Section 17 - special returns

2010 legislative amendment clarifies the due date for payment of tax when a 'special return' is filed as not later than the due date for the return itself.

Section 17(1B) of the Goods and Services Tax Act 1985

The amendment clarifies the due date for payment of tax when a special return is filed and corrects an ambiguity that arose from a previous change made in 2007.

Key features

Section 17(1B) of the GST Act has been amended to clarify that the due date for the payment of tax when a "special return" is filed is not later than the due date for the return itself.

Background

Section 17 of the GST Act requires a person selling any goods that are being sold in satisfaction of a debt under section 5(2) - for example, a mortgagee sale - to file a special return in relation to that supply. Prior to an amendment in 2007, section 17 provided that this return was to be filed, and the relevant tax paid, on or before the 28th of the month following the month in which the sale took place. The 2007 amendment was introduced to confirm that the filing date for these special returns was the "standard" filing date for GST returns (which is not always the 28th of the following month). A consequence of this amendment was that the payment date for the relevant tax was removed.

The proposed amendment confirms that the person responsible for filing the special return must complete all of the obligations imposed on them under section 17(1)(a) to (c) on or before the due date for filing the special return. This includes the obligation to pay the amount of tax charged on the supply.

Application date

The change applies from 30 November 2007, the date when the 2007 amendment that created the existing ambiguity took effect. This effective date reinforces the underlying policy for the period between 2007 and the date of enactment of the current Act.