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  • 2. Revenue

    $60.2 billion Net GST cash collections
    $4.2 billion Net GST from Home Affairs

    In 2019–20, net GST cash collections (excluding non-GIC penalties) were $60.2 billion, including net Department of Home Affairs collections of $4.2 billion. This was 10.4% ($7.0 billion) below the 2019–20 Budget estimate of $67.2 billion and 7.9% ($5.2 billion) below the Mid-Year Economic Fiscal Outlook (MYEFO) estimate of $65.4 billion.

    The MYEFO downward revision of the original Budget estimate was attributable to lower-than-expected collections and weaker economic forecasts for 2019–20. The final cash collections outcome for 2019–20 was much lower than the revised estimate, reflecting the significant impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the Australian economy. A significant increase in unpaid GST debt, in part due to payment deferrals granted by the ATO to businesses experiencing financial hardship contributed to lower-than-expected collections. GST revenue has also been affected by changes in Australian consumers’ patterns of consumption during the COVID-19 lockdowns in 2020.

    The 2019–20 cash outcome was 7.6% (or $4.9 billion) lower than in 2018–19, reflecting falls in consumption, due to the impacts of COVID-19, and lower dwelling investment. An increase in GST debt also contributed to the fall in GST collections in 2019–20.

    Cash and accruals

    In 2019–20, net GST cash collections were $60.2 billion. However, net GST accrued on a tax liability method (TLM) was $66.7 billion. TLM is defined as being the earlier of the cash payment being received or the associated liability being recognised. The difference between net GST accruals and cash collections was $6.4 billion. The most significant component of this difference is an increase in unpaid debt, due in part to payment deferrals granted to businesses experiencing financial hardship.

    The estimated total statement outcome for June 2019 to May 2020 BAS (BAS that were due in 2019–20) was $59.8 billion, $1.1 billion lower than the corresponding period in 2018–19, mainly due to weakness in the financial and insurance service industry, as well as higher GST refunds to the mining and public administration sectors. Partially offsetting these were higher GST payments from the wholesale trade, professional services and construction industries.

    Figure 3: Revenue (cash) results for 2015–16 to 2019–20

    $ billion. 2019–20 60.2, 2018–19 65.2, 2017–18 63.1, 2016–17 59.8, 2015–16 57.4.

      Last modified: 30 Aug 2021QC 64820