Gst Issues for International Services Transactions
The University of Sydney Law School
Australian GST Journal, Vol. 4, p. 285, 2004
This article examines the principles underlying the Australian GST treatment of cross-border supplies of "things other than goods or real property" (referred to in other jurisdictions as "services"). Using a framework based on recent preliminary work by the OECD on consumption tax conflicts for cross-border supplies of services and intangibles, the article highlights the practices and problems that arise in all jurisdictions, and the main areas of conflict.
The article then considers the key interpretive approaches evident in the Australian Commissioner of Taxation's rulings on the GST law and critically examines these approaches by reference to the international practices and principles. The paper concludes that the interpretations are not out of line with international practice, and have a firm basis in principle. However, there are clearly problems in the way Australia has drafted its jurisdictional rules, in particular its over-inclusive approach to non-resident suppliers, which deserve rethinking.
Keywords: Goods and services tax, value added tax, consumption tax, destination principle
JEL Classification: H2, H24, H29, K34
Date posted: March 8, 2005 ; Last revised: May 8, 2016