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

December 21, 2013
ATO steps  back from rent slug for thousands of caravan park residents in moveable homes

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

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

The draft ruling (GSTR 2013/D2) will now be withdrawn and moveable home estates will continue tobe treated as commercial residential premises with the same GST rules for long-term accommodation,allowing for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 taxedoption.

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

The announcement by the ATO is welcomed to take away the concerns from residents facinguncertainty 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 ina common cause, he said.

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

Representations to the ATO were supplemented with a political lobby campaign, and it wasencouraging to see both Leader of the Opposition Bill Shorten MP, and The Premier of QueenslandCampbell Newman MP, among other State and Federal MPs publicly remonstrating with theproposal.

The caravan park industry provides value accommodation options whether it be for leisure (with over45 million overnight stays annually), extended breaks, or permanent accommodation.

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

Decisions such as the ATO made yesterday provide investor certainty to continue to invest stronglythroughout the diverse industry sector which is the caravanning industry, providing for a greatercustomer experience Mr Lamont noted.

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

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

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