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How can my employer claim GST on a service I've received without a tax invoice?

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Newbie

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I just booked a local hotel stay through Wotif and when I got to the hotel I asked for a copy of the tax invoice and was told the receipt will be issued by Wotif. When I contacted Wotif they only will give me a receipt for the charge and not a tax invoice as they are not registered for GST.

Is this legal as the serv ice is provided in Australia and should be subject to GST?

Thanks for any insight as I am now out of pocket as my employer wants a Tax Invoice.

 

 

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Devotee

Replies 4

Dear adroitcozy                         

GST is a complex topic so the answer to your question is it legal could information from Wotif and some legislative research.

 

But as for your situation information about recipts can be found on the ATO website:

https://www.ato.gov.au/Business/GST/Issuing-tax-invoices/

 

Depending on what they have issued you. It may be a valid receipt that your employer can accept.

 

 

Requirements of tax invoices

Tax invoices for taxable sales of less than $1,000 must include enough information to clearly determine the following seven details:

  1. that the document is intended to be a tax invoice
  2. the seller's identity
  3. the seller's Australian business number (ABN)
  4. the date the invoice was issued
  5. a brief description of the items sold, including the quantity (if applicable) and the price
  6. the GST amount (if any) payable – this can be shown separately or, if the GST amount is exactly one-eleventh of the total price, as a statement such as 'Total price includes GST'
  7. the extent to which each sale on the invoice is a taxable sale (that is, the extent to which each sale includes GST)        
    1. Example 1, below, meets this requirement because the sale is clearly identified as being fully taxable by the words 'total price including GST'
    2. Example 2 meets this requirement in two ways: it shows the GST included in each line item (see column with the GST amount), and the sale is clearly identified as being fully taxable by the words 'the total price includes GST'.
Please note this is my personal view; I’m an ATO employee who chooses to help out here in my own time.
6 REPLIES

Best answer

Devotee

Replies 4

Dear adroitcozy                         

GST is a complex topic so the answer to your question is it legal could information from Wotif and some legislative research.

 

But as for your situation information about recipts can be found on the ATO website:

https://www.ato.gov.au/Business/GST/Issuing-tax-invoices/

 

Depending on what they have issued you. It may be a valid receipt that your employer can accept.

 

 

Requirements of tax invoices

Tax invoices for taxable sales of less than $1,000 must include enough information to clearly determine the following seven details:

  1. that the document is intended to be a tax invoice
  2. the seller's identity
  3. the seller's Australian business number (ABN)
  4. the date the invoice was issued
  5. a brief description of the items sold, including the quantity (if applicable) and the price
  6. the GST amount (if any) payable – this can be shown separately or, if the GST amount is exactly one-eleventh of the total price, as a statement such as 'Total price includes GST'
  7. the extent to which each sale on the invoice is a taxable sale (that is, the extent to which each sale includes GST)        
    1. Example 1, below, meets this requirement because the sale is clearly identified as being fully taxable by the words 'total price including GST'
    2. Example 2 meets this requirement in two ways: it shows the GST included in each line item (see column with the GST amount), and the sale is clearly identified as being fully taxable by the words 'the total price includes GST'.
Please note this is my personal view; I’m an ATO employee who chooses to help out here in my own time.

Newbie

Replies 1

Thanks for you reply, but I think you have missed the point. I am being refused a Tax Invoice which looks to me like a way to avoid GST.

 

Cheers

 

Devotee

Replies 0

If you have received a document from a supplier which would be a tax invoice except for the fact that it does not contain certain information, you may treat that document as a tax invoice if the missing information can be clearly ascertained from other documents given to you by the supplier.

 

So in other words you can use what they have given you so that you are not treaded unfailrly.

 

However if you feel there is Tax Evasion going on you can report it here:

https://www.ato.gov.au/forms/tax-evasion-reporting-form/

 

Or call us 13 28 66 and we can lodge over the phone and look into it.

 

 

 

Please note this is my personal view; I’m an ATO employee who chooses to help out here in my own time.

PJ
I'm new

Replies 0

I had the same issue and found this in the fineprint of the Wotif website...

 

If you are a business traveller and book using the Pay Online Now option (where available), you will not receive a tax invoice for your booking. Some of the Expedia Companies are not required to issue tax invoices for the Pay Online Now option. If you book using the Pay Later at the Hotel option, you should receive a tax invoice from the hotel at the time of your stay. If you require a tax invoice, we recommend that you book using the Pay Later at Hotel option (where available).

LBJ
I'm new

Replies 1

While the reply by Coffee_unspilt is useful information about the requirements of tax invoices, it does not clearly address the heart of the matter - as I have learned in dealing with the same issue today. Apparently some travel websites (for example, Expedia and Wotif [which is owned by Expedia]) do not issue tax invoices for Australian accommodation bookings. When I asked this question today of Wotif customer service, they indicated that the "entity" that issues your booking is not enrolled for GST - essentially you are directed to an overseas entity of the travel website, even if you initially started on the ".com.au" version of the website, and that entity is not a registered Australian business and does not issue Australian tax invoices.

 

When I contacted the hotel to ask whether they can issue a tax invoice for a booking through Wotif, they indicated they couldn't because the tax invoice they issue to Wotif includes a different room rate and accounts for Wotif's commission in the transaction.

 

As per the most recent post, the fine print says if you choose the "pay later at hotel" option, rather than "pay online now" option, you may be able to get a tax invoice from the hotel as you are dealing with them directly - although I have also read this isn't guaranteed.

 

Hence, seems the lesson from this experience is that if you require a tax invoice to be reimbursed for business travel expenses, consider dealing directly with the vendors rather than online travel websites (unless they explicitly say that tax invoices can be issued). Same for businesses making the purchase directly - what appears to be a lower rate via a travel website may not be such a great deal when you are unable to claim your GST credit on the transaction.

I'm new

Replies 0

Good discussion  and we’ve recently fallen into this trap a couple of times. 

 

Firstly AirBnb, where the supply has a number of units and is registered for GST.  We are a business that booked through AirBnb, but coule not get a Tax Invoice from AirBnb nor from the individual supplier since their invoice is to AirBnb not to us. 

 

Secondly Wotif, where we stayed in hotels that were registered for GST, exactly as described in the thread above. 

 

It would seem to me that if an overseas business on-charges GST, from Australian businesses to Australian businesses, then

  1. it would only be morally right to at least itemise the amount so that it is claimable as an input tax credit, and
  2. might I suggest also that they should be compelled by law to provide this information – and perhaps already are.  I’ve tried to go through the GST code A New Tax System (Goods and Services Tax) Act 1999 to see if this is a requirement but it is quite complex and I think requires expert knowledge.  Simply to hide behind “Wotif.com is a brand of Expedia Group. Expedia is not registered for GST in Australia and Expedia does not charge customers GST in relation to its services” is not good enough.  What it fails to address is that Expedia / Wotif is indeed charging GST, by on-charging the underlying invoice from the Australian hotel.  Similarly for AirBnb where the underlying business is registered for GST.

There is no financial incentive for the ATO to sort this out since they benefit financially from the lack of transparency and the input tax credits that are as a result not being claimed. 

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