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2012 National GST Intensive

Published on 06 Sep 2012 | Took place at Hilton Sydney , National

    The Tax Institute’s annual GST Intensive is the pre-eminent national conference for the GST specialist. Keynote speakers this year included Deputy Commissioner Indirect Tax, James O’Halloran and Deputy Chief Tax Counsel Robert Olding, CTA, both of the Australian Taxation Office covering the administrative and technical side of GST.
    This year, in light of the ongoing discussion about GST, Michael Evans, FTI, presented on GST reform. This was an enlightening session where practitioners heard about the latest developments in this space. Other sessions covered off the latest issues arising in the areas of wealth management, infrastructure projects and compensation for loss. The final session, on GST and real property, a significant and complex area for many practitioners when giving advice, given the quantum of funds involved, was a session of particular relevance given the Australian Taxation Office’s recent treatment of refunds.

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Individual sessions

Joint keynote address

Author(s):  James O'HALLORAN,  Robert OLDING

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Contents of this paper as follows:

1. Overview

2. GST Law

  • public rulings
  • dispute resolution
    • overview of GST litigation landscape
    • alternative dispute resolution
    • looking back - some reflections on outcomes of litigation
    • cases in the pipeline
  • amending the legislation
  • allocation of ATO technical resources

3. Compliance matters

  • micro enterprises
  • small and medium enterprises
  • large market

4. Concluding remarks

Materials from this session:

El Condor Pasa - Is GST change inevitable?

Author(s):  Michael B EVANS

Recent amendments have tinkered with the GST law through ad hoc responses to specific areas of concern and changes in compliance and administration arrangements. However, enhancements to the scope of GST, its base and its rate, have eluded us. “If we only could ...” what are the things “we surely would” change?

This paper covers the following:

  • Are there flaws in the base of the Australian GST that should be addressed?
  • Are there distortions resulting from an imperfect tax base – are they important enough to address?
  • Does it make sense to increase the rate of GST?
  • What are the practical and political limitations to making GST changes?
  • What we can learn from international best practice and international trends?
  • Are the anomalies and annoyances under the current rules of significance?
  • What parts of the existing system could be done better?
  • If change is inevitable would we rather be the hammer than the nail?
Materials from this session:

GST issues and wealth management

Author(s):  Bill PACKWOOD,  Amelia O'Rourke

This presentation provides a practical walk through some of the considerations in the wealth management industry and highlight some of the more important issues in an industry that incorporates a number of aggregated financial services.

Areas covered in this presentation include:

  • life insurance
  • recent experiences
  • M&A activity
  • new financial regulations.
Materials from this session:

GST and infrastructure projects

Author(s):  Tony WINDLE,  Patrick LAVERY

From the maligned PPP model and state government asset sales, to private userfunded models, the investment in Australia’s core infrastructure will need to increase in the coming decades. This case study and workshop paper unpacks the GST issues associated with these complex structures and projects, and covers:

  • issues regarding non-monetary consideration including valuation and attribution Investment structures
  • financing issues – securitisation, lease premiums and progressive supplies
  • contractual issues
  • tripartite issues including the decision in Department of Transport.
Materials from this session:

Compensation for loss: Settlement arrangements, court orders and warranty claims

Author(s):  Geoff MANN,  Nika Dharmadasa,  Jayr Teng

Most businesses will be exposed in some way to issues concerning compensation for loss, whether through insurance or damages or warranty claims. Natural disasters in recent times have brought insurance issues into particular focus.

This paper covers:

  • basic concepts
    • taxable supply
    • supply
    • consideration
  • compensation for loss
    • statute
    • contract
    • voluntary payments
  • settlement arrangements
    • the ATO’s view - GSTR 2001/4
    • GST clauses
  • court or tribunal orders
    • making of an order
    • quantum meruit
    • court order amended for GST
  • apportionment
  • costs
  • cnterest (pre and post judgement)
  • waiver of the requirement to hold a tax invoice / adjustment note
  • settlement arrangement tips
  • warranty
    • background
    • ATO's View – GSTD 2006/1 and GSTD 2006/2
    • cases
    • analysis
    • proposed amendments to GST-free treatment of warranties
    • breach of warranty.
Materials from this session:

Compensation for loss: GST issues from the insured's perspective

Author(s):  Michael Flanderka

Most businesses will be exposed in some way to issues concerning compensation for loss, whether through insurance or damages or warranty claims. Natural disasters in recent times have brought insurance issues into particular focus.

This paper covers:

  • insurance premiums
    • general observations
    • scenario 1 – standard business asset insurance
    • scenario 2 – transit insurance for staff relocations
  • insurance claims
    • general rules
    • disclosure of input tax credit entitlement to the insurer
    • excess payments
    • insurance settlements – general observations
      • cash settlements
      • property settlements
      • supplies of goods
      • ex-gratia insurance settlements.
Materials from this session:

GST case update

Author(s):  Cathryn FERRARIS,  Cindy Zhang

The rate at which the GST is evolving can be overwhelming. In 2011-2012 there was significant examination of fundamental concepts and this paper provides timely, technical content and insightful commentary on the matters.

This paper gives updates on cases in the following areas:

  • GST Liability / Taxable supply
  • GST-free: exports
  • GST returns
  • grouping
  • incapacitated entities 
  • input tax credits / creditable acquisitions
  • objections 
  • partnership / joint venture
  • penalty tax
  • refunds
  • second hand goods
  • transitional provisions.
Materials from this session:

Managing GST/VAT in the Asian century

Author(s):  Lachlan R WOLFERS

The 21st century is being labelled the “Asian century”, and Australian businesses are playing a critical role. Multinational organisations and their tax managers need to be mindful of both technical developments and cultural issues in managing indirect axes in Asia. This paper provides key indirect tax developments throughout the Asian region, as well as sharing some of his experiences in the culture of the way that indirect taxes are managed in Asia.

This paper covers:

  • VAT / GST reforms throughout the region – issues and opportunities for multinational companies
  • How to deal with the tax authorities and your own tax and finance teams more effectively
  • Why understanding the culture of managing taxes in Asia matters
  • How to manage tax risks in an uncertain environment
  • What can be learned from other jurisdictions for the future development of GST in Australia.VAT / GST reforms throughout the region – issues and opportunities for multinational companies
  • How to deal with the tax authorities and your own tax and finance teams more effectively
  • Why understanding the culture of managing taxes in Asia matters
  • How to manage tax risks in an uncertain environment
  • What can be learned from other jurisdictions for the future development of GST in Australia.
Materials from this session:

Cross border transactions: GST update

Author(s):  Denis MCCARTHY

This paper updates recent issues and discussions relating to cross border transactions and GST.

It covers:

  • Board of Taxation recommendations - current status
  • the jurisdictional reach of Australia’s GST 
  • 2012 budget announcement
  • supplies of goods by Non-residents
  • GST Permanent establishment 
  • low value threshold for imported goods
  • non-resident agency provisions
  • transport – subdivision 38-K.
Materials from this session:

Refunds and the brave new world of section 105-65

Author(s):  Michelle BENNETT

This paper looks at the following in relation to section 105-65:

  • framework
  • Has an amount been overpaid
    • amounts paid and refunds unpaid
    • giving the Commissioner the Luxury of Time
    • is it the right type of refund?
  • What is the nature of the discretion?
    • the Commissioner’s power (of positive thinking)
    • the presumption considered in National Jet and MTAA
Materials from this session:

Aquisition supplies

Author(s):  Andrew SOMMER,  Brad MILLER

The concept of “acquisition supplies” was a deliberate inclusion in the GST Regulations, but did anyone really understand the far-reaching consequences this apparent oxymoron would have on the interpretation and administration of GST? Long the subject of questions over their very validity, have they now escaped to wreak havoc in a way never intended? This paper explores the rationale for the inclusion of the concept within the GST Regulations, the impact of recent cases on their practical consequences and possible problems for the future. This paper focuses, in particular on:

  • a world without acquisition supplies?
  • the original intent of including acquisition supplies
  • current implications – Travelex and the Commissioner’s views on acquisition supplies.
Materials from this session:

GST and E-commerce

Author(s):  Jeremy GEALE,  Alison Sharpe

Online shopping is finally showing signs of living up to its hype, and as Australia’s consumer landscape is shifting Australian retailers are exploring new ways to compete both here and abroad. Meanwhile, Australia’s “taxpayers” are getting iPods shipped straight from China and logging onto eBay to buy a US iTunes card so they can download the latest music and back up to a cloud server as they catch the morning train. But as sure as death and taxes, electronics break down, warranties are invoked and local repairs are arranged by the international manufacturers.

This paper looks at GST in a virtual world:

  • How does our “consumption” tax actually operate?
  • How do we define our borders?
  • How do we minimise compliance burdens and still protect our tax base?
  • Where is it all heading?
Materials from this session:

Consideration reconsidered

Author(s):  Kevin O'ROURKE

There is now a growing body of Australian jurisprudence and ATO publications on the meaning of “consideration” under the GST law. This paper examines:

  • the nexus between supply and consideration (as has arisen in the Qantas litigation)
  • the consideration allocated by the parties (such as with the Luxottica decision)
  • third party consideration (raised in Victorian Department of Transport and TT Line)
  • non-monetary consideration.
Materials from this session:

GST and real property

Author(s):  Scott MCGILL,  Heydon MILLER

This paper looks at a number of areas which are still of concern for the property industry taking account of recent legislative developments, current cases and public rulings in this area. This paper explores a range of issues, including the dichotomy between residential premises and commercial residential premises and the Commissioner’s approach to the retirement living sector.

This paper covers:

  • retirement villages
  • partnerships
  • commercial residential
  • student accommodation.
Materials from this session:

GST ruling system in practice

Author(s):  Mark L ROBERTSON

The rate at which the GST is evolving can be overwhelming. In 2011-2012 there was significant examination of fundamental concepts and this “must resd” paper will provide timely, technical content and insightful commentary on the matters that have shaped the world in which we manage the GST.

This paper covers:

  • cases update
  • cross-border issues, including relevant BoT reforms
  • new rulings system in practice
  • refunds and the brave new world of s 105-65.
Materials from this session: