Budget 2017: Changes to GST

From 1 July 2018, purchasers of newly constructed residential property or subdivisions will be required to remit GST directly to the Australian Taxation Office (“ATO”) instead of the vendor upon settlement. This will stop developers from failing to remit the GST to the ATO despite having previously claimed GST credits from their construction costs.

The Government has also proposed to eliminate the $1,000 threshold before GST is levied on imported goods. This will allow the Government to receive an income stream of GST revenue from all internet retailers globally that supply goods to Australian consumers. This proposition has caused some uproar, with claims suggesting that the Government’s involvement will constitute extraterritorial power and will generate trade disputes at the World Trade Organisation.

Additionally, the Government has also proposed to align the GST of digital currency (such as Bitcoin) to be the same as money from 1 July 2017. This will remove the double taxation of this currency by removing GST from digital currencies so it is only charged in exchange for goods and services.

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