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Tuesday 1 October 2013

Tax Office: GST food guide

The Tax Office has made available a GST food guide with the objective of assisting the retail food industry in establishing whether food sold is taxable or GST-free and making the distinction between food and non-food items.

The guide establishes 'simple rules' to be used as a reference when ascertaining GST-free and taxable food items. GST-free food includes but is not limited to the following:
  • Bread and bread rolls without a sweet coating;
  • Fats and oils for cooking;
  • Tea and coffee (unless ready to drink);
  • All meats for human consumption (except prepared meals or savoury snacks); and
  • Fruit, vegetables, fish and soup (fresh, frozen, dried, canned or packaged).
To address issues directly pertinent to the food retailing sector, the GST food guide outlines requisite criteria to be satisfied before GST law deems an item to be food for GST purposes.

Furthermore, the guide notes that GST legislation stipulates the sale of food to be GST-free unless it is:

  • Food for consumption on the premises it is supplied from;
  • Hot food for consumption away from the premises;
  • Food of a kind listed in clause 1 of schedule 1 of the GST Act;
  • Beverages and ingredients for beverages not listed in clause 1 of Schedule 2 of the GST Act; or
  • Food as listed in the GST law.
A detailed food list provides information with respect to the GST status on major food and beverage product lines. To access the GST food search function, click here.

Click here to access the GST food guide and detailed food list.

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