Contributing Lawyers

Canada

Cyndee Todgham Cherniak

United States

Susan Kohn Ross

Australia

Andrew Hudson



Australia is Reviewing GST Provisions Relating to Supplies of Financial Services

The Australian Government has announced that it is engaging in consultations and is reviewing the financial supply provisions of the GST with a view to reducing their complexity and introducing more principled rules, while maintaining the existing policy. Please go to the following link - http://treasury.gov.au/contentitem.asp?NavId=002&ContentID=1529

This is a trade issue because trade in financial services is an important element in free trade agreement negotiations and WTO negotiations. If Australia makes its sales tax structure more conducive to financial services businesses, it may attract healthy financial institutions.

Maybe Canada should consider whether a similar review should occur in Canada. Canada has a healthy environment for financial institutions --- but, improvements would be welcomed. Given that Ontario, Canada's financial centre, has announced that it plans to harmonize the provincial sales tax with the federal goods and services tax, simplification would be welcomed by financial institutions before the sales tax rate increases from 5% to 13%. In addition, the place of supply rules for financial services should "Keep It Simple S------".

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