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In media release No 2011/09, issued 18 January 2011, the Assistant Treasurer and Minister for Financial Services and Superannuation, Bill Shorten, announced amendments to Australia's tax laws to allow taxpayers to self assess indirect taxes such as the GST and wine equalisation tax (WET).

The Government is currently consulting on draft legislation that introduces a self assessment system for GST and the other indirect taxes, and establishes a generic assessment framework that could be applied broadly across the tax system in the future.

The key features of the amendments include:

  • Introducing greater harmonisation between the current self actuating system for GST, WET, LCT and fuel tax credits and the income tax system of self assessment
  • Refreshing the four year period of review for indirect taxes in cases where the amount of tax payable or refund entitlement has been amended in respect of the particular that led to the amendment
  • Clarifying the GST law to confirm that LCT and WET are part of the net amount calculated under the GST Act
  • Setting up a generic assessment framework for indirect taxes in the Taxation Administration Act 1953 that could be applied more broadly across the tax system in the future.

The changes are to have effect from 1 July 2011. Consultation closes on Tuesday, 15 February 2011.


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