GST issues registers

Food industry partnership

This issues register, originally published on our main website, provides guidance on issues identified during past consultation with industry participants.

Issues in this register that are a public ruling can now be found in the Public Rulings section of this Legal Database.

Issues in this register that have not been labelled as public rulings, constitute written guidance. We are committed to providing you with accurate, consistent and clear information to help you understand your rights and entitlements and meet your obligations.

If you follow our information on these issues and it turns out to be incorrect, or it is misleading and you make a mistake as a result, we must still apply the law correctly. If that means you owe us money, we must ask you to pay it but we will not charge you a penalty. Also, if you acted reasonably and in good faith we will not charge you interest. If correcting the mistake means we owe you money, we will pay it to you. We will also pay you any interest you are entitled to.

If you feel that the guidance in this issues register does not fully cover your circumstances, or you are unsure how it applies to you, you can seek further assistance from us.


Where an issue in this issue register simply sets out the way the law applies, rather than dealing substantially with a question of legal interpretation, we have added to the item the description 'non-interpretative'.

For GST, Luxury Car Tax and Wine Equalisation Tax purposes, from 1 July 2015, where the term 'Australia' is used in this document, it is referring to the 'indirect tax zone' as defined in subsection 195-1 of the GST Act.

This is a register of food issues the ATO has determined. Click on the link to view the issue of interest to you.

(a) added, (u) updated, (w) withdrawn

Date Issue
18/01/01 (u) Issue 1 – What is food?
27/07/00 (u) Issue 2 – Farm to 'food' product transformation
30/03/01 (u) Issue 3 – Grain
14/03/00 (a) Issue 4 – Premises This issue is addressed in two ATO determinations (GSTD 2000/4 and GSTD 2000/5)
16/05/01 (u) Issue 5 – Prepared food
14/03/00 (a) Issue 6 – Packaging This issue is the subject of a determination (GSTD 2000/6). It considers when a supply of food packaging is GST-free.
15/03/02 (w) Issue 7 – The previous information has been withdrawn pending the placement of up to date information
28/02/24 (w) Issue 8 – Hampers
28/05/01 (u) Issue 9 – Fats and oils
18/05/00 (a) Issue 10 – Ingredients for beverages
12/07/02 (u) Issue 11 – Are food additives GST-free under section 38-2 of the GST Act?
26/05/00 (a) Issue 12 – Food marketed as confectionery or ingredients for confectionery
16/02/01 (u) Issue 13 – What is a 'pudding'?
03/10/01 (u) Issue 14 – Beverages for infants
02/06/00 (a) Issue 15 – Ice
21/09/00 (u) Issue 16 – Are coffee beans subject to GST?
27/07/00 (a) Issue 17 – Are seed potatoes 'food' for GST purposes?
30/05/01 (u) Issue 18 – Is psyllium considered to be food for the purposes of the GST Act?
04/09/00 (a) Issue 19 – Concentrated fruit juice and concentrated fruit drinks
04/02/02 (w) Issue 20 – The previous information has been withdrawn pending the placement of up to date information
08/10/02 (u) Issue 21 – Vitamins and minerals
19/09/00 (u) Issue 22 – Are supplies of oyster spat and adult oysters GST-free?
15/09/00 (a) Issue 23 – Is the supply of distilled water subject to GST?
18/10/02 (u) Issue 24 – Ingredients used for home brewing or wine making
20/08/01 (u) Issue 25 – Tea
04/12/00 (a) Issue 26 – Are crispbreads and ricecakes subject to GST?
11/12/00 (a) Issue 27 – Is a decoction made from herbs prescribed in a Chinese herbal medicine formula considered to be a tea, tea preparation or preparation marketed principally as a substitute for a tea preparation?
22/12/00 (a) Issue 28 – How are hot and cold chickens treated for the purposes of the GST Act?
29/02/01 (a) Issue 29 – The GST treatment of different types of chocolate
29/02/01 (a) Issue 30 – Pastry products
07/05/01 (a) Issue 31 – Aloe vera juice and aloe vera concentrate
03/03/02 (a) Issue 32 – Are raw/unprocessed olives GST-free as food for human consumption?
23/04/02 (a) Issue 33 – What is the GST treatment of whey protein products (formulated supplementary sports food or dietary supplement)
21/05/02 (a) Issue 34 – Are green runners and natural sausage casings GST-free as ingredients for food for human consumption?
25/10/08 (u) Issue 35 – Are powdered chocolate and cocoa based drinking preparations that are added to water GST-free?


You are free to copy, adapt, modify, transmit and distribute this material as you wish (but not in any way that suggests the ATO or the Commonwealth endorses you or any of your services or products).