Australia: Taxpayer’s “food” product subject to GST (Administrative Appeals Tribunal decision)
Yogurt product was properly characterized as food that is a combination of one or more foods
Administrative Appeals Tribunal decision
The Administrative Appeals Tribunal held that the taxpayer’s yogurt product was subject to goods and services tax (GST) because it was properly characterized as food that is a combination of one or more foods, at least one of which is specifically subject to GST.
The case is: Chobani Pty Ltd and Commissioner of Taxation  AATA 1664 (16 June 2023)
In general, supplies of food (including yogurt) are GST-free. However, certain categories of food are subject to GST (including confectionery and biscuit-like products). Food that is a combination of one or more foods, at least one of which is subject to GST, also is subject to GST.
After considering the nature of the taxpayer’s product, its ingredients and composition, packaging and appearance, dry inclusions, in-store display and immediate competitors, marketing, cost of goods sold, trademark registrations and effect of GST treatment on price, the tribunal found that “…the Product is a combination of strawberry-flavoured yoghurt, cookie pieces and white chocolate chips – in which the cookie pieces and chocolate chips are not insignificant ; remain readily identifiable and are not subsumed into a separate product…” Accordingly, the tribunal concluded that the product was subject to GST.
As a result of the mechanics by which this issue was brought before the tribunal, there were no findings made in relation to whether the taxpayer’s product may have constituted a “composite supply” in which the GST treatment of the “dominant part” of the supply prevails over things that are integral, ancillary or incidental to that part.
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