An interesting query was raised at one of the VA forums I participate in. A curly one really. A VA had sub-contracted work out to another VA, they had agreed on a rate but when the invoice arrived it had GST added onto the agreed rate. Therefore the invoice was higher than originally anticipated and thought to be agreed upon.
A number of us discussed this issue. Others had had similar happen to them and in fact, when I was managing the AVAC conference earlier this year, the same thing happened to me. The venue added on GST to the invoice after the event which amounted to a considerably higher fee than I’d been quoted and for which I’d budgeted. I found myself out of pocket and was rather disgruntled about it, but put it down to my not asking the question – does that include GST?
In a country (Australia) where some quote ex-GST and others quote with GST, it is most important that we ask the question, does that include GST?
It’s interesting to note that in doing a search on the ATO website I could not find anywhere what their rulings are. My understanding is that you are supposed to quote GST inclusive but it appears that so many still don’t, even after all these years.
So, to save yourself some embarrassment or misunderstandings, a good ruling should be to ask the question if GST is included, especially if it hasn’t been discussed.
For those outside of Australia the following explanations for the acronyms:
* GST = Goods & Services Tax, charged to those doing business inside Australia
* ATO = Australian Tax Office