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  • Information for business purchasers

    If you are registered for GST, then GST will not apply to the sale of low value goods that you import for use in your business in Australia. If you are not registered for GST, GST can apply to these purchases.

    For the supplier not to charge you GST, you will need to:

    • give them your Australian business number (ABN), and
    • state that you are registered for GST.

    If you are purchasing goods only for your personal use, you should not provide your ABN or state you are registered. If you do supply this information, you will need to pay the GST to the ATO under the reverse charge.

    Penalties can apply if you provide false information to a supplier, such as quoting an ABN when you are not registered.

    Paying GST on your purchase (the reverse charge)

    You will need to pay GST to the ATO on your purchase if:

    • you are registered or required to be registered for GST
    • you would not have been entitled to claim a full GST credit if you had been charged GST
    • you import low value goods (and you did not pay GST at the border)
    • the goods are not GST-free or input taxed.

    If the reverse charge applies, the GST payable is 10% of the amount you paid, and then claim back any GST credits you are entitled to.

    The reverse charge also applies if you provide information such as your ABN and a statement that you are registered, if you are buying goods for personal use.

    See also:

    Incorrectly charged GST

    You should not be charged GST if you provide your ABN and state you are registered.

    If you are charged GST incorrectly, you should seek a refund from the supplier by providing your ABN and stating to them that you are registered for GST.

    However, if you are incorrectly charged GST on goods you import for your business, you will be entitled to a GST credit if:

    • you would otherwise be entitled to claim a GST credit
    • you have a valid tax invoice (showing the supplier's ABN) or the amount you paid is A$82.50 or less
    • the supplier has not reimbursed you for the GST charged on the sale (if you later receive a reimbursement, you will need to make an adjustment to repay any GST credits you have claimed), and
    • you have no information to suggest that the GST has not been paid to the ATO by the supplier.

    GST will be charged at the border when goods are imported with a customs value over A$1,000 (even if the supplier incorrectly charged GST on the sale). You may be able to claim a GST credit for the taxable importation. However, some goods are non-taxable importations.

    See also:

    Last modified: 19 Feb 2018QC 52558