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Estimating the Transitional Compliance Costs of the GST in Australia: A Case Study Approach


The principal aim of this paper is to present some preliminary estimates of the transitional compliance costs associated with the Goods and Services Tax (GST) in Australia. The results reported here stem from an ongoing Australian Research Council (ARC) Linkage project, which studies the impact of tax reform on small business from a compliance cost perspective. The transitional compliance costs of the GST are defined to encompass both the start up and temporary costs which business taxpayers incur in complying with the GST law. Various conceptual issues relating to transitional costs, including the need to obtain such estimates, are discussed. The paper then briefly reviews previous Australian studies and describes the rationale and methodology of the case study approach adopted in this paper. Finally, the paper provides a summary of the project's preliminary findings on transitional costs and psychological costs relating to the GST.

Author profiles

Dr John Glover
Photo of author, John GLOVER John is a barrister practising in the fields of taxation, trusts and superannuation who has appeared in state and federal courts at all levels. He is also a professor in the Graduate School of School of Business & Law at RMIT University. Professor Glover is the sole author of three books as well as over 60 book chapters and articles in refereed law journals on taxation law, equity and trusts and is a co-author of Ford & Lee: The Law of Trusts. In the 2016-2017 year, Professor Glover worked full time for the Australian Taxation Office examining the relation between the Australian tax system and discretionary trusts linked to high net worth individuals. - Current at 27 October 2020
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Binh Tran-Nam
Binh is a Professor, School of Taxation & Business Law, UNSW Australia and RMIT Asia Graduate Centre, RMIT University Vietnam, and International Fellow, Tax Administration Research Centre, Exeter University-Institute for Fiscal Studies. - Current at 03 November 2016
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