• Flow chart: Food

    1. Is the product listed on the Detailed food list?

    Yes

    Treat your food item as GST-free or taxable as indicated

    No

    Go to question 2

    1. Is the product an exempt food additive?

    Condiments, spices, seasoning, sweetening and flavouring agents such as tomato sauce, jam, cinnamon, cloves, salt, saccharin and vanilla essence are GST-free when packaged and marketed for retail sale.

    Essential nutritional ingredients such as sugar, fat, carbohydrates, amino acids, vitamins and minerals used in the manufacture of food are also GST-free.

    Yes

    GST-free

    No

    Go to question 3

    1. Is the product a fat or oil marketed for cooking or preparing food?

    Yes

    GST-free

    No

    Go to question 4

    1. Is the product considered to be food or an ingredient for food or a beverage? (see Definition of food)

    Beverages are drinks that are consumed to quench thirst or provide nourishment.

    Food or ingredient for food

    Go to question 5

    Beverage or ingredient for a beverage

    Go to question 13

    1. Is the product any of the following?
    • a live animal other than a crustacean or mollusc
    • unprocessed and untreated grain, cereal or sugarcane
    • a living food plant (for example, a lettuce seedling or potted herb).

    Yes

    Taxable

    No

    Go to question 6

    1. Is the product sold for consumption on the premises or as take-away hot food?

    Food prepared on the premises for dine-in, or hot food to be taken away from a restaurant/take-away, is taxable.

    Yes

    Taxable

    No

    Go to question 7

    1. Is the product a prepared food?

    Prepared foods directly compete against take-aways and restaurants and are taxable. It does not matter whether they are sold hot, cold or frozen; or require some additional preparation before being eaten. Examples include quiche, sandwiches, pizza, platters prepared in a delicatessen, burgers and hot dogs.

    Prepared food may also be a prepared meal that directly competes with takeaways and restaurants, needs refrigeration for its storage and is marketed as a prepared meal (see Prepared meals).

    Yes

    Taxable

    No

    Go to question 8

    1. Is the product confectionery?

    Confectionery is a sweet marketed to be eaten as is or a product that is marketed as an ingredient for confectionery. Candied peel or plastic packaged dried fruit used in a cake are not confectionery.

    Yes

    Taxable

    No

    Go to question 9

    1. Is the product a savoury snack?

    Savoury snacks such as potato chips; corn chips; bacon crackling; prawn chips; salted, spiced, smoked or roasted seeds or nuts; and caviar, are taxable. Similar foods are also taxable – for example: cassava chips, herb and vegetable chips, banana chips, meat chips, prawn crackers, cheese chips and carp roe (tarama).

    Yes

    Taxable

    No

    Go to question 10

    1. Is the product a bakery product?

    Staple foods like plain bread and bread rolls are GST-free.

    But other bakery products like cakes, pancakes, muffins, pavlovas, pies, tarts, baklava, doughnuts, croissants, scones, scrolls and bread and buns with a sweet filling or coating are taxable.

    Yes

    Taxable

    No

    Go to question 11

    1. Is the product an ice-cream food?

    Ice-cream and other frozen foods like flavoured ice blocks, frozen yoghurt, frozen and other manufactured and ready-to-eat frozen fruit products, and frozen confectionery products are taxable. Similar foods (for example, gelato and sorbet) are also taxable.

    Yes

    Taxable

    No

    Go to question 12

    1. Is the product biscuit goods?

    Biscuits, cookies, crackers, crispbreads, pretzels, cones and wafers are almost always taxable, even if they are sold frozen or as a pre-cut biscuit mix.

    Exceptions include rusks for babies or invalids, dried bread products like mini toasts, biscuit type products sold as breakfast food and biscuit type products made from compressed cereal (for example, rice cakes and corn thins).

    Yes

    Taxable

    No

    GST-free

    Find out more

    If you’re still unsure, whether GST applies to your food item, phone us (refer to How we can help).

    End of find out more
      Last modified: 05 Aug 2016QC 16413