Note: This FAQ relates to Australian GST and therefore only applies to branches of SCA Ltd located in Australia. It was last updated on August 8, 2012.
Question 1: Who pays GST?
Answer: Australian branches of SCA Ltd.
Question 2: Do we pay GST on everything?
Answer: No, not on donations (see below) and not on transfers from other SCA branches.
Question 3: Why do we have to pay GST?
Answer: The combined traffic through SCA branches in Australia is now over the annual limit for a non-profit organisation.
Question 4: When should branches start paying GST?
Answer: The Board of Directors has announced that branches will be liable to remit 1/11th of their income to the Corporate account from the 1st of July 2012, see below.
Question 5: How will this GST liability be calculated?
Answer: Add up your income for the quarter without non-assessable donation amounts or incoming transfers and divide by 11.
Question 6: Can that liability be reduced?
Answer: Yes. Copies of receipts that show GST being paid out by the branch can be loaded into the Drop Box. The GST paid on those receipts can then be deducted from the branch liability calculated above.
Question 7: How do we pay?
Answer: Payments will be required quarterly with the Event Memberships to the Corporate account. The quarterly payment to the Australian Taxation Office will be made from the Corporate account. If you do not have Internet facilities on your account, you just need to go to your local Westpac branch and deposit the cheques into the Corporate account as listed on the Reeves’ page. Then send the Exchequer and Treasurer an email so that they can match the deposit against your branch.
Question 8: What is a non-assessable donation amount?
Answer: A non-assessable donation amount is money given to the branch without the donor receiving anything in exchange.
Money paid at an auction for donated items is income, the items were donated. Attendance at a hall may or may not be a donation depending on the decision of the branch and the impression given to attendees. If there is any implication that entry into the hall or wandering around looking at activities requires payment of $x, it is not a donation.
Charges to attend a class are not a donation. Payments for raffle tickets are not a donation. Bidding on a fighter at a Fighter Auction is not a donation as the bidder is the potential recipient of heightened social status etc. even without prizes being available.
Question 9: How does this affect the receipts we issue for payments if so requested?
Answer: The requirements for a GST compliant invoice/receipt is the addition of the full name of the company (the Society for Creative Anachronism Ltd), the ABN (13 117 403 648), “Tax Invoice”, and preferably “GST inclusive” beside the total or separately writing the GST amount charged.
For example, if the price of entry into an event is $27.50 GST inclusive, you do not GST invoice books can be used as receipts books with “Paid” and a signature or initials written on the invoice. There are Tax invoice books available from larger newsagents and places like Office Works.
Branches may purchase their own do-it-yourself stamp or commission a cast rubber stamps with the full name of SCA Ltd and the ABN number to make issuing tax invoices easier. If branches prefer, the Treasurer will supply stamps suitable for GST invoices/receipts.
Question 10: What happens if we calculate it incorrectly?
Answer: We will be utilizing the services of a professional Accountant to prepare the quarterly Business Activity Statement and they can revise the figures in the following quarter and adjust the payment accordingly. If we incur penalties, we will pay them but plan to minimize such with good internal processes, training and early correction.
Question 11: Does the SCA pay Income Tax in Australia?
Answer: Not at the moment. The Accountant is happy that our external income (bank interest and performance fees etc.) is less than our bank charges and other applicable deductions. We are expecting that any changes to the income taxation laws in Australia that might be based on the Henry Review will change this answer. Watch this space around 1st January 2013.