commissioner to make a determination to allow a taxpayer to adjust the net fuel amount in a fuel tax return for the current fuel tax period for errors made in working out the net fuel amounts in preceding fuel tax return periods
  • Schedule 3 amends the GST Act to clarify that the wine equalisation tax (WET) and the luxury car tax (LCT) are part of the ‘net amount’ that is calculated under the GST Act, and
  • Schedule 4 amends the GST Act, the Fuel Tax Act, the Income Tax Assessment Act 1997 (ITAA 1997) and the TAA 1953 to make technical corrections and other minor amendments related to the amendments made in the other Schedules to this Bill.

Financial implications

The Explanatory Memorandum to the Bill states that the amendments made by Schedule 1 have negligible net cost to the Budget over the forward estimates.[2] It adds that the financial impact of the amendments made by each of the Schedules 2, 3 and 4 is nil.[3]

Human rights implications

The Explanatory Memorandum includes Statements of Compatibility with Human Rights for each Schedule. The conclusion in each statement is that each Schedule is compatible with human rights as it does not raise any human rights issues.[4]

Background

Board of Taxation review of the legal framework for the administration of the GST

On 27 March 2007, the then Minister for Revenue and Assistant Treasurer, Peter Dutton, announced that he had asked the Board of Taxation (the Board) to consult publicly on the scope to apply consistent self assessment principles across all federally administered taxes (including the goods and services tax).[5] When this review was under way, on 11 June 2008, the then Assistant Treasurer, Chris Bowen, announced that he had asked the Board of Taxation to undertake a review of the legal framework for the administration of the GST including Labor’s BAS Easy.[6] The Board did not proceed with the review which commenced with the instructions given to it on 27 March 2007 and instead commenced the review requested on 11 June 2008.

The terms of reference given to the Board on 11 June 2008 which are relevant to the amendments proposed in this Bill included the following:

“The Board of Taxation should consult with relevant stakeholders and report to the Government on the merits of possible changes to the legal framework for the administration of the goods and services tax. The intent of any possible changes should be to reduce compliance costs, to streamline and improve the operation of the GST and remove anomalies in the following areas:

Liabilities and entitlements – as set out in the Taxation Administration Act 1953 (Tax Administration Act)

For example:

  • refunds of overpaid GST
  • period of review of GST payable and refunds
  • general interest charge
  • rulings

Adjustment and entity rules – as set out in the A New Tax System (Goods and Services Tax) Act 1999 (GST Act)

For example:

adjustments to previously declared GST or input tax credits

  • correcting GST mistakes
  • tax law partnerships and general law partnerships
  • GST grouping
  • joint ventures

Accounting for GST – as set out in the GST Act

For example:

  • attribution of GST and input tax credits and tax invoice requirements
  • tax periods and accounting for GST and calculating GST obligations.

In pursuing the reference, the Board should ensure that its consultations and recommendations focus on the legal framework for the administration of the GST as set out in the Tax Administration Act and GST Act. Whilst the Board may consider related issues to the above categories consistent with its terms of reference, its work should not extend to the rate of the GST or the scope and extent of what goods and services are subject to the GST. The Board should also not examine questions of the Commissioner of Taxation's effectiveness in administering the GST law as these are subject to separate ongoing review by other statutory office holders.”

In December 2008, the Board handed down its report titled Review of the Legal Framework for the Administration of the Goods and Services Tax (the Board’s Report).[7]  The Board made 46 recommendations, some of which have been implemented in previous legislation[8], and some of which are addressed in the current Bill.

Government response to the Board of Taxation Review of the legal framework for the administration of the GST - First Discussion Paper

On 12 May 2009, the Government announced its response to the Board’s report, agreeing to most of the Board’s recommendations.  As part of its response the Government proposed a number of changes to the operation of tax law.  One of the proposed changes was:   

“The indirect tax law will be amended to harmonise, where appropriate, the current self‑actuating system that applies to GST, luxury car tax, wine equalisation tax and fuel tax credits with the self assessment based system that applies to companies and certain other entities for income tax.

In the context of this change, the law will also be amended to ensure that the period of review is refreshed when an amendment is made to a taxpayer’s assessment.”[9]

The Government added that greater standardisation between the administration regimes of the indirect and direct taxes would result in lower compliance costs for taxpayers, with common rules applying across the different taxes.[10]

To assist with the implementation of a number of the accepted recommendations, the Treasury released the First Discussion Paper.  This Paper provided additional   information on how a number of the measures might operate and sought feedback on their design and implementation. The measures explored in the First Discussion Paper included changes to the law relating to adjustments, tax invoices and attribution, and business to business supplies.[11]     

 The Treasury indicated that  further discussion papers would be issued subsequently to deal with other recommendations made in the Board’s report, including the recommendation dealing with self assessment.[12]

Government response to the Board of Taxation Review of the legal framework for the administration of the GST - Second Consultation Paper

On 11 September 2009, the Treasury released the Second Consultation Paper to provide further information on how a number of further measures in response to the Board’s recommendations might operate and sought feedback on their design and implementation. [13] The measures explored in this Paper included the harmonisation of the self-actuating system applying to GST, luxury car tax, wine equalisation tax and fuel tax credits with the self assessment system applying to companies and certain other entities for income tax, and ensuring that the period of review is extended when an amendment is made to a taxpayer’s assessment.[14]      

Release of Exposure Draft of the Bill to give effect to the self assessment regime

On 18 January 2011, the then Assistant Treasurer, Bill Shorten, indicated that the Government would consult on draft legislation to introduce a self assessment system for GST and the other indirect taxes, and establish a generic assessment framework that could be applied broadly across the tax system in the future.[15] The key features of the amendments include:

  • introducing greater harmonisation between the current self actuating system for GST, WET, LCT and fuel tax credits and the income tax system of self assessment
  • refreshing the four year period of review for indirect taxes in cases where the amount of tax payable or refund entitlement has been amended in respect of the particular that led to the amendment
  • clarifying the GST law to confirm that LCT and WET are part of the net amount calculated under the GST Act, and
  • setting up a generic assessment framework for indirect taxes in the Taxation Administration Act 1953 that could be applied more broadly across the tax system in the future.  

Operation of existing law

In The Treasury’s second consultation paper (referred to above)  issues with the operation of the existing law ( the self-actuating system) and the advantages of switching to the self assessment system were summarised as follows:

2.2.1 Currently, the GST, luxury car tax (LCT), wine equalisation tax (WET) and fuel tax credits systems operate on what has been termed a self-actuating basis. Under this system, a taxpayer is automatically liable for tax or entitled to a refund based on the liabilities and entitlements attributable to a tax period. Even if the taxpayer incorrectly states their net amount in their return, they remain liable to pay the correct amount (or entitled to a refund if the amount is negative). This will be the case even if this error is not detected. However, a limitation period (typically four years) applies after which the Commissioner may no longer require payment of any liabilities and the taxpayer may no longer require the payment of any entitlements.

2.2.2 A separate system applies to GST, WET and LCT liabilities that arise upon importation of goods and in certain other circumstances. Such liabilities are not connected to tax periods and do not become part of the net amount. Input tax credits arising from importations and other similar liabilities, however, are included in the net amount.

2.2.3 The full self assessment system which applies to companies and certain other taxpayers for income tax purposes differs from the self-actuating system described above. In the full self assessment system, taxpayers must, at the end of the financial year, assess their total liability and lodge a return with the Commissioner, specifying their taxable income and the tax payable to the Commissioner. The Commissioner is taken to have made an assessment of these specified amounts on the date of lodgment. The return lodged by the taxpayer is treated as the notice of this assessment, served on the taxpayer on the day the assessment is made or is taken to have been made. Taxpayers are required to pay the assessed amount by a specified date, even if the assessment was based on an error of law or fact.

2.2.4 Once a liability has been established in an assessment under the self assessment system, there is no limit on the period in which the Commissioner may seek to recover that liability. There is a period of review in which an assessment may be amended or challenged to address errors. After this period expires, the assessment cannot generally be amended. However, where an assessment is amended, the period of review will be extended in relation to the particular giving rise to the amendment.

What is the self-actuating system that currently operates for the GST, the LCT, WET and fuel tax credits?

Under the self-actuating system, a taxpayer is automatically liable to pay an amount of tax or receive a refund on the basis of the liabilities and entitlements that have accrued in respect of a tax period. Thus section 105-15 of Schedule 1 of the TAA 1953 provides that indirect tax liabilities do not depend on the making of an assessment. It states:

(1)     [A taxpayer’s] liability to pay *indirect tax or a *net fuel amount, and the time by which a *net amount, a net fuel amount or an amount of indirect tax must be paid, do not depend on, and are not in any way affected by, the making of an assessment under this Subdivision.

(2)     The Commissioner’s obligation to pay:

(a)  a *net amount under section 35‑5 of the *GST Act; or

(b)  a *net fuel amount under section 61‑5 of the Fuel Tax Act 2006;

and the time by which it must be paid, do not depend on, and are not in any way affected by, the making of an assessment under this Subdivision.

The asterisks refer to the definitions available under tax law.

Meaning of ‘net amount’ under current law

The Dictionary in the GST Act, at section 195-1 of that Act, states that ‘net amount’ has the meaning given to the expression in sections 17-5, 126-5 and 162-105.  These provisions, and the definition of ‘net fuel amount’ in the Fuel Tax Act 2006 are set out at Appendix A.

The WET Act and the LCT Act provide that amounts of WET and LCT payable or refundable are included in the net amount. However, these amounts are not specifically mentioned in the definition of net amount in the GST Act. Schedule 3 of the Bill contains amendments to the GST Act to clarify the meaning of ‘net amount’ so that it is increased or decreased by amounts of WET and LCT payable or refundable respectively.  Schedule 3 has consequential amendments to the WET Act and the LCT Act to clarify the impact of the WET and the LCT on the definition of net amount in the GST Act.

The amendments in Schedule 3 of the Bill implement recommendation 42 of the Board of Taxation’s Review of the Legal Framework for the Administration of the Goods and Services Tax.

Key provisions

The key provisions of the Bill are aligned with the purpose of each schedule of the Bill, as set out above.

The amendments in Division 1 of Part 1 of Schedule 1 of the Bill deal with the assessment of amounts under indirect tax laws in a self assessment regime and will commence on 1 July 2012.  The commentary below focuses on these key provisions. 

Part 2 of Schedule 1 of the Bill deals with amendments commencing on 1 July 2017. Part 2 repeals certain provisions of the GST Act, the A New Tax System (Goods and Services Tax Transition )Act 1999, the Fuel Tax Act, the ITAA 1997 and the TAA 1953 that cease to have any effect on or after 1 July 2016.

The thrust of the amendments in Schedule 2 of the Bill is to give the Commissioner power to make a determination to allow a taxpayer, when preparing his or her GST return or fuel tax return for the current period, to take account of minor errors made in working out net amounts or net fuel amounts for preceding tax periods or fuel tax return periods respectively.

Schedule 3 of the Bill, as mentioned above, contains amendments to the GST Act to clarify the meaning of ‘net amount’ so that it is increased or decreased by amounts of WET and LCT payable or refundable respectively.

Schedule 4 of the Bill deals with consequential or minor amendments to certain taxation laws relating to the amendments in Schedules 1 to 3.

Amendments proposed in Schedule 1—Assessment of amounts under indirect tax laws

The purpose of the amendments in Schedule 1 is to replace the self-actuating system in tax law relating to the GST, WET, LCT and fuel tax credits with an assessment based system having the same effect as the assessment provisions in Part IV of the Income Tax Assessment Act 1936 (ITAA 1936).

Generic assessment provisions in proposed Division 155 of the Taxation Administration Act 1953

Item 1 of Division 1 of Part 1 of Schedule 1 of the Bill amends the TAA 1953 to insert a new Part 4‑1—Returns and assessments, into Chapter 4 of Schedule 1 of the TAA 1953. This chapter sets out generic taxation collection and recovery rules.

Part 4-1 includes proposed Division 155, which contains rules relating to assessments of assessable amounts and deals with how assessments are made or amended or reviewed and their effect. Proposed Division 155 contains generic assessment provisions for GST, WET, LCT and fuel tax credit liabilities and entitlements.

Meaning of ‘assessable amount’

Proposed subsection 155-5(2) states that each of the following is an assessable amount:

  • a net amount
  • a net fuel amount
  • an amount of an indirect tax not included in an amount covered by another paragraph of proposed subsection 155-5(2), and
  • a credit under an indirect tax law not included in an amount covered by another paragraph of proposed subsection 155-5(2).

Proposed Subdivision 155-A —Making assessments including self-assessments

Proposed subdivision 155-A sets out the significant rules relating to when:

  •  the Commissioner may make an assessment (proposed section 155-5)
  •  the Commissioner must give notice of assessment (proposed section 155-10)
  •  the Commissioner is treated as having made an assessment on the receipt of various returns under the self assessment rules (proposed section 155-15), and
  • the Commissioner is treated as having made an assessment of indirect tax on importations and customs dealing (proposed section 155-20).

When the Commissioner may make an assessment

Proposed subsection 155-5(1) states that the Commissioner may make an assessment of an assessable amount at any time.  This covers an assessment made under the self-assessment regime as well as assessments the Commissioner could make where the taxpayer has failed to lodge a return.

When is the Commissioner treated as having made an assessment under the self assessment system?

Proposed subsection 155-15 deals with self-assessment. Proposed subsection 155-15(1) sets out when the Commissioner is treated as having made an assessment of an assessable amount under proposed subsection 155-5.

  • the Commissioner is treated as having made an assessment of a taxpayer’s net amount for a tax period when the taxpayer’s GST return for the tax period is given to the Commissioner (item 1 of the table in proposed subsection 155-15(1))
  • the Commissioner is treated as having made an assessment of a taxpayer’s net fuel amount for a tax period when the taxpayer’s fuel tax return for the tax period is given to the Commissioner  (item 2 in the table in proposed subsection 155-15(1)), and
  • the Commissioner is treated as having made an assessment of the GST payable by a taxpayer on a taxable importation when a return under paragraph 69(5)(c) or 70(7)(a) of the Customs Act 1901 in relation to the importation is given to Customs (item 3 in the table in proposed subsection 155-15(1)).

Proposed section 155-10 provides that the Commissioner must give a notice of assessment to a taxpayer as soon as practicable after the assessment is made.

When is the Commissioner treated as having made an assessment on importations and customs dealing?

Proposed section 155-20 provides that for GST, WET and LCT payable on importations, the Commissioner is treated as having made an assessment where an import declaration or self‑assessed clearance declaration has been given to Customs and Customs has issued an import declaration advice or self-assessed clearance declaration advice.  The same benchmark applies in determining when the Commissioner is deemed to have served a notice of assessment.

Proposed Subdivision 155-B—Amending assessments

Proposed Subdivision 155-B of Part 1 of Schedule 1 of the Bill sets out details as to when the Commissioner may amend assessments, special rules about amending amended assessments and certain general rules.

In relation to amended assessments initiated by a taxpayer, proposed section 155-40 provides that an application by the taxpayer for the amendment of an assessment of an assessable amount is treated as a notice of the amended assessment if:

  • the application is in the approved form
  • the Commissioner makes the amendment to give effect to the decision on the application during the period of review of the application, and
  • the amendment the Commissioner makes is the entire amendment requested by the taxpayer and nothing else.

When the Commissioner may amend assessments

Proposed subsection 155-35(1) provides that the Commissioner may amend an assessment of an assessable amount within the period of review for the assessment.

Period of review

Proposed section 155-35(2) provides that the ‘period of review’ is the period of four years from the day that the Commissioner first gives notice of the assessment to the taxpayer under proposed subsection 155-10.

Extending the period of review

Proposed subsection 155-35(3) provides that the Federal Court may extend the period of review for a specified period on application by the Commissioner.  The Commissioner may apply for such an extension if he or she has started to examine the affairs of a taxpayer in relation to an assessment and has not completed that examination within the four year period of review.  Before ordering an extension the Federal Court must be satisfied that it was not reasonably practicable, or it was inappropriate, for the Commissioner to complete the examination during the review period due to the behaviour of the taxpayer.

Alternatively, the taxpayer may consent to the extension of the period of review under proposed subsection155-35(4).

Proposed subsection 155-35(5) provides that the period of review may be extended more than once, by order of the Federal Court or by consent of the taxpayer.

Proposed section 155-45 provides that the Commissioner may amend an assessment of an assessable amount at any time, if a taxpayer applies for an amendment in the approved form during the period of review.

Commencement and Application of amendments in Schedule 1

Item 2, in the table in clause 2 of the Bill, states that Part 1 of Schedule 1 of the Bill commences on 1 July 2012. Item 239 of Schedule 1 provides that the amendments made by Division 1, 2 and 3 of Part 1 of Schedule 1 apply in relation to payments and refunds that:

  • relate to tax periods, and fuel tax periods, starting on or after 1 July 2012, and
  • do not relate to any tax periods or fuel tax return periods, and relate to liabilities or entitlements that arose on or after 1 July 2012.

Item 3, in the table in clause 2 of the Bill, states that Part 2 of Schedule 1 commences on 1 January 2017.

Item 4, in the table in clause 2 of the Bill, states that items 265 to 268 commence immediately after the commencement of section 2 of the Minerals Resource Rent Tax (Consequential Amendments and Transitional Provisions) Act 2012.

Item 5, in the table in clause 2 of the Bill, states that items 269 and 270 commence immediately after the time specified in the Minerals Resource Rent Tax (Consequential Amendments and Transitional Provisions) Act 2012 for the commencement of Part 2 of Schedule 2 to that Act. It adds that these provisions do not commence at all if that Act receives the Royal Assent before 1 July 2012.

Item 6, in the table in clause 2 of the Bill states that item 271 commences immediately after the commencement of the Minerals Resource Rent Tax (Consequential Amendments and Transitional Provisions) Act 2012.

Amendments proposed by Schedule 2—Correcting errors in working out amounts under indirect tax laws

Amendments to the GST Act

Section 17-20 of the GST Act allows the Commissioner to make a determination that allows a net amount for a tax period to be worked out to take account of the need to correct errors made in the immediately preceding tax period.

Item 1 of Schedule 2 amends section 17-20 of the GST Act to give the Commissioner the power to make a determination to correct, in a return for the current period, any errors in relation to net amounts for prior tax periods, provided the period of review relevant to the assessment containing the error has not expired.

Item 2 of Schedule 2 states the expression ‘period of review’ has the meaning given by proposed section 155-35 in Schedule 1 to the TAA 1953. The meaning of the expression ‘period of review’ was considered above in the amendments proposed under Schedule 1.

Amendments to the Fuel Tax Act 2006

The Fuel Tax Act does not currently contain a provision that is equivalent to section 17-20 of the   GST Act.  This gap is addressed by item 3 of Schedule 2 of the Bill, which inserts proposed section 60-10 into the Fuel Tax Act to allow the Commissioner to make a determination to correct errors made in working out net fuel amounts in fuel tax returns for preceding tax periods within the time limits for the tax period or fuel tax return period under sections 105-50 and 105-55 of Schedule 1 to the TAA 1953 or the period of review.

Item 4 of Schedule 2 states the expression ‘period of review’ has the meaning given by proposed section 155-35 in Schedule 1 to the TAA 1953. The meaning of the expression ‘period of review’ was considered above in the amendments proposed under Schedule 1.

Commencement and application of the amendments in Schedule 2

Item 7, in the table in clause 2 of the Bill, provides that Schedule 2 commences on 1 July 2012.

Amendments proposed by Schedule 3—Net amounts

Schedule 3 amends the definition of ‘net amounts’ in the GST Act to implement Recommendation 42 of the Board of Taxation’s report titled: Review of the Legal Framework for the Administration of the Goods and Services Tax.  As explored above, recommendation 42 suggested that the law should be amended to clarify that the LCT and the WET are part of the net amount that is calculated under the GST Act.

Items 1 to 7 of Schedule 3 amend the GST Act, and consequential amendments are made to the LCT Act by items 8 and 9, and to the WET Act by items 10 to 12, to achieve the clarification required.

Commencement and application of the amendments in Schedule 3

Item 7, in the table in clause 2 of the Bill, provides that Schedule 3 commences on 1 July 2012.

Amendments proposed by Schedule 4—Minor amendments

Schedule 4 makes consequential or minor amendments to the GST Act, the Fuel Tax Act, the ITAA 1997 and the TAA 1953, mostly related to the amendments contained in Schedules 1 to 3 to this Bill.

A table on pages 58 to 60 of the Explanatory Memorandum gives a brief outline of effect of the amendments to various provisions.

The Explanatory Memorandum to the Bill in paragraph 4.2 on page 57, commenting on the amendments in this Schedule, adds that:

These amendments seek to ensure that the taxation law operates as intended, by correcting technical or drafting defects, removing anomalies and addressing unintended consequences. These amendments are part of the Government’s commitment to the care and maintenance of the taxation laws.

Commencement and application of the amendments in Schedule 4

Item 8 in the table in clause 2 of the Bill states that the amendments in Schedule 4 commence on Royal Assent or 1 July 2012, whichever is earlier.

Appendix A

Meaning of net amount in section 17-5 of the GST Act

Section 17-5 of the GST Act states that a taxpayer’s ‘net amount’ for a tax period is worked out using the following formula:

GST – Input tax credits

where:

GST is the sum of all of the GST for which the taxpayer is liable on the taxable supplies that are attributable to the tax period, and

Input tax credits is the sum of all of the input tax credits to which the taxpayer is entitled for the creditable acquisitions and creditable importations that are attributable to that tax period.

Subsection 17-5(2) states that the net amount for the tax period may be increased or decreased if the taxpayer has any adjustments for the tax periods.

The definition of ‘net amount’ in section 17-5 applies to most of the GST Act.  However, different definitions are provided to calculate the ‘net amount’ in relation to gambling and GST instalment payers.  These definitions are discussed below.

Meaning of net amount in section 126-5 of the GST Act

Division 126 of the GST Act deals with the application of GST to gambling. GST is ascertained by using a global accounting system that provides for an alternative way of working out a taxpayer’s net amounts by incorporating the taxpayer’s net profits from taxable supplies involving gambling.

Meaning of net amount in section 162-105 of the GST Act

Section 162-105 of the GST Act deals with net amounts for GST instalment payers.

Section 195-1 of the GST Act states that the expression ‘GST instalment payers’ has the meaning given to it in section 162-50 of the GST Act. Subsection 162-50(1) states that a taxpayer is a GST instalment payer if they have made an election under section 162-15 to pay GST by instalments. Subsection 162-50(2) states that the taxpayer is a GST instalment payer for a financial year for which their election has effect.

Under section 162-105, if a taxpayer is a GST instalment player, their net amount for an instalment tax period is the difference between:

(a)    the amount that would have been the taxpayer’s ‘net amount’ for the instalment tax period under section 17-5 or section 126-5 of the GST Act, but for section 162-105, and

(b)   the sum of all the GST instalments payable by the taxpayer for the GST instalment quarters of the instalment tax period.

Subsection 162-55(1) of the GST Act provides that the tax period for a GST instalment payer for a financial year is that financial year and subsection 162-55(2) provides that the tax period for a taxpayer who is a GST instalment payer for part of a financial year, is that part of the financial year. Subsection 162-55(3) states that a tax period under section 162-55 is an instalment tax period.

Section 195-1 states that the meaning of instalment tax period is that given in section 162-55.

Meaning of ‘net fuel amount’ in the Fuel Tax Act 2006

The Dictionary in the Fuel Tax Act 2006, at section 110-5 of that Act, states that ‘net fuel amount’ has the meaning t given in section 60-5 of that Act.

In effect the ‘net fuel amount’ for a tax period or for a fuel tax return period is worked out using the formula:

Total fuel tax – total fuel tax credits + total increasing fuel tax adjustments – total decreasing fuel tax adjustments.

where:

total decreasing fuel tax adjustments is the sum of all decreasing fuel tax adjustments that are attributable to the period.

total fuel tax is nil.

total fuel tax credits is the sum of all fuel tax credits to which you are entitled that are attributable to the period.

total increasing fuel tax adjustments is the sum of all increasing fuel tax adjustments that are attributable to the period.

Members, Senators and Parliamentary staff can obtain further information from the Parliamentary Library on (02) 6277 2469.



[1].        Indirect Tax Laws Amendment (Assessment) Bill 2012, Explanatory Memorandum, p. 1.

[2].       Indirect Tax Laws Amendment (Assessment) Bill 2012, Explanatory Memorandum, p. 3.

[3].       Ibid., pp. 4 and 5.

[4].       Ibid., Statement of Compatibility with Human Rights, Chapter 1, paragraphs 1.165 to 1.167 for Schedule 1 amendments; Chapter 2, paragraphs 2.14 to 2.17 for Schedule 2 amendments; Chapter 3, paragraphs 3.19 to 3.22 for Schedule 3 amendments; Chapter 4, paragraphs 4.6 to 4.9 for Schedule 4 amendments.

[5].       P Dutton (Assistant Treasurer and Minister for Revenue), Board of taxation to consult on opportunities to apply consistent self assessment principles across all taxes, media release, no. 026, 27 March 2007, viewed 3 March 2012, http://www.treasurer.gov.au/DisplayDocs.aspx?doc=pressreleases/2007/026.htm&pageID=003&min=pcd&Year=&DocType=0.

[6].       C Bowen (Assistant Treasurer and Minister for Competition Policy and Consumer Affairs), Government acts to reduce compliance costs for business, media release, no. 041, 11 June 2008, viewed 3 March 2012,

http://ministers.treasury.gov.au/DisplayDocs.aspx?doc=pressreleases/2008/041.htm&pageID=003&min=ceb&Year=2008&DocType=0.

[7].       Board of Taxation report titled Review of the Legal Framework for the Administration of the Goods and Services Tax,

http://www.taxboard.gov.au/content/content.aspx?doc=reviews_and_consultations/legal_framework_for_administration_of_gst/default.htm&pageid=007

[8].       Including Tax Laws Amendment (2009 GST Administration Measures) Act 2010; Tax Laws Amendment (2009 GST Administration Measures No. 2) Act 2010; Tax Laws Amendment (2010 Measures No. 5) 2011; and Tax Laws Amendment (2010 GST Administration Measures) Act 2010.

[9] .      C Bowen, (Assistant Treasurer and Minister for Competition Policy and Consumer Affairs, Government acts to reduce compliance costs and improve the tax law, media release, no. 048, 12 May 2009, viewed 3 March 2012, http://ministers.treasury.gov.au/DisplayDocs.aspx?doc=pressreleases/2009/048.htm&pageID=003&min=ceb&Year=2009&DocType=0

[10].      Ibid.

[11].      The Treasury, Implementation of the recommendations of the Board of Taxation’s Review of the Legal Framework for the Administration of the GST, First discussion paper, 12 May 2009, viewed 4 March 2012,

http://www.treasury.gov.au/documents/1525/PDF/Review_of_the_legal_framework_3.pdf.  

[12].      Ibid.

[13].      The Treasury, Implementation of the recommendations of the Board of Taxation’s Review of the Legal Framework for the Administration of the GST - Second consultation paper, September 2009, viewed, 4 March 2012, http://www.treasury.gov.au/documents/1613/PDF/Discussion_Paper_20090911.pdf

[14].      C Bowen, (then Assistant Treasurer and Minister for Competition Policy and Consumer Affairs, Government acts to reduce compliance costs and improve the tax law, media release, no. 048, 12 May 2009, op cit.

[15].      B Shorten, (then Assistant Treasurer and Minister for Financial Services and Superannuation and Minister for Employment and Workplace Relation), Simplifying the tax system: self assessment of indirect taxes, media release, no. 9, 18 January 2011, viewed 4 March 2012,

http://ministers.treasury.gov.au/DisplayDocs.aspx?doc=pressreleases/2011/009.htm&pageID=003&min=brs&Year=&DocType; Exposure Draft of the Bill and Explanatory Memorandum from the Treasury website, 18 January 2011, viewed 4 March 2012, http://www.treasury.gov.au/contentitem.asp?NavId=037&ContentID=1939

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