Goods and Services Tax

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The Goods and Services Tax (common abbreviation: GST ) is a tax comparable to VAT that is levied on goods sold and services rendered in various English-speaking countries.


In Australia , the GST was only introduced on July 1, 2000 with the Goods and Services Tax Act 1999 . Nonetheless, there was already a goods tax called Wholesale Sales Tax ( WST ) that was introduced in 1930. At that time, the economy was driven by the production of goods and services were not included in the tax. All goods produced or imported were taxed. Over the years, Australian society had also changed more towards the provision of services, which was then also taxed with the introduction of the GST . The tax rate was set at 10% for goods and services and has not changed since then.

Services in the health sector, education sector, childcare and fresh unprocessed food can be excluded from the GST .

Companies with an annual turnover of up to A $ 75,000 are not obliged to pay GST to the Australian Tax Office , as are non-profit organizations if their annual turnover does not exceed A $ 150,000.


The GST entered Canada on January 1, 1991, replacing the Manufacturer's Sales Tax ( MST ). The MST was 13.5% and was levied on all goods produced, including those that were exported. The criticism was great and it was expected that Canadian companies would experience considerable disadvantages in terms of export.

But with the introduction of the GST , the taxation system didn't get any easier. The GST , which was set at 7%, taxed all goods, services and financial services, with a few exceptions, with the income attributed to the treasury. In addition, the individual provinces of the country levied a Provincial Sales Tax ( PST ), which was 8%, was assigned to the fund of the respective province, but could have different exceptions. As a result, a service or a product, depending on where it was purchased, was subject to different taxation and also had to pay attention to where it was purchased and where it was sold.

With effect from January 1, 2008, the three provinces of Nova Scotia , New Brunswick and Newfoundland and Labrador merged in matters of GST / PST and unified the taxation system with the merger of GST and PST to form Harmonized Sales Tax ( HST ). At the same time, the GST was reduced by the central government from 6% to 5%, so that the consumer now only has to pay a uniform tax of 13%, which is now called HST in the provinces concerned . The provincial government of Ontario followed the example of the other three provinces and introduced the HST on July 1, 2010 as well.

Companies with an annual income of up to C $ 30,000 are free to register for the GST / PST / HST and pay them to the Canada Revenue Agency .

In the French- speaking part of Canada, the GST is called Taxe sur les produits et services ( TPS ).

New Zealand

In New Zealand , the GST was first introduced in 1986 by the then Labor government under David Lange with the Goods and Services Tax Act 1985 . The 10% tax, which was levied on all goods and services from October 1st of that year, was described by critics as a regressive tax and the policy of Finance Minister Roger Douglas , who wanted to get the country's desperate financial situation under control , titled Rogernomics .

On July 1, 1989, the GST was increased to 12.5% ​​and on October 1, 2010 it was increased again to the current 15%. When it came to the first increase, however, it was divided as to whether the tax had had a positive effect up to that point. As an entrepreneur you are obliged to pay the GST to the Inland Revenue Department with a turnover of NZ $ 60,000 or more.


The GST was introduced in Singapore on April 1, 1994, and the UK VAT system and the New Zealand GST system are said to have been the inspiration. The Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore ( IRAS ) collects the tax that is levied on all imports, goods and services produced.

When the tax was introduced, the tax rate was initially set at 3% and thus stabilized Singapore's finances at S $ 1.6 billion  . In 2003 and 2004 the tax rate was first raised to 4% and then to 5% and last fixed on July 1, 2007 at 7%.

Hong Kong

In a press release on September 12, 2006, the Chief Executive of the Financial Services and Treasury Bureau of Hong Kong , Donald Tsang , announced the introduction of a Goods and Services Tax for Hong Kong and justified this with the challenges of an externally oriented economy , a rapidly aging society and the fact that around 60% of public spending is spent on education, social security, health and medical care.

But the reason for introducing the GST seems to be that only about 37% of employees pay taxes on income and only a few companies cover 60% of the total GST tax revenue. This makes the budget of the former crown colony vulnerable to economic ' ups and downs '. A tax on goods and services would bring more stability to the Hong Kong budget here.

A 5 percent GST , as discussed, would bring Hong Kong US $ 3 to 4 billion  a year in revenue. The FSTB's finance secretary estimated the period for the introduction of the tax to be up to three years, but the tax has not yet been applied.


Malaysia had planned to introduce a Goods and Services Tax in 2011. But it took more time to get the law through the parliamentary bodies and to get the population ready for the changes. On June 9, 2014, the Goods and Service Tax Act 2014 was signed by Yang di-Pertuan Agong as head of state and became legally binding ten days later. With the introduction of the tax, the sales tax and the service tax were abolished. The standard tax rate is 6%. But the government can define numerous exceptions to this.


Also, India had decided the Goods and Services Tax introduced and thus the British VAT abolish system. A very detailed report was presented on December 15, 2009, describing the various GST systems and the introduction of the tax. In order to give the individual states in India financial autonomy, the report suggested introducing a CGST and an SGST , with the "C" standing for Central , ie for the central government and "S" for State , of the respective states.

The introduction of the tax was initially planned for April 1, 2010, but failed due to the differences between individual states and the central government. An introduction for October 1, 2010 was then targeted. The tax should be 5% for the CGST and 7% for the SGST so taken together the GST in India would be 12%. On July 1, 2017, GST was finally introduced. The standard rate of the GST has been 18% since then and is e.g. B. Applied to plants, machines and many services. In addition, everyday goods are taxed at 5% and luxury goods at 28%.

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Australian tax history . Australian Tax Office , April 7, 2003, archived from the original December 6, 2009 ; accessed on November 18, 2015 (English, original website no longer available).
  2. ^ Background on the GST in Australia . GST Australia , archived from the original on October 24, 2009 ; accessed on November 18, 2015 (English, original website no longer available).
  3. ^ GST Free Supplies . GST Australia , archived from the original on October 12, 2009 ; accessed on November 18, 2015 (English, original website no longer available).
  4. ^ GST and selling goods into Australia . Australian Tax Office , November 26, 2012, archived from the original on November 19, 2015 ; accessed on April 24, 2018 (English, original website no longer available).
  5. ^ Goods And Services Tax In Canada . Economy Watch , October 13, 2010, accessed April 20, 2010 .
  6. ^ History of the GST . Toronto Star Newspaper Ltd. , January 1, 2008, accessed June 27, 2013 .
  7. What is HST? . Canada Revenue Agency on July 23, 2010, archived from the original on February 18, 2012 ; accessed on February 18, 2012 (English, original website no longer available).
  8. What's Taxable Under the HST and What's Not? . Ontario Ministry of Revenue January 30, 2012, archived from the original March 3, 2012 ; accessed on February 18, 2012 (English, original website no longer available).
  9. ^ Goods and Services Tax Act 1985 . New Zealand Legislation , accessed April 19, 2010 .
  10. ^ Goods and Service Tax Act comes into force . New Zealand History , accessed April 19, 2010 .
  11. ^ Comparing New Zealand and Australia's goods and services tax (GST) systems . Inland Revenue , July 27, 2015, accessed April 14, 2019 .
  12. Singapore Goods and Services Tax (GST) Guide . Hawksford Singapore Pte Ltd , accessed November 18, 2015 .
  13. ^ Economy Of Singapore . See Singapore , 2008, archived from the original on April 12, 2010 ; accessed on June 27, 2013 (English, original website no longer available).
  14. CE speaks on Goods and Services Tax . Financial Services and Treasury Bureau of Hong Kong , September 12, 2006, accessed April 21, 2010 .
  15. Marivic Butod : Good & Services Tax (GST) in Hong Kong . , September 10, 2009, accessed April 21, 2010 .
  16. ^ Asian Development Outlook 2005: II. Economic trends and prospects in developing Asia: East Asia - Hong Kong, China . Asian Development Bank , 2010, archived from the original on August 21, 2010 ; accessed on June 27, 2013 (English, original website no longer available).
  17. Business & Finance - No plan for GST . Information Service Department of Hong Kong , February 25, 2015, accessed November 19, 2015 .
  18. ^ Laws of Malaysia Act 762 - Goods and Service Tax Act 2014 . (PDF 1.6 MB) Government of Malaysia , June 9, 2014, accessed November 18, 2015 .
  19. ^ Background - Malaysian Tax History . Royal Malaysian Custom Department , January 24, 2014, accessed November 18, 2015 .
  20. Standard-rated supplies . Royal Malaysian Custom Department , November 11, 2013, accessed November 18, 2015 .
  21. ^ Report of the Task Force on Implementation of Goods & Service Tax . (PDF 2.4 MB) , December 15, 2009, accessed on November 18, 2015 (English).
  22. ^ India's proposed goods and services tax . Ltd , January 6, 2010, accessed April 21, 2010 .
  23. Tillmann Ruppert, Anand Khetan: India on the way to the introduction of the GST January 25, 2017

See also