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Saturday, 21 Dec 2013

ATO steps back from rent slug for thousands of caravan park residents in moveable homes

Ruth  and Alan  Hiller at Green Acres Village Traralgon
Ruth and Alan Hiller at
Green Acres Village Traralgon

The Australian Tax Office (ATO) has decided not to change the GST treatment of moveable home estates.

Had a planned draft ruling (GST 2013/D2) gone ahead, residents of moveable home estates could have been slugged with up to a 10 per cent rental increase after the ATO formed the view that moveable home estates were not sufficiently like caravan parks despite them operating under specificm caravan park legislation.

The draft ruling (GSTR 2013/D2) will now be withdrawn and moveable home estates will continue to be treated as commercial residential premises with the same GST rules for long-term accommodation, allowing for operators to continue to apply unchanged a concessional 5.5 percent GST, or input taxed option.

Stuart Lamont, Chief Executive Officer of the Caravan, RV & Accommodation Industry of Australia Ltd (CRVA) congratulated the ATO on responding to industry and stakeholder concerns given voice during the consultation process.

“The announcement by the ATO is welcomed to take away the concerns from residents facing uncertainty on what the GST decision may have meant for their rental payments, Staurt Lamont said.

“This outcome is an example of what can be achieved when the entire industry comes together united in a common cause,” he said.

Well-tended gardens are a passion for Mayfair Gardens residents
Well-tended gardens are a passion for Mayfair Gardens residents

Bob Browne of CCIA NSW led industry consultation with the ATO on behalf of CRVA and the national caravanning and camping industry, with individual State Associations and large corporate operators individually making submissions while actively participating in the collective campaign. Theo Whitmont from CCIA NSW and James Kelly from Vic Parks were also at the forefront of advocacy on behalf of the national industry in this important matter.

Representations to the ATO were supplemented with a political lobby campaign, and it was encouraging to see both Leader of the Opposition Bill Shorten MP, and The Premier of Queensland Campbell Newman MP, among other State and Federal MP’s publicly remonstrating with the proposal.

The caravan park industry provides value accommodation options whether it be for leisure (with over 45 million overnight stays annually), extended breaks, or permanent accommodation.

The industry has recently seen significant injection of capital to improve facilities and offerings to the general public.

“Decisions such as the ATO made yesterday provide investor certainty to continue to invest strongly throughout the diverse industry sector which is the caravanning industry, providing for a greater customer experience” Mr Lamont noted.

Warm wood works well in the Green Acres designs
Warm wood works well in the Green Acres designs

Editors note: Caravan, RV & Accommodation Industry of Australia Ltd (CRVA) is the peak national body representing all sectors of the industry ranging from caravan holiday parks, manufacturers and retailers of industry products, suppliers of goods and services, and service providers. CRVA also communicates to an active database of over 157,000 caravanning and camping consumers, and is charged with providing growth, development and professionalism of the industry.

For more information 

contact: Garth Morrison 

Editor Go See Australia and Go See New Zealand Directory

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