Issue 32

Are raw/unprocessed olives GST-free as food for human consumption?

For source of ATO view, refer to the Detailed food list.

A supply of food will be GST-free under section 38-2 of the A New Tax System (Goods and Services Tax) Act 1999 (GST Act). The term 'food' is defined in subsection 38-4(1) of the GST Act to include 'food for human consumption (whether or not requiring processing or treatment)' emphasis added.

Raw/unprocessed olives supplied as food for human consumption satisfy the definition of food contained in paragraph 38-4(1)(a) of the GST Act.

However, under paragraph 38-3(1)(c) of the GST Act, a supply of food will not be GST-free if it is food of a kind specified in the table in clause 1 of Schedule 1 of the GST Act (Schedule 1).

Raw/unprocessed olives are not specified in Schedule 1.

In addition, the supply of raw/unprocessed olives does not fall within any of the other exclusions in section 38-3 of the GST Act.

Accordingly, the supply of raw/unprocessed olives is a GST-free supply under section 38-2 of the GST Act, even though raw/unprocessed olives are unpalatable and require further processing or treatment prior to consumption.

    Last modified: 05 Aug 2016QC 16451