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Cash flow benefit from GST: Is it realised by small businesses in Australia?

Published on 01 Sep 14 by "AUSTRALIAN TAX FORUM" JOURNAL ARTICLE

When introducing the GST the Federal Government expressed that there would be the potential for business operators to gain a cash flow benefit from holding the GST revenue collected before remittance. However, it is not clear whether this has been realisable by all business sizes especially small businesses. Considering that small businesses are a major contributor of employment in the private sector and recognised as being capable of having a significant influence on future economic stability of the nation, it is important to determine how the GST affects small business cash flow and assess whether a benefit is in fact obtained.

This article reports a multiple case study of small (including micro) businesses with annual turnover of less than $10 million and a full time work force of less than 20 employees. The research explored whether small business participants perceived that there was a cash flow benefit from holding the GST liability for a period of time before it was due to be paid to the Australian Taxation Office. Findings suggest that the realisation of cash flow benefit for businesses trading with other businesses appears to be restricted, particularly as a result of terms of trade with other businesses.

Author profiles

Dr Brett Freudenberg CTA
Photo of author, Brett FREUDENBERG Brett Freudenberg is an Associate Professor – Taxation at Griffith University (Australia). Brett is known for his research expertise in the tax law and policy issues facing private enterprises, as evidenced by his Fulbright Scholarship (2006) and over 50 refereed publications in leading Australian and international journals. Associate Professor Freudenberg’s research has analysed whether Australia should introduce a tax flow-through company (S Corporation), the tax treatment of discretionary trusts and the motivation for choice of business structure. Associate Professor Freudenberg’s research has informed government policy as he was invited to present his PhD research findings to the Australian Treasury as part of the Henry Tax Review. Brett is passionate about education being a transformative process, and his effectiveness as a teacher has been recognised through five national awards (including the award of two Australian Learning and Teaching Council citations: 2008 & 2011). - Current at 29 May 2017
Click here to expand/collapse more articles by Brett FREUDENBERG.
Dr Brett Freudenberg CTA
Brett Freudenberg is an Associate Professor – Taxation at Griffith University (Australia). Brett is known for his research expertise in the tax law and policy issues facing private enterprises, as evidenced by his Fulbright Scholarship (2006) and over 50 refereed publications in leading Australian and international journals. Associate Professor Freudenberg’s research has analysed whether Australia should introduce a tax flow-through company (S Corporation), the tax treatment of discretionary trusts and the motivation for choice of business structure. Associate Professor Freudenberg’s research has informed government policy as he was invited to present his PhD research findings to the Australian Treasury as part of the Henry Tax Review. Brett is passionate about education being a transformative process, and his effectiveness as a teacher has been recognised through five national awards (including the award of two Australian Learning and Teaching Council citations: 2008 & 2011). - Current at 29 May 2017
Dr Brett Freudenberg CTA
Brett Freudenberg is an Associate Professor – Taxation at Griffith University (Australia). Brett is known for his research expertise in the tax law and policy issues facing private enterprises, as evidenced by his Fulbright Scholarship (2006) and over 50 refereed publications in leading Australian and international journals. Associate Professor Freudenberg’s research has analysed whether Australia should introduce a tax flow-through company (S Corporation), the tax treatment of discretionary trusts and the motivation for choice of business structure. Associate Professor Freudenberg’s research has informed government policy as he was invited to present his PhD research findings to the Australian Treasury as part of the Henry Tax Review. Brett is passionate about education being a transformative process, and his effectiveness as a teacher has been recognised through five national awards (including the award of two Australian Learning and Teaching Council citations: 2008 & 2011). - Current at 29 May 2017
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