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  • Registering for GST

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    How to register

    When you register for GST you'll need an Australian Business Number (ABN).

    You can register for GST:

    We will notify you in writing of your GST registration details, including the date your registration is effective (and your ABN details, if you haven't already received them).

    Do you need to register?

    You must register for GST if:

    • your business or enterprise has a GST turnover (gross income minus GST) of $75 000 or more
    • your non-profit organisation has a GST turnover of $150 000 per year or more 
    • you provide taxi or limousine travel for passengers in exchange for a fare as part of your business, regardless of your GST turnover - this applies to both owner drivers and if you lease or rent a taxi
    • you want to claim fuel tax credits for your business or enterprise.

    If your business or enterprise doesn’t fit into one of the above categories, registering for GST is optional. However, if you choose to register, you generally must stay registered for at least 12 months.

    See also:

    When do you need to register?

    You can register for GST when you first register your business or at any later time.

    If you've just started a new business and expect it to reach the GST turnover threshold or more in its first year of operation, you should register for GST.

    If you're not registered for GST, check each month to see whether you've reached the threshold, or are likely to exceed it. If your turnover exceeds the relevant threshold, you must register within 21 days of reaching it.

    You only register once for GST, even if you operate more than one business.

    If you do not register for GST and you are required to do so, you may have to pay GST on the sales you have made since the date you became required to register – even if you did not include GST in the price of those sales. You may also have to pay penalties and interest.

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    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.

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    You reach the GST turnover threshold if either:

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

    In working out your projected GST turnover, don't include amounts you receive for the sale of a business asset (such as the sale of a capital asset) or for any sale you made, or are likely to make, solely as a consequence of ceasing or substantially and permanently reducing the size of your business.

    If your current GST turnover reaches or is more than the GST turnover threshold but you satisfy us that your projected GST turnover will be below the threshold, you do not have to register for GST.

    If you are a member of a GST group, your turnover includes the turnover of the other group members (but it does not include transactions between group members).

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    GST groups and branches

    Related entities may

    form a single group for GST purposes.

    An entity may separately register a branch for GST purposes if this suits its management and accounting structure.

    GST groups

    Two or more related entities may form a GST group if they satisfy certain membership requirements.

    GST groups are treated as a single entity. Generally, transactions between group members are ignored for GST purposes. So you do not have to pay GST and you cannot claim GST credits on these transactions.

    One entity, known as the representative member, manages the group's GST affairs. The representative member is responsible for the GST payable and can claim the GST credits on transactions undertaken by group members (except transactions between group members).

    The representative member is the only group member who must complete the GST component of an activity statement. In doing this, the representative member will effectively be accounting for the group's total GST liability.

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    GST branches

    If an entity registers a branch for GST purposes, the branch operates as a distinct entity for reporting purposes, accounting for GST separately from its parent entity.

    Unlike GST groups, transactions between the branch and the parent entity will be taxable and GST credits can be claimed.

    See also:

  • Last modified: 17 Jun 2015QC 22412