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Constitutional problems in the goods and services tax

Publication date: 01 Jun 99 | Source: AUSTRALIAN TAX REVIEW

Issue: Vol 28, No 2

Pages: pp.69-80

Section 55 of the Constitution requires that laws imposing taxation shall deal with subject of taxation only. The GST is a tax on goods, services and much more. GST is imposed by only 3 acts and separate subjects of taxation for each are not clearly discernible. Senators queried the validity of the GST bills on s.55 grounds during passage but no legal advice was forthcoming from Treasury. Has the drafter found a way to evade s.55 successfully or is the treasury gambling on a generous High Court re-interpretation in favour of the Executive Government's taxing Acts? asks the author.

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Author profiles

David Cominos CTA
David is a tax partner with Clayton Utz Brisbane and has been involved in structuring, documenting and advising upon many forms of purchase and sale of business interests. He is a member of the State Council and National Technical Committee of the Taxation Institute and the National CGT Liaison Committee. - Current at 06 March 2003
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Dr Terence Dwyer CTA
Terry is Visiting Fellow, National Centre for Development Studies, Asia Pacific School of Economics and Management, Australian National University. - Current at 06 January 2003
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