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Location, location, location – Where are rights for use?


A “supply in relation to rights for use outside Australia” is GST-free under item 4(a) of the table in s 38-190(1) of the A New Tax System (Goods and Services Tax) Act 1999. Since the High Court decision in Travelex Ltd in 2010, the issue of whether particular supplies of rights are for use outside Australia has become particularly important in the context of financial services, which often constitute the supply of rights, in the global economy. The Commissioner has recently issued a draft GST determination about the application of item 4(a) to the supply of a credit card.

This article explores the issue of when rights are for use outside Australia for the purposes of item 4(a). In particular, it analyses the approach adopted by the High Court to determine the location of use and queries whether the views expressed by the Commissioner in the draft determination are consistent with this approach.

Author profile

Matthew Strauch CTA
Matthew is a GST Partner based in Melbourne with over 16 years’ experience in advising on indirect taxes in both Australia and the UK. Matt specialises in financial services and property, and advises on a broad range of commercial arrangements and issues in these sectors. He has significant experience in working with the ATO and in controversy matters. Matt holds an LLB, BComm and LLM. Matt is a Solicitor of the Supreme Court of NSW. - Current at 30 September 2015
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