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Shots fired for businesses misusing popular tax incentive scheme

Tim Neary
24 April 2019 1 minute readShare
ATO and plane

The Australian Tax Office is issuing letters to retailers partaking in the Tourist Refund Scheme (TRS) that, to do so, they need to be fully compliant with all of its requirements, or face potentially stiff penalties.

The ATO has warned business retailers, and in some cases travellers, making excessive TRS claims that if they do not meet all of the scheme requirements before proceeding with a claim, that paybacks and penalties could apply for breaches.

In a statement, the ATO also said that retailers participating under the TRS must include sales made to employers, employees, directors and associates in total sales, and report the GST in their activity statements.


It added that tax invoices for sales greater than $1,000 must identify the purchaser of the goods, including either the purchaser name, address or their Australian business number.

Scheme requirements


Travellers departing Australia can get a GST or WET refund under the TRS.

The scheme applies to goods purchased at prices that include GST from a retailer with an ABN and registered for GST.

The requirements are that the purchases are from a single business with the same ABN and amount to more than $300 including GST; that the traveller has the original tax invoice; that the traveller paid for them and that they are carried or worn board, unless the airline requires them to be checked in as hold.

The tax invoices (in English), goods, passport and boarding pass should be presented to the TRS facility when departing Australia at least 30 minutes (or 60 minutes if on a cruise) prior to departure time.



The scheme also covers residents of Australia’s external territories, such as Norfolk Island, Christmas Island and the Cocos (Keeling) Islands.

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Shots fired for businesses misusing popular tax incentive scheme
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Tim Neary

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