Grappling with Basic VAT Concepts in the Australian GST: The Meaning of 'Supply for Consideration'

World Journal of VAT/GST Law, Vol., 3, No. 1, pp. 1-31, 2014

Sydney Law School Research Paper No. 15/26

38 Pages Posted: 7 Apr 2015

See all articles by Rebecca Millar

Rebecca Millar

The University of Sydney Law School

Date Written: April 7, 2015

Abstract

The quintessentially eccentric style in which the Australian GST law is drafted has led the High Court of Australia to suggest that Australia’s GST differs from other value added taxes in respect of a concept that is basic to all such taxes: the notion of a ‘supply for consideration’. This paper examines five significant Australian cases on this concept, which deal with cancelled transactions, subsidies, and business incentive payments. The author undertakes a detailed analysis of the cases and compares them similar decisions that have arisen under the United Kingdom VAT, revealing that the issues that arise, and the arguments made in respect of those issues are hardly unusual in the context of a VAT. Even though the conclusions reached are not always the same, it remains unclear just how different the Australian GST really is.

Keywords: VAT, GST, Value Added Tax, Goods and Services Tax, Consumption Tax, Supply, Consideration, Loyalty Programs, Cancelled Transactions, Cash-backs, Motor-vehicle industry incentive payments

JEL Classification: K10, K30

Suggested Citation

Millar, Rebecca Mescal, Grappling with Basic VAT Concepts in the Australian GST: The Meaning of 'Supply for Consideration' (April 7, 2015). World Journal of VAT/GST Law, Vol., 3, No. 1, pp. 1-31, 2014; Sydney Law School Research Paper No. 15/26. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2591231

Rebecca Mescal Millar (Contact Author)

The University of Sydney Law School ( email )

New Law Building, F10
The University of Sydney
Sydney, NSW 2006
Australia

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