• GST registration information for a non-resident

    Non-resident entities may need to register for goods and services tax (GST) in Australia.

    When we say:

    • 'non-resident entity' we mean an entity that is not a resident of Australia for Australian income tax purposes
    • 'the indirect tax zone' we mean the area that Australia's GST applies to, which we also refer to as 'Australia'.

    If you don’t understand a term we use, see GST definitions.

    Registering for GST in Australia

    You may need to register for GST in Australia if you are running an enterprise, which includes a business selling goods or property or digital products and other services that are connected with Australia.

    Even if you are not required to register, you may choose to register for GST in Australia.

    You must register for GST in Australia if both of the following apply:

    • you are carrying on an enterprise
    • your GST turnover from sales that are connected with Australia and made in the course of your enterprise, meets or exceeds the registration turnover threshold of A$75,000 (or A$150,000, if you are a non-profit body).

    Sales connected with Australia

    Your sale of goods is connected with Australia if any of the following apply:

    • the goods are delivered or made available to the purchaser in Australia
    • the goods are removed from Australia
    • you import the goods into Australia.

    Your sale of property is connected with Australia if the property is in Australia.

    Your sale of something other than goods or property is connected with Australia if any of the following apply:

    • the thing is done in Australia
    • you make the sale through an enterprise that you run in Australia
    • your sale is of a right or option to purchase something that would be connected with Australia
    • the purchaser is an Australian consumer.

    Choosing to register (voluntary registration)

    If you are not required to register for GST, you may choose to register for GST if both of the following apply:

    • you are running an enterprise
    • your GST turnover from sales that are connected with Australia and made in the course of your enterprise is less than A$75,000 (or A$150,000 if you are a non-profit body).

    If you choose to register, you should stay registered for 12 months.

    See also:

    Working out your GST turnover

    Your GST turnover is your gross business income (not your profit), excluding any:

    • GST you included in sales to your customers
    • sales that are not for payment and are not taxable
    • sales not connected with an enterprise you run
    • input-taxed sales you make
    • sales not connected with Australia
    • GST-free sales not made through an enterprise in Australia
    • sale of a right or option that is neither done in Australia nor made through an enterprise carried on in Australia while the underlying supply would be connected with Australia
    • from 1 July 2017, sale of a right or option that is neither done in Australia nor made through an enterprise carried on in Australia while the underlying sale would be connected with Australia unless all of the following apply
      • the sale is made to an Australian consumer
      • the sale is not GST-free
      • the underlying sale is not a sale of goods or real property.
       

    Types of registration

    There are three registration options:

    Full GST registration with ABN

    If you are running an enterprise in Australia or make supplies connected with Australia, you are entitled to an ABN.

    You will need an ABN to:

    • operate in the GST system, including claiming GST credits
    • avoid pay as you go (PAYG) tax on payments you receive
    • confirm your business identity to others when ordering and invoicing
    • connect to Manage ABN Connections or get an AUSkey to transact online with government agencies.

    How to register

    You can register for full GST registration with ABN online, using a form, by phone or through your registered agent.

    As a non-resident you will need to provide certain documentation. You may also be required to provide evidence of your identity.

    See also:

    Full GST registration without ABN

    If you are running an enterprise anywhere in the world and if you do not need an ABN, you can register under the full GST registration without ABN.

    How to register

    You can register for full GST registration without ABN online, using a form, by phone or through your registered agent.

    As a non-resident to register for full GST registration without ABN, you will be required to provide the following evidence:

    • documents that show the entity is registered with an equivalent corporate, market and/or financial regulator in its country of origin
    • a letter issued by a revenue authority of a comparable taxing regime stating that the entity exists in their records and it carries on an enterprise.

    Proof of identity documentation is not required to establish the identity of the entity’s directors, public officer and associates.

    See also:

    Full GST registration with or without ABN – entitlements and obligations

    Once you are registered for GST, the price you charge will include GST in the price of most goods and services you sell. You will be able to claim credits for the GST included in the price of most of your business purchases. You will also need to report these transactions by completing an activity statement every month or quarter, or an annual GST return.

    See also:

    Simplified GST registration

    From 1 July 2017, you may choose to be a Limited Registration Entity and access simplified GST registration for non-residents if you make inbound intangible consumer sales. You can choose this option even if you are currently registered for GST. However, you will need to cancel your full GST registration before you register under the simplified GST registration.

    An inbound intangible consumer sale is a sale of anything other than goods or real property (for example, digital products and other services) that is made to an Australian consumer and is not wholly done in Australia or is not made through an enterprise that you carry on in Australia.

    Under the Simplified GST registration:

    • You are not entitled to an Australian Business Number (ABN) and cannot issue tax invoices or adjustment notes.
    • You must lodge your GST returns and pay GST quarterly.
    • You cannot claim GST credits.
    • You can pay electronically via SWIFT bank transfer or credit card.

    How to register

    You can register online with minimal information and lodge and pay the GST electronically.

    Find out more

    • Send an email to AustraliaGST@ato.gov.au.
    • Phone us on +61 2 6216 1111. Our business hours are 8:00am to 5:00pm, Australian Eastern Standard Time (AEST) or Australian Eastern Daylight Saving Time (AEDST) Monday to Friday, except for national public holidays. Please ask the operator to connect you to 1300 146 094, then wait until you hear instructions to enter '118#'. After you enter the code, you will be transferred to an officer who can help you. For a free interpreting service, you can phone +61 3 9268 8332 and ask to be connected to 1300 146 094.
      Last modified: 17 Feb 2017QC 18025