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  • Once you are registered

    Once you are registered for GST, you need to:

    • include GST in the price of sales of imported services and digital products made to Australian consumers
    • meet reporting, payment and record-keeping requirements.

    Find out about:

    GST-inclusive pricing

    The GST rate in Australia is 10% – this means the GST is 1/11th of the amount you charge for sales of imported services or digital products made to Australian consumers and will be the GST amount that you must pay.

    As soon are you are aware Australian GST is likely to apply to the sale of imported services or digital products, Australian consumer law requires that you display a GST-inclusive price.

    If you are unsure whether Australian GST will apply, you can display a message about the potential for additional taxes to apply. As soon as it is clear that GST applies, you must show the GST-inclusive price.

    These requirements are the same if the price is in Australian dollars or another currency.

    Example

    Yukiko runs a business in the USA, selling knitting patterns to consumers worldwide including Australia. She displays the price of each pattern with the statement ‘additional taxes may apply’. Once she has an order request and knows the consumer is based in Australia, she updates the price to include GST.

    End of example

    GST does not apply to sales of imported services or digital products made to Australian GST-registered businesses who are making the purchase for business use.

    You will need to determine whether you are selling to an Australian consumer or a GST-registered business.

    See also:

    GST returns

    You lodge and submit GST returns based on the registration system you used to register. You can do this yourself or use an agent to register and account for Australian GST.

    See also:

    Simplified GST system

    Under the simplified GST system, you submit returns and pay your GST quarterly.

    Payment and lodgment dates under the Simplified GST system

    Quarter

    Payment and lodgment date

    September quarter: 1 July to 30 September

    28 October

    December quarter: 1 October to 31 December

    28 February

    March quarter: 1 January to 31 March

    28 April

    June quarter: 1 April to 30 June

    28 July

    Under the simplified GST system you lodge and pay via Online services for non-residents.

    You can lodge and pay using online services for non-residents.

    Online services for non-residents

    Standard GST system

    Under standard GST registration, the due date for submitting and paying is displayed on your business activity statement (BAS). If the due date is on a weekend or public holiday, you can lodge your form and pay on the next business day.

    See also:

    Keeping records

    You need to keep:

    • accurate records of your Australian supplies
    • GST records for 5 years.

    See also:

    Accounting for GST: Cash or accruals

    There are two methods of accounting for GST: a cash basis and a non-cash basis (accruals).

    The method you use will affect when you must account for GST in your GST return.

    Businesses with an aggregated turnover (your businesses' turnover and the turnover of closely associated entities) of less than $10 million, or who use cash accounting for income tax, can use either method. Most larger businesses must use the non-cash method.

    See also:

    Paying

    You must report and pay in Australian dollars.

    To make a payment for the Simplified GST system you can use:

    • the 'Log in and pay' GST button and pay by credit/debit card or overseas bank transfer
    • additional payment options (if you have an Australian bank account), see how to pay.

    To make a payment for the Standard GST system, see how to pay.

    Log in and pay GST

    Due dates

    You must pay by the due date. This is the same as the lodgment dates.

    If you are registered under:

    • simplified GST, your payment is due on the 28th day of the month following the end of each quarter (28 February for the December quarter)
    • standard GST registration, see how and when to report and pay GST.

    Convert to Australian dollars to pay GST

    Sales of imported services and digital products paid in foreign currency must be converted to Australian dollars.

    Use the following formula:

    (Amount expressed in a foreign currency) × (1 ÷ your particular exchange rate on the conversion day)

    1. Your particular exchange rate can be any one of the following:

    Once you have selected an exchange rate, you must continue to use it.

    2. The conversion day can be the earlier of the:

    • day any of the payment is received for a sale, or
    • transaction or invoice date.

    Note: If you account for GST on a cash basis, you can use either of the above.

    Additionally, if you are registered in the:

    • simplified GST system – your conversion day can be the final day of your tax period, for all sales on which GST is payable during the period
    • standard Australian GST system – your conversion day can be the final day of your tax period, but only for supplies that are imported services or digital products to Australian consumers.

    See also:

    Issuing tax invoices

    If you sell imported services or digital products to Australian consumers from outside Australia, and you are registered for simplified GST, you cannot provide a valid tax invoice or adjustment note to your customers. You can issue a receipt detailing the GST component of the sale, but you are not obliged to do so under Australian taxation law.

    This is different if you are registered under Australia’s standard GST system, where you can choose to issue a tax invoice for imported services and digital products. Tax invoices must include your ABN.

    However, you should not charge GST or issue an invoice or tax invoice with an amount of GST payable if the sale is made to a purchaser who is not an Australian consumer. For example, if GST does not apply because you have obtained a business’s ABN and information or a statement that they are registered for GST.

    See also:

    Cancelled sales

    If an Australian consumer is provided with a refund because of a cancelled sale of imported services and digital products and you have already paid GST to the ATO, you can make an adjustment to reduce the amount of GST payable in your next return.

    Incorrectly charging GST

    There may be occasions where you incorrectly charge a customer GST for a sale you make to them.

    For example, you may later find that you have incorrectly charged GST on a sale of imported services or digital products to a purchaser that is not an Australian consumer.

    If you incorrectly charged GST, you are not entitled to a GST refund from the ATO unless you have reimbursed the purchaser for GST on the sale. When you have reimbursed the purchaser, you can make an adjustment to reduce the amount of GST payable in your next GST return.

    There are additional rules that you may need to be consider when fixing other types of mistakes.

    Fixing mistakes

    Make sure you correct mistakes straight away.

    If you make a mistake when reporting GST on a GST return, you can correct that error on a later GST return if you meet certain conditions.

    The benefit of correcting a GST error on a later GST return is that you will not be liable for any penalties or general interest charge (GIC) for that error.

    For more information on correcting mistakes, see Correcting GST errors.

    See also:

    Last modified: 20 Feb 2018QC 53386