Show download pdf controls
  • 12 Water, Sewerage and Sullage

    12.1 Water

    12.1.1 - Irrigation Water

    Question

    What is the GST treatment of irrigation water, irrigation licences, and farmers who buy and sell water rights between each other.

    Answer

    The supply of irrigation water is a GST-free supply as provided by section 38-285 of A New Tax System (Goods and Services Tax) Act 1999 (GST Act).

    Licence fees that are payable for the right to use water will be GST-free as provided by paragraph 9-30(1)(b) of the GST Act. This subsection provides that a supply of a right to receive a supply that is GST-free will also be GST-free.

    Other licence fees and admin charges may be a GST-free supply if specified in a written determination made by the Treasurer as provided by section 81-5(2) of the GST Act.

    The sale and/or trading of water rights are GST-free supplies as provided by section 9-30(1)(b) of the GST Act and as stated in paragraphs 25-28 of Goods and Services Tax Ruling GSTR 2000/25 - Goods and Services Tax: GST-free supplies of water, sewerage like services, storm water draining services and emptying of a septic tank.

    Explanation

    These issues are considered in GSTR 2000/ 25 - Goods and Services Tax: GST-free supplies of water, sewerage-like services, storm water draining services and emptying of a septic tank.

    12.2 Sewerage

    12.2.1 - What is the GST treatment of sewerage and sewerage-like services (eg night cans, sullage tanks, and bio-systems)?

    Question

    What is the GST treatment of sewerage and sewerage-like services (eg night cans, sullage tanks, and bio-systems)?

    Answer

    The supply of sewerage and sewerage-like services are GST-free supplies provided that the conditions set out in section 38-290 of A New Tax System (Goods and Services Tax) Act 1999 (GST Act) are met.

    Explanation

    Section 38-290 of the GST Act provides that:

    (1) A supply of sewerage services is GST-free.

    (2) A supply that consists of removing waste matter from residential premises is GST-free if:

    (a) the premises are not serviced by sewers; and

    (b) the waste matter is of a kind that would normally be removed using sewers if the premises were serviced by sewers.

    (3) A supply that consists of servicing a domestic self-contained sewage system is GST-free.

    Sewerage-like services are supplies which consist of removing waste matter from residential premises where the premises are not serviced by sewers, and the waste matter is of a kind that would normally be removed using sewers if the premises were serviced by sewers. This means that households that use units such as 'night cans', sullage tanks, and 'bio-systems' will not pay GST on the service of emptying those units.

    These issues are considered further in Goods and Services Tax Ruling GSTR 2000/ 25 - Goods and Services Tax: GST-free supplies of water, sewerage-like services, storm water draining services and emptying of a septic tank.

      Last modified: 07 Jan 2005QC 17856