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The Impact of the Introduction of the GST on Small Business In Australia

John Breen (Victoria University, Australia)
Sue Bergin‐Seers (Victoria University, Australia)
Ian Roberts (Victoria University, Australia)
Robert Sims (Victoria University, Australia)

Asian Review of Accounting

ISSN: 1321-7348

Article publication date: 1 January 2002



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 on‐going 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.


Breen, J., Bergin‐Seers, S., Roberts, I. and Sims, R. (2002), "The Impact of the Introduction of the GST on Small Business In Australia", Asian Review of Accounting, Vol. 10 No. 1, pp. 89-104.




Copyright © 2002, MCB UP Limited

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