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  • Registering for GST

    You can register for GST online, by phone or through your registered agent – when you first register your business or at any later time. This is called standard GST registration.

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

    On this page:

    When to register

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

    You must register for GST:

    • when your business or enterprise has a GST turnover (gross income minus GST) of $75,000 or more (see Working out your GST turnover)
    • when you start a new business and expect your turnover to reach the GST threshold (or more) in the first year of operation
    • if you're already in business and have reached the GST threshold
    • if your non-profit organisation has a GST turnover of $150,000 per year or more
    • when you provide taxi or limousine travel for passengers (including ride-sourcing) regardless of your GST turnover – this applies to both owner drivers and if you lease or rent a taxi
    • if you want to claim fuel tax credits for your business or enterprise.

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

    How to register

    Before you register for GST, you need to have an Australian business number (ABN). You can get an ABN when you first register your business name or at a later time.

    Once you have an ABN, you can register for GST:    

    We'll 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).

    See also:

    GST for non-residents

    If you are a non-resident there are special proof-of-identity requirements that may apply to you.

    You may be eligible for simplified GST registration if you supply:

    • imported services and digital products
    • low value imported goods.

    See also:

    If you don't register

    If you don't register for GST and are required to, you may have to pay GST on sales made since the date you were required to register. This could happen even if you didn't include GST in the price of those sales.

    You may also have to pay penalties and interest.

    See also:

    How to cancel your GST registration

    You can cancel your GST registration if your business changes or ceases:

    Backdating your GST registration

    You can apply to backdate your GST registration. For tax periods commencing on or after 1 July 2012, backdating a GST registration is limited to four years. This means, in the absence of fraud or evasion:

    • we can't backdate your GST registration by more than four years
    • you are not required to be registered before that date.

    See also:

    Working out your GST turnover

    Your GST turnover is your total business income (not your profit), minus any:

    • GST included in sales to your customers
    • sales that aren't for payment and aren't taxable
    • sales not connected with an enterprise you run
    • input-taxed sales you make
    • sales not connected with Australia.

    GST turnover threshold

    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).

    Using a business software package to account for sales and expenses may make this easier.

    When 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)
    • any sale you make, or are likely to make, solely as a consequence of ceasing to carry on an enterprise, or substantially and permanently reducing the size or scale of an enterprise.

    Even if your current GST turnover is at, or above, the GST turnover threshold you don't have to register for GST if your projected GST turnover will be below the threshold.

    If you're a member of a GST group, your turnover includes the turnover of the other group members. It doesn't include transactions between group members.

    See also:

    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.

    See also:

    Last modified: 23 Dec 2019QC 22412