• Service: Tax, Indirect Tax
  • Type: Regulatory update
  • Date: 8/07/2014

Tax Insights

KPMG's analysis of tax issues and developments.

Deborah Jenkins

Deborah Jenkins
Partner, Tax

+61 2 9335 7323

To err is human... – recovering from GST errors 

by Deborah Jenkins, Indirect Tax Specialist

The utopia of always getting your goods and services tax (GST) right is difficult, if not impossible, to achieve. In a transaction-based tax like GST, errors will happen. Taxpayers who convince themselves they never make any GST mistakes just might not be looking hard enough.

So what can you do about it? Luckily for us, in Australia we operate under a regime which encourages voluntary compliance, including making voluntary disclosures when you discover any unwelcome surprises.


In line with the Commissioner’s desire to move 'away from risk aversion to risk management' he recently flagged a change of focus to a self-assurance model for indirect tax.


The benefit of embarking on such a model is likely to be a 'lighter touch' on audit, where taxpayers can demonstrate appropriate effort in reviewing their own affairs. However, with this shift in focus comes an onus on taxpayers to adequately invest in business systems and processes, to mitigate errors, including through the use of various technology tools.


Recent changes to the GST refund rules make it more desirable than ever to pick up GST errors before you lodge your return. That way when your organisation pushes the 'send button' on your business activity statement (BAS), you do it with a greater level of confidence.


Remember, errors happen but the Australian Taxation Offices (ATO) focus will be now be on what have you done to identify and mitigate them - giving you a better chance of forgiveness.


If you want to know more about technology tools to mitigate your errors or improve your BAS compliance, talk to your KPMG GST contact or me.


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