This study examines the impact of the introduction of the Goods and Services Tax GST on small business in Australia in the context of the experiences faced in similar countries overseas. Using a case study methodology, data was gathered from six small businesses that were observed throughout the introductory period of the new tax system. In particular, this article considers the costs for small businesses in complying with the new tax system. Businesses reported actual GST compliance costs ranging from 3,331 to 30,140 per business in the cases examined. For the two smallest businesses, their compliance costs amounted to over 3 of the firm's reported annual turnover. The study also identified significant ongoing record keeping and accounting costs that are required by small businesses in order to meet their GST obligations. These findings indicate that governments need to be more aware of the impact of tax reforms on small businesses if they wish to implement changes with minimal adverse impacts on business operations.
Asian Review of Accounting – Emerald Publishing
Published: Jan 1, 2002