• GST registration information for a non-resident

    This content includes information on proposed law expected to be in effect by 1 July 2017. We suggest you check back regularly for updates.

    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

    When you must register

    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

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

    • the purchaser is an Australian consumer
    • 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.

    For example, your sale is connected with Australia if you sell:

    • a digital product, such as software or an eBook, to an Australian consumer
    • services, such as consulting services, to an Australian consumer.

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

    • from 1 July 2017 (pending passage of Bill before parliament) you are the supplier of offshore supplies of low value goods to consumers
    • you source the goods from within Australia and deliver or make them available in Australia to the purchaser
    • 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.

    Working out your GST turnover

    You reach the GST registration turnover threshold if your:

    • 'current GST turnover' (turnover for the current month and the previous 11 months) totals $75,000 or more ($150,000 or more for non-profit organisations), or
    • 'projected GST turnover' (total turnover for the current month and the next 11 months) is likely to be $75,000 or more ($150,000 or more for non-profit organisations).

    Your GST turnover is your gross sales revenue, excluding:

    • sales not connected with Australia
    • GST you included in sales to your customers
    • sales that are not for payment and are not taxable
    • input-taxed sales you make
    • GST-free sales not made through an enterprise in Australia
    • sale of a right or option to purchase something that is not done in Australia or made through an enterprise carried on in Australia while the underlying sale would be connected with Australia
    • from 1 July 2017, sale of a right or option to purchase something that is not done in Australia or 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.
       

    Voluntary registration

    If you are not required to register for GST, you can choose to register for GST if you are running an enterprise.

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

    Types of registration

    The types of GST registration available in Australia are:

    • Simplified registration – for non-residents who are eligible and want to electronically register, report and pay quickly and easily
    • Full registration with an Australian Business Number (ABN) – for entities that make supplies connected with Australia, issue tax invoices, and are entitled to claim GST credits
    • Full registration without an ABN – for non-residents with an enterprise is outside Australia, are not entitled to an ABN, do not make supplies connected with Australia, and are entitled to claim GST credits.

    Simplified GST registration

    You can register for simplified GST from 26 June 2017 via an online portal. Simplified GST registration allows you access to the simplified GST system for non-residents. It is a quick and easy way to meet your GST obligations.

    You can register in the simplified GST system if you make:

    • sales of one or more inbound intangible consumer supplies
    • taxable supplies of low value imported goods (subject to parliamentary approval).

    An inbound intangible consumer supply 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
    • not wholly done in Australia or made through an enterprise you run in Australia.

    If you register using simplified GST registration, you will become a Limited Registration Entity with full access to the simplified GST system.

    If you apply to register for simplified GST without cancelling your ABN we will contact you. If you decide to proceed with simplified registration we will cancel your ABN and change your GST registration from full to simplified from the date of the cancellation.

    The simplified GST system for non-residents

    The simplified GST system is an online platform that is fully secure and accessible via a portal on the ATO’s website. This digital system will allow you to register, lodge and pay your Australian GST, manage your account details, and authorise others to securely access your account.

    In the simplified GST system for non-residents:

    • You do not have to prove your identity
    • You use an ATO Reference Number (ARN) instead of an ABN
    • You cannot issue tax invoices or adjustment notes.
    • You cannot claim GST credits
    • You must lodge your GST returns and pay GST quarterly.
    • You can pay electronically via SWIFT bank transfer or credit card.

    You can access other features provided by the GST Act even though you are registered in the simplified GST system. For example, even if you are registered in the simplified GST system, you are eligible to form a GST group if you satisfy all other membership requirements.

    How to register in the simplified GST system

    To access the online registration form you will need a secure credential called an AUSid. You will be provided with your AUSid during the online registration process.

    Simply download the AUSid app and provide your name, date of birth, and email address. You can then access the online platform and apply for simplified GST registration.

    You can use your AUSid to authenticate and securely access the online platform for simplified GST whenever you need to.

    We will then send you a unique Australian Taxation Office Reference Number (ARN) within one business day of completing the registration process.

    The ARN is a unique 12 digit numerical identifier used to identify you in ATO systems and may be used as an identifier on invoices, for example, 123456789012.

    See also:

    Full GST registration with ABN

    To register for full GST registration you first need to apply for an Australian Business Number (ABN).

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

    The ABN is a unique 11 digit numerical identifier used to identify you in ATO systems, for example 12 345 678 901.

    To meet Australia's tax invoice requirements, a valid invoice must contain your ABN.

    Non-residents need to provide additional documentation and evidence of identity when they apply for an ABN. As a result, the process of registering for GST with ABN may take some time. You can apply for ABN and GST registration at the same time.

    How to register

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

    Apply for an ABN and GST registrationExternal Link

    You should be aware that you are not required to register with the Australian Securities and Investment Commission and get an ARBN unless you have a business presence in Australia. In addition, being registered for GST purposes does not mean you have a permanent establishment for income tax purposes.

    See also:

    Full GST registration without ABN (GST-only registration)

    If you are a non-resident and run an enterprise outside Australia and do not make supplies connected with Australia, you are not entitled to an ABN. However, you may be entitled to claim a GST refund for Australian GST you paid while running your enterprise outside of Australia. To claim your refund you will need to register for GST without an ABN (sometimes referred to as GST-only registration) and make your claim on an activity statement.

    This option is only available if you are not entitled to an ABN due to:

    • not making supplies connected with Australia
    • only running your enterprise from outside Australia.

    How to register

    You can register for full GST registration without ABN by completing an application form. You can obtain the form by contacting the ATO via email or phone (details below).

    To register for full GST registration without ABN, you will be required to provide the following evidence:

    • documents that show you are 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 you exist in their records and carry on an enterprise.

    See also:

    Find out more

    • email 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 with code '118#'. 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: 20 Apr 2017QC 18025