Goods & Services Tax

What is GST?

GST is a value added tax and is currently levied at 10%.

There are various carve outs whereby no GST is charged, that is, either:

  • GST-free supplies – that is, no GST is charged but suppliers are still entitled to input tax credits on expenses incurred in making those supplies; or
  • Input taxed supplies – that is, no GST is charged and suppliers are not entitled to input tax credits on expenses incurred in making those supplies.

GST-free supplies

The main GST-free supplies are:

  • Certain food;
  • Medical services;
  • Certain education courses;
  • Exports;
  • Going concerns (that is, the supply of a discrete enterprise/business)
  • Certain farmland

Input taxed supplies

The main input taxed supplies are:

  • Residential rental premises; and
  • Financial supplies.

GST and property


GST is a critical consideration for property developers.

Many property developers acquire land from unregistered (private) vendors. In these circumstances, the developer should be able to apply the margin scheme when it sells the end-product. Broadly, this means that instead of paying GST equal to 1/11th of the sale price, it is limited to 1/11th of the margin, which is generally the difference between the sale price and the acquisition cost of the land (as apportioned).

The margin scheme allows the value embedded in the land on acquisition to remain outside the GST net.

The margin scheme can make a considerable difference to the feasibility of a project and specific advice should be sought at feasibility stage, in fact, many lenders require formal advice that the margin scheme is available as part of their lending process.”


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