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As noted in last week's TaxVine, please find below a summary of the NTLG GST Sub-committee held on Wednesday 15 June.

This meeting was attended by Gina Lazanas FTIA (Balazs Lazanas & Welch LLP) and Suzanne Kneen FTIA (Blake Dawson). The group discussed a wide range of GST related issues including the GST treatment of employee accommodation and commercial residential premises (in the context of the rewrite of GSTR 2000/20 which has now been released as GSTR 2011/D2). The Tax Institute expressed support for the position taken by the ATO in relation to the treatment of employee accommodation (as set out in GSTR 2011/D2) but noted that it was a change in the ATO's approach.

Some of the other significant matters discussed were:

  • The ATO's Risk Differentiation Framework including the types of behaviours/criteria that the ATO look at when determining the categorisation of taxpayers;
  • Annual Compliance Arrangements and the obligations and benefits of entering into such an arrangement;
  • The GST treatment of credit card surcharges. The ATO circulated examples setting out its view on the GST treatment of credit card surcharges;
  • The application of section 8AAZN of the Taxation Administration Act 1953 (TAA) regarding recovery of administrative overpayments. The ATO acknowledged that the concept of mistake in this provision must have some limitations. It also assured all members that the ATO considered that section 105-50 of Schedule 1 to the TAA was effective to place a time limit on the recovery of an overpaid GST refund;
  • A practice statement in relation to section 105-65 of Schedule 1 of the TAA is being prepared. There was some concern regarding taxpayers that are seeking refunds which are being held up even where section 105-65 does not apply;
  • The issues arising from the Spriggs case, specifically in relation to the distinction between an employee and enterprise in the context of office holders and the impact this has on PAYG withholding and GST;
  • The implications of the decision in Retirement Village Company and Commissioner of Taxation on GSTR 2011/1. The ATO outlined that it would consider the outcome of the appeal in that case but at this stage was not considering amending GSTR 2011/1 to deal with this decision and the ATO is not going to extend any transitional relief set out in GSTR 2011/1 pending the outcome of the appeal; and 
  • ATO advised of a new publication - Good Governance and Promoter Penalty Laws

Gina Lazanas will be co-chairing The Tax Institute's GST Sub-committee with Suzanne Kneen for the remaninder of 2011. As such, Gina will not be attending the NTLG GST Sub-committee on behalf of The Tax Institute hereon in. Gina indicated to the ATO that it would be her last meeting and the Chair acknowledged the valuable contribution Gina had made representing The Tax Institute since June 2008

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