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  • 9. Providing law clarity and advice

    We offer public and private advice and guidance that addresses GST risks and helps our clients understand their GST obligations, ensuring a level playing field through fit-for-purpose GST public and private advice and guidance.

    In 2019–20, we played a leading role in supporting the Australian community when they needed it most. We provided urgent advice through web guidance to assist bushfire and COVID-19 affected clients with their:

    • GST obligations
    • eligibility for stimulus measures.

    JobKeeper eligibility relies on the GST turnover tests in the GST Act. We published web guidance to assist businesses calculate their GST turnover and assess their eligibility. This advice was supplemented in the Law Companion Ruling LCR 2020/1. We also responded to over 100 requests for general guidance relating to JobKeeper.

    In 2019–20, 565 GST-related private ruling requests were finalised, with 98% finalised within 28 calendar days of receiving all the necessary information. Private ruling requests in 2019–20 decreased by 11.8% compared with the previous year. There were 3,966 guidance cases completed in 2019–20, a decrease of 15.83% from last year.

    The variation in private ruling and guidance requests can be attributed to limited GST law changes compared with previous years.

    In 2019–20 the key advice topics included:

    • GST international and cross-border
    • core provision/special rules
    • property
    • food
    • GST registration.

    In 2019–20, we observed the benefits of providing prompt public guidance – particularly web guidance – for the GST aspects of JobKeeper and the GST treatment of COVID-19 related state and territory government grants. 

    In 2020–21, we aim to continue to identify priority issues that would benefit from targeted and clear web guidance. Public advice and guidance consultation work that was paused due to COVID-19 will recommence.

      Last modified: 30 Aug 2021QC 64820