Qantas disappointed by GST decision
Outstanding ... court rules that Qantas owes the Tax Office $34 million. Photo: Getty Images
Qantas says it's disappointed by the High Court's refusal to allow it to claim back $34 million in GST payments on tickets that were never used.
But the airline says the judgment, delivered today, will have no financial impact on its balance sheet as it's already paid the money to the tax office.
The High Court ruled the GST component on tickets Qantas sold for flights that were never taken, and where fares were not refunded to customers, had to be paid to the tax office.
The court determined Qantas had still provided a service to those customers and therefore owed the Australian Tax Office the outstanding GST.
Today's majority decision is a big win for the ATO, which had chased the matter through the Administrative Appeals Tribunal, the Federal Court and the High Court, where it finally sealed victory.