Last Thursday, 24 June 2010, Gina Lazanas FTIA (Balazs Lazanas & Welch LLP) represented the Taxation Institute at the ATO's NTLG GST Sub-group.
The main issue discussed at the meeting was the proposed transition to the indirect tax rulings regime. The latest ATO release regarding this issue can be found here.
The message from the ATO was that it is not the ATO's intention to walk away from any ATO publications. However, it appears that approximately only 4% of precedent views will be transitioned from the industry issues registers (about 69 items) (the balance being not being considered to contain precedents or else covered in other rulings).
In relation to the industry association rulings, the ATO is of the view that they are not private rulings, despite some being labelled as such. In response to queries about other ATO publications (eg. fact sheets), the only other ATO publication that it appears will be transitioned as a public ruling is the Detailed Food Guide. Note that the GS1 Food List is not a public ruling as it is not issued by the Commissioner.
The ATO also clarified that the 12 month moratorium in respect of no active compliance of issues arising from industry association rulings relied upon, should be treated as being in respect of activities in the next twelve months so that taxpayers are protected whenever the ATO audit activity takes place. Treasury also confirmed that that was in the spirit of what the moratorium intended.