A summary version of the ruling is on the ATO website.
This ruling applies to:
- Albany Cemetery Board
- Bunbury Cemetery Board
- Geraldton Cemetery Board
- Kalgoorlie Boulder Cemetery Board.
A key consideration in this decision is that Grant of Right of Burial fees are applied for the purposes of cost recovery for regulatory services provided on behalf of the WA Government and for the benefit of the community.
The GST exemption applies to the Grant of Right of Burial fee but does not apply to the Interment Fee or other fees and changes that a cemetery board may charge for goods and/or services.
The Grant of Right of Burial fee charged by the Metropolitan Cemeteries Board and the City of Busselton are currently exempt from GST.
In the interests of consistency, it is recommended that regional local governments managing cemeteries take steps to adopt the ruling to apply the GST exemption to the Grant of Right of Burial component of their fees.
The ATO has advised that a private ruling is only binding once an organisation to whom it applies begins to act in accordance with the ruling.
That means regional local governments that manage cemeteries should implement the changes needed to effect the change in GST treatment (for example, gazettal, updating systems and invoices) as soon as practicable. They should then apply the GST exemption
from that point.
Local governments affected by this ruling may contact us at email@example.com to receive a confidential copy of the full ruling for information and guidance.