Council of Australian University Librarians (CAUL)

GST - the new Tax System
Updated 19 October, 2001

Official Sites (Government)

Legislation. Library-Related
ALIA and the GST  - advocacy activities by the Australian Library and Information Association on the proposed goods and services tax and its impact on libraries.
The GST and libraries:  The bubbles, the salad and the cooked chook.  (ALIA Member Brief)
Interlending Services and the GST:  Statement by the National Resource Sharing Working Group (May 2000)

The following questions relate specifically to university library services in Australia.  The answers must not be considered as a legal opinion.  No responsibility is taken for their accuracy or otherwise, although all care is taken, and reputable persons and organisations have been consulted in their drafting.

Preamble.  The Australian Vice-Chancellors' Committee (AVCC) employed Ernst & Young (see also presentations by E&Y) to provide advice on the implications and implementation of GST management processes for Australian universities.  Ernst & Young prepared a report, which has been recently updated, and have run a series of seminars in universities discussing how the implementation can be approached in each institution.  Representatives of the participating universities were advised how to ensure that this information could be transmitted throughout their institutions.  Some universities chose not to participate in the seminars (ANU, Bond, CSU, Adelaide).

The AVCC is not intending to issue any guidelines to universities on a single approach, but it is understood that discussion is being held among the universities within some States in an attempt to address the issues collectively.  Consequently CAUL members will need to be aware of the policy and processes within their own institution.

Some definitions:
GST-liable: you pay, and reclaim, GST on goods and services used to produce the good or service and you charge GST on the good or service to the recipient.  This is the standard arrangement for most things.  In these cases the GST charged to the recipient should be higher than the GST reclaimed on the inputs and hence the ATO collects money in net terms.

GST-free: you pay, and reclaim, GST on goods and services used to produce the good or service but you do not charge GST on the good or service to the recipient. This is for some special cases only such as education courses, health, food.  In these cases the ATO is refunding money (money it received from whoever provided the inputs. Hence ATO neither gains nor loses).

Input taxed: category you should not have to worry about.  Applies to financial and accommodation services.   You pay, but do not reclaim, GST on goods and services used to produce the financial or accommodation service but you do not charge GST on the financial or accommodation service to the recipient. 

Frequently Asked Questions.

Frequently asked questions - DOFA GST Unit

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This site is written, compiled and maintained by Diane Costello, Executive Officer, CAUL.