On 6 November 2013, the Government announced its intention to proceed with the previously announced proposal to restrict GST refunds with some amendments. The proposal for restrictions on GST refunds had been announced by the previous Government in August 2012 and detailed in the 2012-13 MYEFO. Following consultation on draft legislation, the proposal was introduced into the House of Reps as part of the Tax Laws Amendment (2013 Measures No 4) Bill 2013 on 26 June 2013, which lapsed when Parliament was prorogued on 5 August 2013.

In releasing exposure draft legislation on Mon 17.2.2014, the Government noted key changes to the earlier legislation contained in the Bill. The changes include:

  • restoring rights of review for taxpayers following a finding by the AAT that it does not have jurisdiction to consider refund matters under the existing refunds provisions in s 105-65 in Sch 1 to the TAA;
  • strengthening the integrity aspects of the provisions by clarifying that tax invoices are only prima facie evidence of amounts being passed on to another entity to the extent that the amount of GST ascertained from the tax invoice has been paid to the Tax Commissioner; and
  • amending the proposal to only apply on a prospective basis. Under the earlier legislation, the proposal was to have applied for tax periods commencing on or after 17 August 2012 (the date of the original announcement of the proposal) with exceptions for refunds claimed before the date of introduction of the Bill into the House of Representatives.

COMMENTS are due by 28 February 2014.

[LTN 31, 17/2/14]