GST ADVISORY GROUP minutes, October 2013

Meeting details

Venue: Boucher Room, Level 10 Amungula Building, 26 Narellan Street, Canberra


Date: 10 October 2013

Start: 10:00am

Finish: 3:00pm

Chair: James O'Halloran


Secretariat: Stephanie Priestley and Mercia Needham

Contact phone: 02 6216 1368


Australian Taxation Office

James O'Halloran (Chair)

Elizabeth Goli

Gordon Brysland

Paul Southwell


Brenda Berkley

Australian Bankers' Association

Chris Plakias

CPA Australia

Ken Fehily

Coles Finance

George Nikolaou

Council of Small Business of Australia

Peter Strong

Institute of Chartered Accountants in Australia

Michael Croker

Property Council of Australia

Andrew Howe

The Tax Institute

Matthew Nicholls

University of Sydney, Professor of Law

Rebecca Millar


Australian Taxation Office

Brett Martin

States and Territories

John Corlis

Corporate Tax Association

Michelle de Niesse

Key messages

Members agreed that the GST system overall is relatively healthy however there is potentially great value in having this stewardship forum.

All members agreed to reflect on the discussions, which focussed on the health and future of the GST system in operation, and identify or expand on the strategic, systemic and ‘big ticket’ items impacting on the system now and into the future, as suitable for the forum’s focus.

Discussion: The GST system in operation & ATO administration

Discussion drew upon a health of the system assessment, the Compliance in Focus 2103-13 GST, a case study on the GST litigation journey and a brief ATO presentation on GST tax gap methodology. GST gap in particular generated member interest as a well-reasoned indicator of the health of the GST system and indicator of effectiveness of its administration. The discussion also covered the ATO’s focus on providing contemporary services.


The Chair offered an out-of-session meeting for those interested in further exploring the tax gap methodology and report. Members who are interested were advised to email GST Advisory Group. Members also expressed an interest in receiving links to further information on tax gap, and the annual performance report to the States & Territories. These links are:

Measuring tax gaps in Australia for the goods and services tax (GST) and the luxury car tax (LCT)  

GST administration annual performance report 2011-12  

Issue: Forward work plan

A number of broad suggestions were made, including:

  • a focus on reducing compliance costs (based on tax gap discussion):
  • international comparisons;
  • change management.


Members agreed it is early days for this group, and to take best advantage of the opportunity provided by it, they would take the time to reflect and indicate priority focus areas.

Next meeting

February 2014, Melbourne

    Last modified: 06 Nov 2015QC 38588