Designing a Simple and Fraud-Proof Tax System: Australia
IMPROVING VAT/GST: DESIGNING A SIMPLE AND FRAUD-PROOF TAX SYSTEM, M. Lang, I. Lejeune, eds, IBFD, The Netherlands, 2014
70 Pages Posted: 10 May 2016
Date Written: May 9, 2016
This working paper, explains and evaluates key aspects of Australia’s GST (a value added tax), focussing on aspects of the law that are of relevance to a comparative tax law scholars considering how legal and policy design features of VAT/GST laws affect the level of simplicity/complexity of the and reduce/increase opportunities for fraud. The discussion is focused on 7 broad topics: (1) Neutrality; (2) VAT groups and head office-to-branch transactions; (3) Financial services, including insurance; (4) Anti-avoidance rules; (5) Advance rulings; (6) the VAT gap; and (7) Compliance costs and costs of collection.
The final version of this paper was published as “Chapter 2 - Australia” in Michael Lang and Ine Lejeune (eds.), Improving VAT/GST: Designing a Simple and Fraud-Proof Tax System, (2014: IBFD, Amsterdam), pp. 23-110. The paper was initially prepared in the form of a response to a questionnaire prepared by the editors of that book on various aspects of the VAT/GST law, case law, and policy in participating countries. Responses were workshopped at a conference in 2011 and subsequently modified into standalone works in which the key features of each country’s law were identified, explained, and compared in a way that would be comprehensible in a global context.
Both on its own and in concert with the other chapters in the book, this paper provides a comparative tax law perspective on the challenging issues facing value added taxes around the world and the ways in which countries are addressing administration and collection issues to try to minimise and/or combat VAT/GST evasion and avoidance.
Keywords: VAT, GST, consumption tax, comparative tax law, value-added tax, goods and services tax
JEL Classification: K10, K30, K34
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation