Published on 01 Jan 03
by "AUSTRALIAN TAX FORUM" JOURNAL ARTICLE
This paper examines the Australian GST treatment of vouchers, focussing on the difficulties that arise in trying to determine the taxable value of supplies made when vouchers are redeemed. It proposes a set of basic GST principles, discusses the way in which Australian GST attempts to embody those principles, and then evaluates the treatment of vouchers by reference to those principles. In the process, it critically examines the Commissioner's draft views on the vouchers regime in Division 100 and proposes an alternative interpretation. Having done so, the paper evaluates both interpretations by reference to one simple and four more complicated voucher transactions, including the supply and redemption of telephone cards, 'free' vouchers, retail loyalty scheme vouchers, and vouchers accepted by a supplier other than the one that issued them. Having concluded that there are insoluble difficulties with the current regime in Division 100, the paper calls for legislative amendment of the GST Act.