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On Thursday 14 March 2013, Matthew Nicholls CTA (EY) and Craig Whatman CTA (Pitcher Partners) attended a meeting of the NTLG GST Sub-Committee. At this meeting, participants discussed a number of issues, including:  

  • Appointment of Australian resident public officer for overseas entities – Members discussed the difficulties faced by non-resident entities to  register for GST  in the absence of appointing a public officer. The ATO will review the GST registration process (which currently assumes all applicants will appoint a public officer even though not all non-resident entities will be required to have one) to see whether it can be amended to cater for applicants who  may not be required to appoint a public officer. 
  • Division 81 – Members asked whether the ATO would be issuing any further class rulings for particular government organisations’ fees and charges and whether they were still receiving requests regarding how Division 81 applies. The ATO advised they would issue class rulings on request. The ATO advised that a new practice statement is being developed that may enable government organisations to continue to treat some of the fees and charges listed in the Treasurer's previous determination as being covered by Division 81. A draft version of the practice statement was released for comment.
  • GST treatment of transactions under the carbon pricing mechanism – the ATO issued a draft response to a table submitted by a member outlining several transactions that may arise under the carbon pricing mechanism. 
  • Call options and nominations in relation to acquisitions of real property – Members considered whether an amount payable by the grantee of a call option could form part of the cost base of the real property for the purpose of applying the margin scheme. Members also discussed the position that a call option amounts to a supply of an interest in a derivative. The ATO will consider both issues further. 
  • ADR Facilitation pilot program for indirect tax objections – Generally the ATO had received positive feedback on the trial. However, the trial is still underway and a further 40 to 50 cases are to be included.   

Members who seek further information in relation to any of the above should contact us at Tax Policy