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GST change smooth as silk

SMOOTH. That was how mostbodies approached by Business News described their first week of life with the GST.

Small business and larger retail traders did not encounter too many problems, while the real estate industry was satisfied with the transition to the new tax system on July 1.

Small Business Development Corporation managing director George Etrelezis said the industry took the tax changes in its stride.

He said minor problems included some small businesses still waiting for GST software and coming to terms with pricing issues.

Combined Small Business Associations of WA president Oliver Moon said there had been the “odd grumble” but businesses that had prepared seemed to be doing well.

“However, there are a lot of small businesses that have still not done anything about GST,” Mr Moon said.

The transition to a new tax system was “better than expected’’, Retail Traders Association manager Brian Reynolds said.

“Apart from some minor technical glitches, everything has gone smoothly,” he said.

“We anticipated retailers would have a greater degree of animosity from consumers than was the case.”

Mr Reynolds said the challenge for retailers was to increase sales which had slumped during July.

“Consumers will soon become aware of the total tax package and what that means to their disposable income – hopefully they will soon return to the market.”

After a initial surge by first-home buyers, home sales had returned to normal, Real Estate Institute of WA economist Lino Iacomella said.

“It has certainly been better than a month ago, but it is not a boom,” he said.

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