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New GST Measures For NZ Business In Australia

Press Release

29 June 2000

NEW GST MEASURES FOR NZ BUSINESS IN AUSTRALIA

New Zealand companies operating in Australia which have not been able to get an Australian Business Number by July 1, when Goods and Services Tax is introduced in Australia, will be issued with letters by the Australian Tax Office which will allow them to do business.

Minister for Trade Negotiations Jim Sutton said New Zealand exporters would not be penalised by the new Australian tax system.

The Australian Tax Office has given its assurance that New Zealand exporters unable to obtain an Australian Business Number by July 1 will not be penalised by the new Australian GST.

Those exporters who have applied for an ABN but who do not receive one by July 1, when GST is introduced into Australia, will be issued with letters from the ATO which will give them the authority to operate under the new tax system without an ABN.

Mr Sutton said he was delighted that New Zealand exporters would be able to continue their trade with Australia unhindered by the tax reforms.

"Trade NZ and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade have been in continual contact with the Australian Tax Office and have received an assurance that these letters, designed for domestic businesses, will be available to New Zealanders."

Under Australian GST legislation, those businesses without ABNs on July 1 previously risked having 48.5% of payments due to them withheld by their Australian customers for remittance to the ATO. Others risked losing business as importers declined to do business with entities which did not hold ABNs when the new tax was introduced.

The waiver letters were great news for exporters, Mr Sutton said. He encouraged all exporters to Australia who had not yet registered for the new Australian tax system to do so as soon as possible.

ENDS

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