03 December 2010
Gordon Brysland, Senior General Counsel, Australian Government Solicitor.
Brenda Berkeley, General Manager, Indirect Tax Division, Treasury.
More than 70 people attended a conference at RMIT University recently to discuss the impact that the Goods and Services Tax (GST) has had in Australia and overseas.
The two-day conference marked the 10th anniversary of the introduction of the GST in Australia.
Speakers included representatives from Treasury, the Australian Tax Office (ATO), Australian Government Solicitor, partners from many major professional services firms and experts on GST from around the world.
The presentations addressed some of the issues that have emerged in practice with the GST, and provided suggestions for how the system could be reformed.
Denis McCarthy, Director, Ernst & Young, spoke about why GST law is the way it is.
He outlined the evolution and design of Australia’s GST law; some of the key policy decisions made; the associated legislative implications; and whether some of those decisions should now be reconsidered.
“The Australian GST law stacks up well both in its design and application. It has generally kept pace with changes in the economy and technology.”
Feedback from attendees was positive, with many commenting that they found the event valuable and enjoyable.
“I benefited a lot from the conference, not only from the specific topics but also from observing the exciting phase of GST law interpretation that Australia is going through. It's been a fun and productive few days,” Associate Professor Wei Cui, Chinese University of Political Science and Law, said.
A book of the conference papers will be published by Thomson Reuters.