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
38 Pages Posted: 7 Apr 2015
Date Written: April 7, 2015
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: Suggested Citation