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  • Trends and latest findings

    Overall the GST gap is relatively stable, ranging from 8.2% to 7.3% during the six years we have measured it. The net gap estimate for 2018–19 of $5.8 billion is 8.1% of the total theoretical GST liability. This represents an increase of approximately $798 million from our revised 2017–18 estimate of 7.3%.

    Table 1: GST gap, 2013–14 to 2018–19

    Element

    2013–14

    2014–15

    2015–16

    2016–17

    2017–18

    2018–19

    Gross gap ($m)

    6,599

    7,000

    7,401

    7,170

    7,445

    8,393

    Amendments ($m)

    2,496

    2,547

    2,255

    2,643

    2,467

    2,618

    Net gap ($m)

    4,103

    4,453

    5,146

    4,527

    4,978

    5,776

    Tax paid ($m)

    51,797

    54,919

    57,465

    61,150

    63,629

    65,254

    Theoretical liability ($m)

    55,899

    59,372

    62,611

    65,677

    68,608

    71,029

    Gross gap (%)

    11.8

    11.8

    11.8

    10.9

    10.9

    11.8

    Net gap (%)

    7.3

    7.5

    8.2

    6.9

    7.3

    8.1

    Figure 1 displays the gross and net gap as a percentage over the same period.

    Figure 1: Gross and net GST gap percentage, 2013–14 to 2018–19

    Figure 1: Graph showing the gross and net gap in percentage terms as outlined in Table 1.

    Theoretical GST for 2018–19 was $71 billion. This represents a 3.5% increase from the revised 2017–18 figure.

    Looking at two major components of the theoretical tax base for GST in detail:

    • Taxable household consumption for 2018–19 increased by 3.2% compared to 2017–18. This represents a slower growth rate compared to 2017–18 (4.3%).
    • New dwelling purchases (as indicated by gross fixed capital formation in dwellings data) increased by 5.1% compared to 2017–18. This represents a slightly weaker growth rate compared to that of 2017–18 (6.1%) and is the lowest observed growth rate in new dwelling purchases since 2012–13.

    GST paid was $65.3 billion for 2018–19. This represents a 2.6% increase from the revised 2017–18 figure.

    Looking at the components of GST paid in detail:

    • Tax paid voluntarily increased by 2.4% to $62.6 billion in 2018–19.
    • Amendments increased by 6.1% to $2.6 billion in 2018–19.

    Voluntary tax paid and amendment figures from 2013–14 to 2018–19 have all been revised using the latest available information (see Table 1).

    Australia’s GST gap compares favourably with similar international tax jurisdictions. Over a five-year timeframe, it is in line with the comparable best performing European Union (EU) member countries. Our estimate compares well with Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs (HMRC) estimate for the United Kingdom.

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      Last modified: 19 Oct 2020QC 57175