GST and public authorities

2009 changes to the GST Act confirm the Office of the Clerk of the House of Representatives and Parliamentary Service are obliged to charge GST on activities.

Sections 2(1) of the Goods and Services Act 1985

Changes have been made to the Goods and Services Tax Act 1985 to confirm that the Office of the Clerk of the House of Representatives and the Parliamentary Service have an obligation to charge GST on the activities they undertake.

Background

The GST Act currently treats public authorities as carrying on a taxable activity and requires GST to be charged on appropriations received from Parliament. This outcome is achieved by deeming public authorities, including instruments of government and certain offices of Parliament, to be carrying on a taxable activity and making supplies of goods and services in return for appropriations from Parliament. This is consistent with the comprehensiveness of the GST base.

A question was raised whether the Office of the Clerk of the House of Representatives and the Parliamentary Service fall within the definition of "public authority" for the purposes of the GST Act.

Key features

Section 2, the interpretation section of the GST Act, has been amended to include the Office of the Clerk of the House of Representatives and the Parliamentary Service in the definition of "public authority".

Application date

In relation to the Parliamentary Service, the amendment applies from 1 October 1986, the date GST started. The amendment applies to the Office of Clerk of the House of Representatives from 1 August 1988, the date the Office of the Clerk of the House of Representatives was established.