GST for Family History Societies


A. Definitions


Registered Persons
In the context of family history societies, a society whose total income, excluding donations, exceeds $100,000 pa (this equates to a membership of approx 1500) must register for the GST i.e. become a '"registered person"'.
Taxable Activity
This comprises at least the following '"supply of goods or provision of services for a payment"':
  • Subscriptions
  • The sale of books, charts and other similar material
  • Charges for services such as the use of facilities (library, readers), seminars, etc.
Inputs
Purchases of materials and services necessary to enable a taxable activity.
GST
Goods and services tax currently 10%

B. Implications for Societies

1. Under $100.000 pa income

  1. Registration: Not required to register
  2. Purchases (inputs): GST (10%) would be payable on all purchases. Refund of GST paid is not applicable.
  3. Taxable activity: GST would not be charged.
  4. Record keeping: Would not need to keep any GST records.
  5. Remitting GST: Not required
  6. Impact: Minimal. If a society operates a library and/or a sales outlet for books, etc there would be an increase in costs which may require a corresponding increase in members' subscriptions to offset same.

2. Over $100.000 pa income with no paid staff

  1. Registration: Must register and obtain an Australian Business Number.
  2. Purchases (inputs) : GST (10%) would be payable on all purchases.
  3. Taxable activity: GST would have to be charged on all taxable activity.
  4. Record keeping: The GST components of both inputs and taxable activity would have to be recorded. GST Returns summarising input credits and tax received would have to be submitted quarterly.
  5. Remitting GST: The net difference between the tax collected on taxable activity and that paid on inputs would have to paid   f. Impact: Overheads/operating costs would be increased because of the application of tax to books into libraries.Treasurers/bookkeepers of societies would bear the brunt of the additional record keeping and preparation of returns. If manual systems are used additional input would be required with consequent effect on workload of volunteers. If computerised systems are used the additional workload should be minimal. The use of a cash register at the point of sales/receipts of fees/etc could be a help in meeting statutory requirements regarding inclusion of GST on receipts and for record keeping.

3. Over $100,000 pa income with paid staff

  1. Registration: Must register and obtain an Australian Business Number.
  2. Purchases (inputs): GST (10%) would be payable on all purchases including, at the moment, books. Currently, unless an exemption for educational purposes has been obtained, WST (22%) is payable on most purchases except books. Refund of GST paid is not applicable.
    Salaries and wages would not be subject to GST but hiring of capacity on a contract basis would be.
  3. Taxable activity: GST would have to be charged on all taxable activity.
  4. Record keeping: The GST components of both inputs and taxable activity would have to be recorded.
    GST Returns summarising input credits and tax received would have to be submitted quarterly.
  5. Remitting GST: The net difference between the tax collected on taxable activity and that paid on inputs would have to paid quarterly to the ATO.
  6. Impact: Overheads/operating costs would be increased because of the application of tax to books into libraries.Treasurers/bookkeepers of societies would bear the brunt of the additional record keeping and preparation of returns. If manual systems are used additional input would be required with consequent effect on workload. If computerised systems are used the additional workload should be minimal as should be the case if bookkeeping is done by paid staff.

4. Additional information

Additional information about GST can be obtained from the following Internet sites:-



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Last modified: 12 October 2015

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GPO Box 1394, Canberra, ACT, 2601, Australia
ABN 31 076 496 332