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  • 5. Registrations

    We help people to correctly register in the GST system and to exit the GST system when required.

    From 1 July 2019 to 30 June 2020:

    • approximately 371,000 new GST registrations requests were received
    • approximately 263,000 GST registration cancellations were processed.

    As at 30 June 2020, our register had 2.9 million active GST registrants, 2.5% more than 2018–19. Movement in and out of the GST system has been stable, with a notable proportion of registrants being small businesses. The increase in GST registrations has broadly been across most industries. Most prominently has been the growth in the transport sector, due to higher registrations in ride-sourcing and delivery services. All ride-sourcing drivers need to have an Australian business number (ABN) and be registered for GST, regardless of GST turnover.

    Detecting and deterring GST refund fraud in the community by gathering intelligence and cancelling unnecessary GST registrations ensures the integrity of our register. This year 23,390 GST registrations were checked, resulting in:

    • 3,487 cancelled registrations
    • over 350 enterprises referred for further investigation.

    Working with the Australian Border Force, we also manage the deferred GST (DGST) scheme, a government initiative that allows registered importers to defer payment of GST on imported goods until 21 days after the end of the monthly taxable period. Approval into the scheme is only granted if the importer has a history of good compliance, lodges a monthly business activity statement (BAS) electronically and pays BAS net amounts electronically. In 2019–20, we:

    • approved 1,538 new deferred GST registrations
    • declined 781 deferred GST registration applications that did not qualify for the scheme
    • compliance assured 3,406 deferred GST registrations
    • revoked 630 deferred GST registrations.

    To support businesses during the challenging COVID-19 period, we enabled a change in the GST cycle that helped importers with their cash flow. This ensured more businesses and brokers could access the DGST scheme and have the cash flow needed for the continued flow of goods into and out of Australia.

    To help businesses keep supply chains open during this trying time the ATO also:

    • committed resources to ensure that all DGST applications were processed in a timely fashion
    • worked with businesses to reduce compliance costs.

    There was a 50% increase in DGST registrations to 500 in the March to June 2020 period, compared with the same time last year.

      Last modified: 30 Aug 2021QC 64820