GST

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Joe Hockey made policy on the run when he appeared on ABC television’s Q&A. AAP/Lukas Coch

Hockey’s expensive night out

Treasurer Joe Hockey has always been wary of going on Q&A. He was right. Hockey made policy on the run on the program when he agreed that GST shouldn’t be applied to women’s sanitary products and promised…
Uber drivers have been classified as taxi drivers and will have to register for GST. Uber says they will challenge the decision. MAHATHIR MOHD YASIN / Shutterstock.com

GST and ride-sharing: why the ATO believes Uber must pay

A recent decision by the tax office that ride sharing services must pay GST has infuriated Uber. But are they being singled out?
Introducing a so-called ‘Netflix" tax in Australia makes sense. AAP/NewZulu/Richard Goldschmidt

The “Netflix tax” - coming to a country near you

The arrival of Netflix in Australia has brought into sharp relief the GST base erosion problem caused by global digital commerce. Along with the non-taxation of low-value imported goods, the absence of…
The Commonwealth appear to hold the aces when it comes to state-federal funding, but the states have cards to play. AAP/Stefan Postles

Time for states to change the script over GST gains

The stoush over GST redistribution followed a predictable script of squabbling between states; but now is the time for an alternative agenda.
Western Australian Premier Colin Barnett has not responded happily to hints by federal government ministers that his state must privatise assets if they want a larger slice of the GST pie. AAP Image/Sarah Motherwell

Federalism the loser as Hockey ransoms GST to push WA reforms

Western Australia should not be bullied into microeconomic reform and privatisation by the federal government while their slice of the GST is held to ransom.
Treasurer Joe Hockey is likely to have an easier time selling a package of tax reforms rather than individual changes. Tracey Nearmy/AAP

How increasing the GST could boost our standard of living

Changing the GST in isolation would create serious problems, but increasing it alongside other reforms could have a major upside.
Treasurer Joe Hockey said that Australia’s heavy reliance on income taxes ‘may be unsustainable’. AAP/Mick Tsikas

Tax paper shows bracket creep is stalking Australian taxpayers

The government's long awaited tax discussion paper says Australia has a relatively low tax burden compared to other developed countries but its system faces "challenges from a changing world".
Can everyone be a winner from comprehensive tax reform? Image sourced from Shutterstock.com

Tax reform - can we ALL win?

Just what are the issues we need to watch when it comes to tax reform? Read this explainer.
Political, not legal hurdles, stand in the way of the Australian Prime Minister increasing the GST. Lukas Coch/AAP

Why the Commonwealth can change the GST without the states

Under Australian law, changes to the GST are said to be not permitted unless the states agree to the changes. In reality, the GST lock-in mechanism is legally meaningless and unenforceable, though it may…
History tells us it’s better for countries to get their GST right to start with, rather than try to broaden the base later. Natalie Boog/AAP

What can other countries teach us about GST reform?

Value added tax (VAT), virtually non-existent before 1960, has been the predominant form of consumption tax since the mid-1980s. Given that more than 160 countries now have a VAT, it is hardly surprising…

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