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GST celebrates 10 years

GST celebrates 10 years

Crack open the champagne and drink at least 10 per cent more than you usually would because today (1 July) is the 10th anniversary of the GST.Introduced on the back of a massive advertising…

Crack open the champagne and drink at least 10 per cent more than you usually would because today (1 July) is the 10th anniversary of the GST.

Introduced on the back of a massive advertising campaign in 2000 featuring that hero to tax practitioners everywhere, Joe Cocker belting out "Unchain My Heart", the consumption tax has been a boon for the coffers of the state as well as accountancy firms everywhere.

After John Howard was nearly brought down after one term with his GST election proposal in 1998, and John Hewson defeated in the "unloseable" 1993 election on the back of his proposed GST, the eventual introduction of the tax in 2000 has now become as much a part of the Australian landscape as kangaroos and Holden cars.

Helen O'Brien, a principal at RSM Bird Cameron, a West Australian based corporate and advisory service, said the GST could be made simpler by taxing "everything at 10 per cent", but that overall, the GST was a much needed reform of the Australian tax system.

"It has certainly provided the states with more money," she said. "I'm also amazed that the rate hasn't changed [from 10 per cent] in the 10 years since its introduction."

However, O'Brien believes that the current political negotiations surrounding the resource super profits tax could provide the first real chance to tinker with the rate of the GST.

"It is my belief that the government will have to back down [from the 40 per cent of assessable resource profits entry point], which will then affect funding measures announced in the budget," O'Brien said.

"The Government will have to make up the shortfall somewhere, and it could be that the GST rate is looked at."

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