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Putting the 'E' in GST

8 September 1999

The introduction of the GST has the potential to provide some additional opportunities for business, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Communications, Information Technology and the Arts, Senator Ian Campbell said today.

'As part of implementing the New Tax System as easily and inexpensively as possible for business, a new Commonwealth system will introduce measures which could enhance government online services and business to business e-commerce, while reducing compliance overheads on business,' Senator Campbell said.

Speaking to the Australian Institute of Management in Sydney, Senator Campbell said the Australian Business Number (ABN) system will be made available to all Australian business taxpayers.

'The ABN, an associated register and an online authentication certificate, can be used to enable business to government and business to business e-commerce,' Senator Campbell said.

'By June next year up to 2.5 million Australian businesses will have an ABN issued by the Australian Tax Office (ATO), held on the Australian Business Register and accessible through the Business Entry Point.'

Senator Campbell said such an accessible register of all Australian businesses (including non-companies) has not been previously available in Australia.

'The rollout of the ABN provides greater incentives for business to deal electronically with government. This in turn provides a sound platform to boost business to business e-commerce,' Senator Campbell said.

'An increased uptake of e-commerce has the potential to deliver widespread efficiency dividends for the economy at large, through lower transaction costs, faster and more efficient payments, and by encouraging the development of new, more competitive ways of doing business.

'Businesses with turnover greater than $20 million will now have to deal with the ATO online using public key certificates-helping to build the critical mass so crucial for a robust information economy. It's about making a smarter economy better able to compete for jobs in the global e-market.'

8 September 1999

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