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Goods and Services Tax Principles (LAWS70031)

Graduate coursework level 7Points: 12.5On Campus (Parkville)

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Year of offer2019
Subject levelGraduate coursework Level 7
Subject codeLAWS70031
Availability(Quotas apply)
FeesSubject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date

This core tax subject will examine Australia’s Goods and Services Tax (GST). The subject identifies the core legislative features in Australia’s GST contained in the A New Tax System (Goods and Services Tax) Act 1999.

The subject includes:

  • reference to the value-added tax systems in other jurisdictions such as the European Union, United Kingdom, New Zealand and Singapore; and
  • analysis of rulings and cases that are relevant to the operation of, and compliance with, Australia’s GST in practice.

Principal topics include:

  • Introduction to the GST: the objectives of a tax on household consumption expenditure and the design features and legislative scheme of Australia’s GST
  • GST’s ‘basic rules’ and the legislative building blocks contained in the GST law: the taxable person, consumption expenditure, tax value, registration, jurisdictional scope, supplies to and from offshore, exemptions, the destination principle (exports and imports) and input tax relief.
  • A legislative overview of the Australian GST treatment of the “difficult to tax” issues: real property and financial services.

Intended learning outcomes

A student who has successfully completed this subject will:

  • Have an understanding of the core elements of the international value added tax model
  • Be an engaged participant in debate regarding emerging and contemporary issues in value added tax
  • Have a sophisticated appreciation of the policy basis and legislative scheme of Australia’s goods and services tax (GST)
  • Have an advanced understanding of the legislation, rulings and cases that are relevant to the operation of and compliance with Australia’s GST in practice
  • Understand and apply an approach to analyse transactions of a complex nature and identify GST issues and outcomes arising from them
  • Have the cognitive and technical skills to generate critical and creative ideas relating to Australia’s GST
  • Have the cognitive and technical skills to examine independently, research and analyse the existing legislative scheme, its application to commercial transactions and any proposals for reform
  • Be able to demonstrate autonomy, expert judgment and responsibility as a practitioner and learner in the field of Australia’s GST.

Eligibility and requirements


Melbourne Law Masters Students: None

JD Students: Successful completion of the below subject:

Code Name Teaching period Credit Points
LAWS50046 Taxation Law and Policy
Semester 1
Semester 2



Non-allowed subjects


Recommended background knowledge

Applicants without legal qualifications should note that subjects are offered in the discipline of law at an advanced graduate level. While every effort will be made to meet the needs of students trained in other fields, concessions will not be made in the general level of instruction or assessment. Most subjects assume the knowledge usually acquired in a degree in law (LLB, JD or equivalent). Applicants should note that admission to some subjects in the Melbourne Law Masters will be dependent upon the individual applicant’s educational background and professional experience.

Core participation requirements

The Melbourne Law Masters welcomes applications from students with disabilities. The inherent academic requirements for study in the Melbourne Law Masters are:

  • The ability to attend a minimum of 75% of classes and actively engage in the analysis and critique of complex materials and debate;
  • The ability to read, analyse and comprehend complex written legal materials and complex interdisciplinary materials;
  • The ability to clearly and independently communicate in writing a knowledge and application of legal principles and interdisciplinary materials and to critically evaluate these;
  • The ability to clearly and independently communicate orally a knowledge and application of legal principles and interdisciplinary materials and critically evaluate these;
  • The ability to work independently and as a part of a group;
  • The ability to present orally and in writing legal analysis to a professional standard.

Students who feel their disability will inhibit them from meeting these inherent academic requirements are encouraged to contact Student Equity and Disability Support.


Additional details

  • Assignment (3,000 words) (30%) (29 May) and Take-home examination (5,000 - 6,000 words) (70%) (25 June - 1 July)
  • Research paper (8,000 - 10,000 words) (100%) (31 July) on a topic approved by the subject coordinator

A minimum of 75% attendance is a hurdle requirement.

Quotas apply to this subject

Dates & times

  • May
    Principal coordinatorMichael Evans
    Mode of deliveryOn Campus — Parkville
    Contact hours24-34 hours
    Total time commitment150 hours
    Pre teaching start date10 April 2019
    Pre teaching requirementsThe pre-teaching period commences four weeks before the subject commencement date. From this time, students are expected to access and review the Reading Guide that will be available from the LMS subject page and the subject materials provided by the subject coordinator, which will be available from Melbourne Law School. Refer to the Reading Guide for confirmation of which resources need to be read and what other preparation is required before the teaching period commences.
    Teaching period 8 May 2019 to 14 May 2019
    Last self-enrol date29 March 2019
    Census date 8 May 2019
    Last date to withdraw without fail21 June 2019
    Assessment period ends31 July 2019

    May contact information


    Mr Michael Evans, Coordinator

    Email: law-masters@unimelb.edu.au
    Phone: +61 3 8344 6190
    Website: law.unimelb.edu.au

Additional delivery details

This subject has a quota of 30 students.

Enrolment is on a first come, first served basis. Waitlists are maintained for subjects that are fully subscribed.

Students should note priority of places in subjects will be given as follows:

  • To currently enrolled Graduate Diploma and Masters students with a satisfactory record in their degree
  • To other students enrolling on a single subject basis, eg Community Access Program (CAP) students, cross-institutional study and cross-faculty study.

Please refer to the Melbourne Law Masters website for further information about the management of subject quotas and waitlists.

Further information

  • Texts

    Prescribed texts

    Specialist materials will be made available free of charge from the Melbourne Law School prior to the pre-teaching period.

  • Available through the Community Access Program

    About the Community Access Program (CAP)

    This subject is available through the Community Access Program (also called Single Subject Studies) which allows you to enrol in single subjects offered by the University of Melbourne, without the commitment required to complete a whole degree.

    Entry requirements including prerequisites may apply. Please refer to the CAP applications page for further information.

    Additional information for this subject

    If required, please contact law-admissions@unimelb.edu.au for subject coordinator approval.

  • Available to Study Abroad and/or Study Exchange Students

    This subject is available to students studying at the University from eligible overseas institutions on exchange and study abroad. Students are required to satisfy any listed requirements, such as pre- and co-requisites, for enrolment in the subject.

Last updated: 8 September 2019