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Matthew Nicholls FTIA (Ernst & Young), Gina Lazanas FTIA (Balasz Lazanas & Welch) and Tax Counsel Deepti Paton ATIA attended a meeting of the ATO’s NTLG GST sub-committee. At this meeting, participants discussed the following issues (among others):

  • The potential disclosure by the ATO of its submissions to the Federal Court or High Court in various cases that have a significant impact on the operation of tax laws. The ATO agreed to discuss this issue further, and has reported the issue to the main NTLG for consideration.
  • The ATO’s anticipated release of the rewritten former PSLA 2002/12. The ATO noted that release of this practice statement (in draft) was expected in coming months.
  • Concerns in relation to the tax outcome when only part of a supply constitutes a “going concern”.
  • The ATO’s response to the Federal Court’s decision in Sunchen. The ATO noted that in their view, the most relevant consideration was the “attributes” of the premises.
  • The applicable consultative framework in respect of indirect tax issues. The ATO provided participants with a summary of the major consultations they had engaged in, in relation to indirect tax products, in accordance with earlier discussions of the sub-committee.
  • The Commissioner’s view on GST refunds as expressed in MT 2010/1. The ATO confirmed that merely making a refund claim will not give rise to a false or misleading statement – other factors must also be present.
  • Ongoing consultation in respect of the apportionment of input tax credits in the context of making financial supplies.
  • The appropriate GST treatment of credit card surcharges i.e. whether the surcharge constitutes part of the consideration for the original supply.
  • Ongoing consultation in respect of the treatment of input tax credits in the course of M&A transactions. The ATO is expected to release a fact sheet on this issue in the coming months.
  • Concerns in relation to ATO responses to voluntary disclosures. The Tax Institute informed the ATO that members were experiencing significant delays in obtaining responses to voluntary disclosures made by taxpayers. The ATO undertook to look into the issue and noted that where taxpayers have made a voluntary disclosure that has not been processed within the ATO’s service standard, taxpayers will be protected from interest that accrues (but not penalties) payable after the time period quoted in the service standard has lapsed.
  • Lodgment and processing of BAS. The ATO acknowledged that in some cases BASs are not being processed appropriately, and agreed to look into the issue.

Should you require any further information in relation to the above, please do not hesitate to contact us at Tax Policy.