South Gippsland Bullion : Killed By The Australian Tax Office For Dissent?

2년 전

In early 2016 South Gippsland Bullion closed its doors due to a ruling by the Australian Tax Office that some products they were selling should have had GST (Goods and Services Tax) payable. Before I go into detail about why I think the ruling was extremely unfair and this is another example of heavy handed government stepping on the little guy, let me first talk a bit about the coin series that triggered it all. It was called “The Series Of Dissent”, and it’s one of my personal favourites.

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1. The Reaper

Shows the greedy spectacled pig bankster with all his fiat money fresh from the printing presses. The Reaper stands ominously behind him with his big scythe and ready to pass judgement.

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2. World Leaders

Featuring the politician with puppeteer strings attached making the classic Nixon double peace sign with eyes stitched shut. The words “Screw the Taxpayer” surround him. Anyone who knows the history of what Nixon did in 1971 will understand the relevance.

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3. Too Big To Fail

Here is the big Corporate building devouring the Small Businesses who are huddled in what looks like a coffee mug. Too Big To Fail became a bit of a slogan during the GFC in 2008 when some of the biggest and wealthiest Corporations were bailed out by the taxpayers.

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4. Recycle

I don’t have this one, so I borrowed a pic. This coin shows the trio of Government, Banks and Big Corporations working together to squeeze every last drop of wealth out of the world. The design shows the earth cracking like an egg.

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Ok, so now we have some perspective and you know why I like this series so much. The designs are intricate and my pictures really don’t do them justice. There is a lot of fine detail so it’s worth pulling out the old magnifying glass or eye piece to really grasp the impressiveness of these coins. Click on the images above to expand them and see (apologies for the fluff). I deliberately uploaded large images.

Back to the ATO ruling. I am no tax lawyer and obviously I need to be careful what I say here, but I’ll try and boil this down into a clear case of double standards. The ATO does not charge GST on Bullion. They do charge GST on Jewellery and Precious Metal products that trade at a price NOT determined in reference to the Spot Price, such as Proof coins which trade at a price reflective of the quality of the coins finish. South Gippsland Bullion WERE charging GST on their Proof coins but not on their Bullion coins, like the Series of Dissent.

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Those who are familiar with the Perth Mint would know that they sell a lot of Bullion coins (like the Lunar Series) which are deemed semi-numismatic because of changing quality designs. They even have limited mintages and appeal to collectors all around the world. Their coins usually trade at a significant premium to the spot price. Yet they are exempt from GST.

Don’t get me wrong, I love the Perth Mint stuff too, but this is a clear double standard to me. The little guy gets crushed because he can’t fight back. The big guy either has the ATO insiders onside, or are big enough to be able to fight (and win) the legal battle. Some will say it is co-incidence that South Gippsland Bullion was targeted and made an example out of. You could see the theme of the Series Of Dissent coins as ironic to this situation, or you could see it as the reason for it.

Either way, we are ALL poorer for this outcome


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Images and Credits
http://sbabullion.com.au
http://www.silverartcollector.com
http://www.libertarianprepper.com

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Firstly - great coins! I wonder if there's still any around?

Secondly, typical friggin ATO - small business in Aus is struggling - the ATO should be supporting these type of businesses!
Look at all those BIG Corporations that end up paying zero tax.

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They'll be hard to find but if you know what to look for and keep your eyes open you might find some.

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I might do a bit of searching - let me know if you come across any that you don't want to snap up.
I've got some rellies who've lived in the South Gippsland area for generations - maybe I'll get them on the job?

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I think I want to snap up some more myself, but if I hit the mother lode I'll let you know ;)

I'm not sure you'll have much success digging in South Gippsland as I think SGB was more an online business.

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What do you reckon a fair AUD price would be for a single coin these days?

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That's a tough question. I'd snap them up at $30 and would even be tempted at $40 but one mans treasure is another mans trash, so who knows.

The little guy always gets screwed by the tax office because he can’t afford the legal fees to fight them. Some cool rounds there.

How'd they close them down? Fine them into oblivion? I can see how they would try and prevent coins like this from being made, might draw in a little too much attention to the real sources of peoples' woes.

So this was in all likelihood a case of heavy-handed favoritism?

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I don't know the specifics and SGB probably fear further repercussions if they say too much so we may never know. I believe they were audited and then told they had an outstanding tax-obligation for previous sales of the Series Of Dissent. I don't know if/how they resolved it, but they closed the doors in response to the ATO ruling.

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The taxation matter is a (some would claim arbitrary at times) discretionary choice by the Australian Taxation Office about distinguishing between investment bullion, which is Goods & Services Tax free versus some other form of product which happens to be made of precious metal but in any case attracts GST.

More detail on this from the reputable and well connected 'Bullion Baron': http://www.bullionbaron.com/2016/06/screw-taxpayer-ato-compels-gst-on.html

I consider these to be a kind of Jerilderie Letter of Australian small mintage numismatic bullion. If you have or can get some they will be an esoteric & intriguing addition to a private collection, you can try to discuss and track them down in precious metals discussion & trade fora but a word of advice: don't try to hustle for them among Australian interest groups, such conduct will draw the diametric opposite of the desired outcome. It would serve far better to simply engage discussion on point of interest in precious metals and share appreciation and experience. If an offer or opportunity arises, well done, otherwise, you've already gained in the form of insight, possibly contacts, perhaps even friends.

Just remember that there is, still to this day, a fair measure of anarchic streak slumbering in the Australian psyche. Mateship can be made fast, and lost faster.

Words of Ned himself, from the Jerilderie Letter:

"I have been wronged and my mother and four or five men lagged innocent and is my brothers and sisters and my mother not to be pitied also who has no alternative only to put up with the brutal and cowardly conduct off a parcel of big ugly fat-necked wombat headed big bellied magpie legged narrow hipped splaw-footed sons of Irish Bailiffs or english landlords which is better known as Officers of Justice or Victorian Police who some call honest gentlemen.

"I give fair warning to all those who has reason to fear me to sell out and give £10 out of every hundred towards the widow and orphan fund and do not attempt to reside in Victoria but as short a time as possible after reading this notice, neglect this and abide by the consequences, which shall be worse than the rust in the wheat in Victoria or the druth of a dry season to the grasshoppers in New South Wales I do not wish to give the order full force without giving timely warning but I am a widows son outlawed and my orders must be obeyed."

Just my 2 Dinari's worth.

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Thanks. I am a fan of the Bullion Baron, even tried to get him posting here on STEEM. He's here as @bullion but maybe needs a bit of prodding ;)

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Noted. I'll do my best.

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Wow, it sounds like they were publicly told that it was a tax-obligation they should act like they couldn't pay off, but privately were told an offer they literally couldn't refuse. At least they walked away with their lives, right?

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I don't think their lives were in danger. We aren't quite murderous here in Australia, but we're pretty good at shutting out the little guys.

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Hah, guess I view things from a different lens when people who talk about _ _ _ 's suppression of silver prices almost gets rammed by a car after talking about it.

Those are some intense-looking coins! You said these were sold relative to spot value. What's the markup on them?

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Good question. Going back through my record I bought them from Bullion List in 2015 for 77-92% above Spot. The same year I bought Perth Mint Lunar Rabbit from Ainslie Bullion for 127% above Spot. Also a bunch of Perth Mint Kookaburras (1992-2007) for 131% above Spot. If you can explain the difference between these products I'd love to hear it :)

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That's a fair bit more than regular bullion, but they look cool, so probably worth it. The differences between those coins you listed? I've got no clue, brother. :)

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Yes, a lot of those I bought when I was at first looking more at collecting older semi-numismatics for sets and cool looking silver coins. I am a bit more disciplined now :)

I own several complete sets of this series including double obverse & a Ra, specifically because of the pictographic ideology and as a symbolic gesture of solidarity towards SGB.

The taxation story is scandalous. The SGB protagonist is still about, if you know of whom with which to mingle and ask quietly. These rounds have a cult following, if you own them, HODL.

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I'd love to get the details of this scandal and they probably should be public, but I wouldn't want to make matters worse for the SGB protagonist.

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Myself neither. Good person, I'm surprised you haven't crossed paths on SS.

I have never seen those coins before. They are great. Thanks for sharing.

Those are some really awesome rounds man, I love the designs. The themes remind me of Silver Shield or even Chautauqua Silver Works Toxic Series.
Shame the government wanted to target them it seams, there's some strange and interesting tax laws on bullion worldwide, I must say we're lucky to be in Canada and not have any of that nonsense.
Thanks for sharing man.

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No worries. Yes, there is some similarities in theme with the Silver Shield stuff, which I also really like. I guess the Series Of Dissent is the Aussie version :)

I hope things stay friendly for you in Canada.

Customs are being difficult about some silver bars I've had sent over.
They're not drugs or guns, just leave them alone and get out the way. Nobody invited you.

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Ah, but you could be financing terrorism with those bars!

Shame on you ;)

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I think I'm a weight stacker.
(My mother in law certainly says so).
Coins look pretty, but bars are all business.
No markup, no GST (hopefully), just a lot of shiny.

This coins, I really like them. Its unique I have never seen anything like it, just wish I can get my hand on some. Thanks for sharing it.

what are pennies made out of in Australia?

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We don't have pennies any more. The old 1 cent coins were made out of copper but got taken out of circulation years ago.

Oh great...more coins for me to hunt down and buy, lol...I really like those designs. Same as it ever was in OZ as it is in the US...its only a matter of time before they pass some goofy laws with regards to taxation on bullion her in the US.

Thank you for the post! I absolutely LOVE the theft vs theft graphic too! Imagine all the similar stories out there that we DON'T hear about. Another reminder to remain ever-vigilant if we are to protect our freedoms!

Very well said. Really cool designs

you only have to do 2 things in life.. pay taxes and die .keep stackin brother

I like the coins/ rounds they are really great detail. I also think this poat is full of history and great information. Thank you so much for the post.

Good post, i like it

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I have seen a few of thease rounds on silverstackers.com
Great article

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good !! upvoted!

thanks your post!