This is a very brief introduction to this page which we plan to build up over time, to provide assistance on a range of GST matters.
As you have probably gathered by now, GST is generally simple but has a few “twists and turns”. To complicate matters, the government has only just decided, or is still deciding, on a range of issues that affect churches.
Set out below are some issues that affect how we handle GST:
Religious Practitioners - The Assistant Treasurer announced on 28 June that religious practitioners will not need to apply for an ABN, and will not come within GST law for their pastoral and related duties. Their current fringe benefits treatment will also be maintained. Therefore, payments for activities such as funerals will not be subject to a withholding amount.
Conditional Donations - The recently released Goods and Services Tax Ruling GSTR 2000/11 has clarified the position with respect to conditional donations. Gifts to non-profit bodies are excluded from GST provided they are transferred voluntarily (ie not as the result of a contractual obligation) and the grantor does not receive a material benefit from making the gift.
Payments Under $50 - You are not required to withhold 48.5% from payments of $50 or less to suppliers without an ABN. This will have specific application to people performing cleaning, mowing etc duties. Naturally, normal income tax considerations will still apply.
Useful Websites - There are a number of websites that provide invaluable assistance with GST. Listed below are some that we have identified:
www.taxreform.ato.gov.au - The official tax office website
www.churchweb.com.au - Kimberly Smith's GST site for assistance to churches
www.abr.business.gov.au - For checking the validity of a supplier's ABN
PS - If you haven't already got Adobe Acrobat Reader, you might find it handy to download. (Psst ... it's free!) You will need it to be able to look at documents that will be placed on this site from time to time.