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  • Requirements once you are registered

    Once you are registered for GST, you will need to:

    • include GST in the price of low value imported goods
    • meet reporting, payment and record-keeping requirements
    • ensure the required information is provided to customers and included on customs documents.

    Find out about:

    GST-inclusive pricing

    The GST rate in Australia is 10%, meaning GST is 1/11th of the amount you charge for sales of low value goods imported by consumers. However, if you are a re-deliverer, special rules apply.

    As soon are you are aware Australian GST is likely to apply to the sale of goods, 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 regardless of whether the price is in Australian dollars or another currency.

    GST does not apply to sales of low value imported goods made to Australian GST-registered businesses that 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.

    The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission administers Australian consumer law. To find out more or contact them, visit Link.

    See also:

    Receipts issued to customers

    When you charge GST on a sale of low value imported goods you must issue a receipt to the customer. This can be in an electronic form, such as an email confirmation or a receipt.

    The receipt must contain the following information:

    • your name
    • your GST registration number, which is either your ATO reference number (ARN) or Australian business number (ABN)
    • the date of issue
    • a description of what you supplied, including the quantity (if applicable) and the price
    • the amount of GST payable
    • information that identifies whether GST was charged on the goods
      • if you charged GST on all the goods, you can include the GST-inclusive price and state that this price includes GST (alternatively, you can include the GST for each item)
      • if GST was not charged on some of the goods, the receipt must show which goods were subject to GST.

    If the total price of the transaction is over A$1,000, you also need to include the name of the customer. This could occur if you sell multiple low value goods and have not applied the exception for multiple goods that total over A$1,000.

    You are not required to issue a tax invoice or adjustment note to your customers. Should you choose to issue a valid tax invoice (which you can only do if you have an ABN), it will have all of the required information.

    However, you should not charge GST or issue a tax invoice with an amount of GST payable if the sale is made to a customer who is not a consumer. This is because you have obtained their ABN and information or a statement that they are registered for GST).

    See also:

    Requirements for customs documents

    You must ensure that the relevant tax information is included in the customs documents (such as a self-assessed clearance or import declaration) for goods if you are registered for GST and you are either:

    • responsible for GST as the merchant who sells low value imported goods
    • an electronic distribution platform operator or re-deliverer who is treated as the supplier of low value imported goods.

    You do this by:

    • including the relevant information on the commercial documents
    • requesting that this information is included by the customs broker or transporter who completes the customs documents on behalf of the importer.

    If you are an electronic distribution platform operator, you will need to ensure that the merchant does this on your behalf.

    This requirement applies for each supply where you:

    The tax information you must ensure is included is:

    • your GST registration number (this is either your ARN or ABN)
    • the customer's ABN (if you have it)
    • whether GST was charged on the goods

    The receipt you issue to customers must contain all of the information needed to fill in the customs documents when GST applies to the sale.

    Penalties may apply if you fail to take reasonable steps to ensure that the relevant tax information is included in the customs documents.

    See also:

    Returned goods

    If a customer is provided with a refund for goods that are returned 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.

    GST returns

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

    Simplified GST system

    Under the Simplified GST System, you submit returns and pay your GST quarterly.

    Table 1: payment and lodgment dates under the Simplified GST system


    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

    Standard GST system

    Under the 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:

    Paying GST to the ATO – converting to Australian dollars

    When you lodge your GST return, you will need to convert the GST amount to Australian dollars. You must also pay your GST amount to the ATO in Australian dollars. To do this you will first need to make the conversion to Australian dollars on a particular day – known as your conversion day.

    You can choose from the three options listed in the table below. Option three can only be used for sales of low value goods, and cannot be used for any other types of supplies you make on which you charge GST.

    Table 2: Options for converting to Australian dollars

    Your situation

    Your conversion day and method

    Option one – When you account for GST on a non-cash basis

    Your conversion day is the earlier of:

    • the day on which any of the payment is received for a sale
    • the transaction date
    • the invoice date.

    Option two – When you account for GST on a cash basis

    Your conversion day is the:

    • the transaction date or invoice date
    • the day on which any of the payment is received for the supply of the goods.

    Option three – Only for sales low value goods (excluding all other GST applicable sales)

    The final day in the tax period for all sales on which GST is payable for that period. These dates are available in the table under Simplified GST System.

    This option is restricted to sales of low value goods only. If you have a GST liability for other sales you will need to use option one or two.

    FOREX 2018/1 details the exchange rates that you can use to covert the GST amount expressed in a foreign currency, allowing you to lodge and pay your GST to the ATO in Australian dollars.

    The exchange rates are:

    • the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) rate
    • a rate published by a foreign exchange organisation
    • an agreed rate (meaning a particular rate agreed between you and your GST-registered customer which only applies for sales made under an agreement and for the period of that agreement. If you and the GST-registered customer are associates, the agreed rate must reflect the rate agreed to by parties dealing at arm's length)
    • for sales of low value goods the same rate you used to work out the customs value of the good (as per Goods and Services Tax: Foreign Currency (Customs Value of Low Value Goods) Determination 2018).

    Find out more:

    Credit card payments

    To pay with credit card you will need:

    A card payment fee will apply.

    Transfer from an overseas bank account (SWIFT)

    Ask your overseas financial institution for advice on how to pay through SWIFT.

    Next step:

    Payment reference number (PRN)

    Your payment reference number (PRN) is your unique reference that ensures your payment is credited to the correct account. A PRN can also be called an EFT code.

    Due dates

    You must pay by the due date. If you are registered under the Simplified GST System for Non-residents, your payment is due on the 28th day of the month following the end of each quarter.

    If you are registered under Standard GST registration, see Lodging your BAS or annual GST return.

    Fixing mistakes

    Make sure you correct mistakes straight away.

    For example, you may later find that you have incorrectly charged GST on a sale of goods that are not low value goods or to a customer that is not a consumer.

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

    See also:

    Keeping records

    You need to maintain accurate business and GST records of your Australian supplies for at least 5 years.

    See also:

    Last modified: 03 Dec 2018QC 52556