Easy steps to the deferred GST scheme
Easy steps to the deferred GST scheme
What is the deferred GST scheme?
The deferred GST (DGST) scheme allows importers to defer payment of GST on all taxable importations into Australia. Importers need to apply to the tax office for approval to defer GST payments on the imported goods.
The following steps will help you work out if you are eligible to participate in the scheme.
Do you have an Australian business number (ABN)?
You must have an ABN to participate in the DGST scheme.
Are you registered for GST?
Only importers who have registered for GST are eligible to defer GST on imported goods.
Do you lodge your activity statements online?
To participate in the DGST scheme, you must lodge your activity statement online.
GST group members and representatives
If you are a non-representative member of a GST group, you are not required to lodge an activity statement; however, you will still be eligible to apply for the DGST scheme.
Your nominated GST group representative will also need to apply for the DGST scheme and lodge their activity statement online.
For more information, refer to:
Do you lodge or intend to lodge your activity statement monthly?
To participate in the DGST scheme, you must lodge your activity statement monthly. If you currently lodge quarterly, you can elect to lodge monthly; however, this election will not take effect until the start of the next quarter. This means you will not be eligible to defer GST on your imports until the start of the next quarter.
GST group members
If you are a non-representative member of a GST group, you may be eligible to apply for the DGST scheme. GST deferred by non-reporting GST group members will be accounted for on the GST group representative's activity statement.
Your nominated GST group representative will also need to apply for the DGST scheme and lodge monthly activity statements.
For more information about:
- lodging your activity statement monthly, phone us on 13 28 66, or
- applying for DGST approval, phone us on 1300 130 915.
Do you have any outstanding tax-related returns or payments?
You may not be eligible to participate in the scheme if you are not up to date with your tax returns or payments. this includes all members of GST groups, GST branches and GST joint ventures.
Do you make your activity statement payments electronically?
To participate in the DGST scheme, you must make payments to us electronically.
For more information about electronic payments, refer to How to pay (NAT 8823).
Have you or any relevant persons been convicted or penalised by a court?
You may not be eligible to participate in the DGST scheme if, in the last three years, you or any persons relevant to the application have been convicted or penalised by a court for offences in relation to:
- taxation requirements
- customs requirements
- the misdescription of goods
- trade practices
- fair trading, or
- defrauding the Australian Government.
Persons relevant to the application include: public officers, directors, office bearers, partners and trustees of the applicant.
In the application you must state if you or any persons relevant to the application have been convicted or penalised by a court for any relevant offences. We may ask you to provide additional information about the nature of the offence or penalty before making a decision about your application.
If you satisfy the eligibility in steps 1-7 and you want to apply for DGST status, use the Application to defer GST on imported goods on our website.
For more information:
- phone 13 28 66
- visit our website at www.ato.gov.au, or
- write to us at
If you do not speak English well and want to talk to a tax officer, phone the translating and interpreting service on 13 14 50 for help with your call.
If you have a hearing or speech impairment and have access to appropriate TTY or modem equipment, phone 13 36 77. If you do not have access to TTY or modem equipment, phone the speech to speech relay service on 1300 555 727.
Last Modified: Tuesday, 27 March 2012