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The Government will take steps to streamline and improve the legal framework for the administration of the GST by implementing a number of recommendations made by the Board of Taxation following its review of this issue. The package of reforms will reduce the compliance costs of the GST and achieve greater standardisation between the GST and income tax regimes. In addition, reviews are being undertaken by Treasury of the GST margin scheme provisions and the GST financial services provisions to simplify their operation whilst maintaining the current policy.

The key components of the package announced by the Government include:
  • harmonising the GST law and the income tax self assessment regime and rulings regime;
  • adopting more principled and flexible GST grouping rules;
  • simplifying the GST adjustment provisions; and
  • reforming the GST treatment of sales of going concerns and farmland.
Following on from the Board’s review in GST administration, the Government has further asked the Board to examine the application of the GST to cross-border transactions, with a particular focus on the extent of involvement of non-residents in the GST. This review will ensure that transactions are treated in an efficient and effective way under the GST.

The Government will further improve the operation of the GST law through amendments that will streamline its application to the domestic transport of imported and exported goods. This measure is subject to the unanimous agreement of the States and Territories.

Most of the recommendations with substantial changes to the GST law will apply from 1 July 2010, with recommendation 20 applying from 7.30pm (AEST) on 12 May 2009.

For more information, see the Assistant Treasurer's media release, No 2009/48, 12 May 2009, and  media release, No 2009/42, 12 May 2009

For a copy of the Board's report, go here

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