A GST group is two or more associated business entities that operate as a single business for GST purposes. One member of the group (the 'representative member') completes activity statements and accounts for GST on behalf of the whole group.
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Benefits of forming a GST group
If you're a member of a GST group, transactions you conduct with other group members are ignored for GST purposes. This means you're not liable to pay GST to us on sales you make to other members and can't claim GST credits for purchases from other members.
As a member of a GST group:
- your administrative and cash flow costs associated with intragroup transactions are reduced
- you don't have to issue tax invoices for intragroup transactions (tax invoices for transactions outside the group must still be issued by the group member making the sale)
- your representative member will complete the activity statement to report GST on your behalf.
It's important to note that the representative member is responsible for the GST that each group member is liable to pay to us and can also claim all the GST credits to which each group member is entitled.
Companies, trusts and partnerships with common ownership or membership may operate as a group. Individuals, or family members of individuals, associated with these entities may also be part of a GST group. However, a GST group can't consist solely of individuals.
To form a GST group each member must:
- be registered for GST
- have the same tax period as all the other members of the proposed GST group
- account for GST on the same basis (that is, cash or non-cash) as all the other members of the proposed GST group
- not belong to any other GST group
- have no branches for GST purposes
- satisfy the requirements and regulations that apply to that particular type of entity.
One member of the group must be nominated as the representative member. This member must be an Australian resident for tax purposes. Other members don't need to be Australian residents for tax purposes.
How to form a GST group
To form a GST group you must ensure all group members are eligible and then notify us using this form:
You also use this form to:
- add or remove a GST group member
- change the representative member of a GST group
- cancel a GST group.
How to operate a GST group
The representative member of a GST group must complete activity statements and account for any net GST adjustments on behalf of all group members. Intra-group transactions are not included in the activity statements.
The representative member must also notify us:
- if they have
- added or removed members from the GST group
- changed the GST group's representative member
- dissolved the GST group
- within 21 days if an entity who was a member no longer meets the requirements to be in the group.
While the representative member is generally responsible for paying GST and claiming GST credits, the members of a GST group are jointly and separately responsible for any amount the representative member is liable to pay us. However, members of a GST group can enter into an indirect tax sharing agreement with the representative member of the group to limit their liability for the representative member's indirect tax liability.
If a GST group member makes a taxable importation and GST is payable at the time customs duty is paid, the group member responsible for the importation will be liable to pay the GST. Otherwise, the representative member will pay the GST on the importation. In both cases, the representative member is eligible to claim any allowable GST credits on the importation.
Effect on GST turnover
An entity's GST turnover affects whether it is required to register for GST, and the method and timing of its GST accounting and reporting.
For a member of a GST group, their GST turnover is the GST turnover of the entire group, excluding any sales between group members.
GSTR 2001/7 Goods and services tax: meaning of GST turnover, including the effect of section 188-25 on projected GST turnover.
A GST group is two or more associated business entities that operate as a single business for GST purposes.