• Definition of food

    To work out the GST status of a food or beverage item, you must first work out whether the item is considered to be food for GST purposes.

    GST law says food is:

    • food for human consumption (whether or not it needs processing or treatment)
    • ingredients for food for human consumption
    • beverages for human consumption (including water)
    • ingredients for beverages for human consumption
    • goods to be mixed with or added to food for human consumption (including condiments, spices, seasonings, sweetening agents or flavourings)
    • fats and oils marketed for culinary purposes
    • any combination of the above.

    The sale of food is GST-free unless it is:

    • food for consumption on the premises it is supplied from
    • hot food for consumption away from the premises
    • food of a kind listed in the table in clause 1 of Schedule 1 of the A New Tax System (Goods and Services Tax) Act 1999 (GST Act)
    • beverages and ingredients for beverages not listed in the table in clause 1 of Schedule 2 of the GST Act
    • food as listed in the GST law.


      Last modified: 05 Aug 2016QC 16413