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  • GST Stewardship Group minutes 25 February 2016

    Meeting details

    Venue: ATO Offices, Level 6 Large Conference Room, 6 Gladstone Street, Moonee Ponds

    Date: 25 February 2016

    Start: 9.30am Finish: 2.00pm

    Chair: Tim Dyce

    Secretariat: Alison Zeitlhofer, Indirect Tax, contact phone: 02 6216 1013


    Tim Dyce

    Deputy Commissioner, Indirect Tax, ATO (Co-Chair)

    Paul Southwell

    Assistant Commissioner, Indirect Tax, ATO

    Gordon Brysland

    Assistant Commissioner, Senior Tax Counsel, ATO

    Christopher Lyon

    The Treasury

    Giles Wilmer

    Director, Commonwealth Taxes Unit, Queensland Treasury

    Kevin O'Rourke

    Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand (Co-Chair)

    Chris Plakias

    Head of Tax, GST and Technology Westpac, Member Australian Bankers’ Association

    Ken Fehily

    Principal, Fehily Advisory, Member CPA Australia

    Paul Nielsen

    Chairman, Board of Directors, Council of Small Business of Australia

    Andrew Howe

    Director, Greenwoods and Freehills Pty Ltd, Member Property Council of Australia

    Bastian Gasser

    The Tax Institute

    Andrew Sommer

    Partner, Clayton Utz, Member Law Council of Australia

    Paul Suppree

    Assistant Director, Corporate Tax Association

    George Nikolaou

    Coles Finance

    Professor Michael Walpole

    Professor and Associate Head of School (Research), School of Taxation & Business Law, University of NSW

    Guest attendees

    Marisa Purvis-Smith

    Assistant Commissioner (The Treasury)

    Andy Ditchfield

    Director, Indirect Tax, ATO

    Deborah Jenkins

    Assistant Commissioner, Indirect Tax, ATO

    Srimali Kurukulasuriya

    Facilitator (financial services workshop item), ATO

    David Owen

    Co - Facilitator (financial services workshop item), ATO



    Agenda summary

    • Welcome
    • Update on OECD Working party 9
    • Update on industry issues in terms of new developments / business models
    • Workshop on financial services
    • Next steps summary and close

    Discussion summary

    Welcome - Tim Dyce

    Tim Dyce opened the meeting.

    Minutes of 12 November 2015 endorsed with no outstanding action items.

    Update on OECD Working party 9 - Andy Ditchfield

    In November 2015 OECD Working Party 9 and the Global VAT Forum endorsed both the Business to Business (B2B) and Business to Consumer (B2C) guidelines on international transactions, the key issue for many being the B2C guidelines.

    In addition the Base Erosion and Profit Shifting (BEPS) Action Plan has provided guidance in relation to taxation of low value imports, in particular the recommendations that collection should be scaled, starting with vendor registration of non-residents as the preferred collection mechanism, followed by the use of intermediaries such as carriers, payment systems and platform operators, with collection at the border being the last resort to capture those who do not comply with the first two options of collection.

    Turning to the domestic aspects of these issues, law was introduced to Parliament on 10 February 2016 on the B2C proposals and changes to B2B transactions that have the effect of enabling non-residents to not register for certain B2B supplies that would otherwise be connected. Instead, the reverse charge mechanism will be the means of collection. In relation to low value imports there has been no change to the announcement last year that the law would be changed and, in line with the OECD guidelines, it will be affected through vendor registration.

    Update on industry issues in terms of new developments / business models - open forum

    The ATO is identifying issues around inconsistency, clarity and lack of understanding of certain aspects of GST administration within particular industry groups. The ATO is consulting with industry to unpack these issues and move forward with a degree of consistency, identifying systemic issues as a catalyst to move forward in a coordinated way.

    Members explored the following topics:

    • Mutual credit unions and apportionment
    • Concept of safe harbours
    • Barter transactions
    • Registration and lodgment obligations of trusts
    • Lack of knowledge of some private advisors around importer taxation obligations


    Explore options such as the ability for one entity to nominate another entity to take on responsibility for BAS lodgment.



    Speak with Department of Immigration and Border Protection around messaging for importers and get back to members.

    Workshop on financial services - Tim Dyce and Kevin O'Rourke

    The purpose of this discussion was not to make a recommendation to government or Treasury but purely about exploring and understanding various possible financial services models in an Australian context.

    The session was considered confidential and no minutes were taken.

    Next steps summary and close - Tim Dyce

    It was proposed the next meeting scheduled for 19 May in Sydney might focus on GST related items arising from the Budget. The meeting concluded at 14:00.


    Suggest agenda topics for future meetings.


      Last modified: 29 Apr 2016QC 48826