Financial Services

Staff expenses


Staff occasionally use University facilities such as photocopiers, faxes and phones for private purposes, and the University recoups the cost incurred back from the staff member.

The re-charging of amounts for these services to staff will be taxable supplies, subject to GST.

Cash advances

The initial payment of a cash advance to a staff member is not subject to GST. The return of the unspent portion of the cash advance is not subject to GST.

The costing of the used portion of the cash advance is subject to GST depending on the GST status of the expenditure. GST may only be accounted for if a tax invoice is obtained by the staff member and is held by the University (unless the acquisition was not greater than $55 including GST).


Staff member is paid a cash advance of $110. The cash advances clearing account is debited for $110 and GST is not affected. Staff member returns $22 unspent cash. The cash advance clearing account is credited for $22 and GST is not affected.

Staff member provides tax invoices for $88 (GST-inclusive) for the cash advance spent on hotel bills. The cash advance clearing account is credited for $88 to clear that account to nil. The travel account is costed with $80 and $8 is posted to the GST input tax credit account.

Salaries, wages and allowances paid to staff

Salaries and wages paid to staff members are out of the scope of GST.

Payments to staff in the form of an allowance (not dependent on the level of actual costs incurred) are out of the scope of GST. No documentation is required from the staff member and no input tax credits are available to be claimed back from the ATO for allowances paid.

Cost reimbursements

Costs are incurred directly by staff in the performance of their duties or while acting as an agent on behalf of the University. These costs may be reimbursed to the staff member by the University.

Costs may also be reimbursed to non-employees, such as students or other agents, acting on the University's behalf or incurring expenses directly related to the performance of their duties for the University.

GST incurred by these individuals on these costs is available to be claimed back from the ATO by the University, as if the University incurred the costs directly, provided that:

  • the supply to the individual was a taxable supply
  • a tax invoice (only required for acquisitions greater than or equal to $55 [GST-inclusive]) for the acquisition is obtained by that individual and provided to the University
  • the individual is not entitled to claim the input tax credit.

The individual is reimbursed for the full GST-inclusive amount but the departmental accounts will only be costed the GST-exclusive amount. The GST component is claimed back from the ATO.

Petty cash

Petty cash costs are incurred in departments. The bulk of these costs will include a GST component but many suppliers will not automatically provide a tax invoice.

A tax invoice will not be required for costs not exceeding $55 (GST-inclusive) in order to claim back input tax credits.

Corporate cards

Receipts/tax invoices are required for GST purposes until corporate card statements can fully comply with tax invoice requirements. The rules for tax invoices apply for corporate card expenditure just like any other form of payment. That is, all transactions greater than $55 (GST inclusive) require a tax invoice to be retained to enable input tax credits to be claimed.

Refer to GST Ruling GSTR 2000/26 to determine whether the corporate card statement is a valid tax invoice.

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