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  • Australian GST registration for non-residents

    This information explains the goods and services tax (GST) registration options available to non-residents, including the GST registrations requirements for suppliers making sales of:

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

    Find out about:

    Simplified GST registration is now available.

    See also:

    Register now

    Registering for GST in Australia

    When you must register

    You must register for GST in Australia if both of the following apply:

    • you are carrying on an enterprise
    • your GST turnover from sales that are connected with Australia and made in the course of your enterprise is equal to, or greater than, the registration turnover threshold of A$75,000 (or A$150,000 if you are a non-profit business).

    You may not need to register for GST if the only sales you make are made through an online marketplace or electronic distribution platform.

    For more information about sales made through an electronic distribution platform see:

    How to register for GST

    Most non-resident businesses that are required to register for Australian GST for low value imported goods, and/or imported services and digital products, can choose either simplified GST registration or standard GST registration.

    Simplified GST registration

    Simplified GST is for non-residents who are eligible and want to electronically register, report and pay quickly and easily. You can't claim any GST credits under this registration.

    Next step:

    See also:

    Standard GST registration

    Standard GST registration is for businesses that have an Australian business number (ABN), make supplies connected with Australia, issue tax invoices, and want to claim GST credits. You will need to meet proof of identity requirements if you choose this option.

    To register for standard GST registration you first need to apply for an ABN. You can apply for an ABN and GST registration at the same time.

    If you are running a business in Australia or make supplies connected with Australia, you are entitled to an ABN.

    The ABN is a unique 11-digit identifier used to identify you. To meet Australia's tax invoice requirements, when you issue a valid tax invoice, it must contain your ABN.

    If you are a non-resident you need to provide additional documentation and proof of identity when you apply for an ABN. As a result, the process of registering for GST with an ABN, via standard GST registration, may take some time.

    How to register

    You can register for standard GST online, using a form, by phone or through your registered tax agent.

    Next step:

    You should be aware that you are not required to register with the Australian Securities & Investment Commission (ASIC) and get an Australian Registered Body Number (ARBN) unless you have a business in Australia. In addition, being registered for GST purposes does not mean you have a permanent establishment for income tax purposes.

    See also:

    Sales connected with Australia

    GST applies to sales that are connected with Australia, whether they are goods, property or other things.

    Sales that are connected with Australia extend to:

    • sales of low value imported goods made to consumers
    • sales of imported services and digital products made to Australian consumers.

    Example

    Your sale is connected with Australia if you sell:

    • a digital product, such as software or an eBook, to an Australian consumer
    • imported services (such as professional consulting services) to an Australian consumer
    • goods into Australia (except for tobacco products or alcoholic beverages) that have a customs value of A$1,000 or less when the price is first agreed with the customer
    • goods from within Australia and deliver or make them available in Australia to the purchaser
    • real property and the real property is in Australia.
    End of example

    See also:

    Working out your GST turnover

    You reach the GST registration turnover threshold if your:

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

    Generally, your GST turnover is your gross sales revenue, excluding:

    • sales not connected with Australia
    • GST you included in sales to your customers
    • sales that are not made for payment and are not taxable
    • input-taxed sales you make
    • GST-free sales not made through an enterprise in Australia.

    Voluntary registration

    If you are not required to register for GST, you can choose to register for GST if you are running an enterprise.

    If you choose to register, you should stay registered for 12 months.

    Types of registration

    The types of Australian GST registration available to non-residents are:

    • simplified GST registration – for eligible non-residents who make supplies connected with Australia that  
      • want to electronically register, report and pay quickly and easily
      • do not need to claim GST credits
    • standard GST registration with an ABN – for non-resident entities that  
      • make supplies connected with Australia
      • issue tax invoices
      • want to claim GST credits
    • standard claim only (GST-only) registration – for non-residents with an enterprise outside Australia that      
      • are not entitled to an ABN
      • do not make supplies connected with Australia
      • want to claim GST credits.

    Simplified GST registration

    Simplified GST is fully secure and accessible via our online services for non-residents. Our online services for non-residents will allow you to register, lodge and pay your Australian GST in order to quickly and easily meet your GST obligations.

    You can register for simplified GST if you make sales of:

    • one or more inbound intangible consumer supplies (also referred to as imported services and digital products)
    • low value imported goods.

    By registering for simplified GST, you are electing to be a Limited Registration Entity (LRE) and won't be entitled to Australian GST credits for acquisitions.

    In the simplified GST system for non-residents, you:

    • receive and use an ATO reference number (ARN)
    • must lodge your GST returns and pay GST quarterly
    • can pay electronically via SWIFT bank transfer or credit card.
    • don't have to prove your identity
    • can't issue tax invoices
    • can't claim GST credits

    How to use Online services for non-residents

    Online services for non-residents is the platform used for simplified GST. This is only for non-resident businesses that have elected to use the simplified GST registration.

    Find out about:

    Register for simplified GST

    To register, you need to:

    Access your simplified GST account

    To access your account:

    • Select Login on the ato.gov.au homepage
    • At the Login as dropdown menu select Non-resident and select Login or press Enter
    • Enter your AUSid username
    • Follow instructions to open AUSid to accept the authentication request
    • Enter your AUSid password.

    Once you have registered for simplified GST, we will send you an ATO reference number (ARN). We use this unique 12-digit identifier to identify you in our systems. We may also use it as an identifier on invoices.

    We will also send you a payment reference number (PRN) to identify your GST payments.

    Add authorised contacts

    Adding an authorised contact allows that person to make enquiries on behalf of your business.

    Each authorised contact who is given online access needs a separate AUSid.

    Each AUSid holder will need to individually install their AUSid on their own computer prior to logging on.

    You can have up to 20 authorised contacts for each account and we recommend that you have multiple contacts. To add new authorised contacts:

    • Select Login on the ato.gov.au homepage
    • At the Login as dropdown menu select Non-resident and select Login or press Enter
    • Enter your AUSid and keep the AUSid screen open when accessing Online services for non-residents
    • Go to Manage details
    • Scroll down to Authorised contacts and select Add new authorised contacts
    • Check the declaration box and select Save.

    Giving authorised contacts access to your simplified GST account

    To give authorised contacts access to your account:

    • Scroll down to Access to a simplified GST account and select Add
    • Answer the question Does the new user have an AUSid? If you select No, the system won't generate an authorisation code.
    • Check the declaration box and Generate authorisation code
    • Provide the new user with their unique authorisation code – the authorisation code is only valid for four hours.

    If you have more than one ARN, you need to generate separate authorisation codes for each ARN and each individual contact.

    Linking AUSid and simplified GST accounts

    The new authorised contact should link their AUSid to your simplified GST account by:

    • Select Login on the ato.gov.au homepage
    • At the Login as dropdown menu select Non-resident and select Login or press Enter
    • select Enter Authorisation code under the Login button
    • Login with your AUSid details and select Continue
    • Enter your authorisation code and select Continue.

    Removing an authorised contact

    To remove an authorised contact:

    • Select Login on the ato.gov.au homepage
    • At the Login as dropdown menu select Non-resident and select Login or press Enter
    • Login with your AUSid
    • Go to the Manage details tab
    • Scroll down to Authorised contacts and select Remove the contact
    • Check the declaration box and select Save.

    Issues with your AUSid

    If you are experiencing problems with your AUSid account, you can email us at ausidsupport@ato.gov.au, and include:

    • the date and time when the error occurred
    • details of the error code or screen message
    • screen shots (if possible).

    Before we can discuss your simplified GST account with you, we need to establish that we are dealing with an authorised contact. To help us do this you need to include:

    • your ATO reference number (ARN)
    • your business name
    • your full name (first and last name)
    • the registered AUSid email or username
    • any three of these details from your simplified GST registration
      • business address
      • reference number from ATO generated correspondence
      • the date of registration
      • payment details (amount and date of payment).

    If you can't add a new authorised contact, also include the AUSid user’s details.

    Standard GST registration

    To register for standard GST registration, you first need to apply for an ABN.

    If you are running an enterprise in Australia or make supplies connected with Australia, you are entitled to an ABN.

    The ABN is a unique 11-digit numerical identifier used to identify you in ATO systems.

    To meet Australia's tax invoice requirements, a valid tax invoice must contain your ABN.

    Non-residents need to provide additional documentation and evidence of identity when they apply for an ABN. As a result, the process of registering for GST with ABN may take some time. You can apply for an ABN and GST registration at the same time.

    How to register

    You can register for standard GST online, using a form, by phone or through your registered agent.

    Next step:

    See also:

    Standard claim only GST registration (GST-only registration)

    If you are a non-resident and run an enterprise outside Australia and do not make supplies connected with Australia, you are not entitled to an ABN. However, you may be entitled to claim a GST refund for Australian GST you paid while running your enterprise outside of Australia. To claim your refund you will need to register for GST without an ABN (also referred to as GST-only registration) and make your claim on an activity statement.

    This option is only available if you are not entitled to an ABN due to:

    • not making supplies connected with Australia
    • only running your enterprise from outside Australia.

    How to register

    You can register for claim only GST by registering online, completing a paper form, or through your registered agent.

    When registering online through the ABN applicationExternal Link, select Yes to the question 'Are you applying for GST only registration?'

    You can get the paper form by contacting us via email or phone see More information for details.

    To register for claim only GST registration, you will be required to provide the following evidence:

    • documents that show you are registered with an equivalent corporate, market and/or financial regulator in its country of origin
    • a letter issued by a revenue authority of a comparable taxing regime stating that you exist in their records and carry on an enterprise.

    See also:

    Terms we use

    When we say:

    • 'Non-resident entity' – we mean an entity that is not a resident of Australia for Australian income tax purposes.
    • 'AUSid' – we mean a simple and secure login credential to use Australian Government online services.
    • 'Consumer' – we mean an entity that is either not registered for GST, or is registered for GST and the purchase is not for the purpose of its enterprise run in Australia.
    • 'Australian consumer' – we mean an entity that is an Australian resident and either the entity is not registered for GST, or is registered for GST and the purchase is not for the purpose of its enterprise.
    • 'Australian business number (ABN)' – we mean the entity's unique identifier as shown in the Australian Business Register.
    • 'Low value imported goods' – we mean goods (except for tobacco products or alcoholic beverages) that have a customs value of A$1,000 or less when the price is first agreed with the customer.
    • 'An inbound intangible consumer supply' – we mean a sale of anything other than goods or real property (for example, digital products and other services) that is      
      • made to an Australian consumer
      • not wholly done in Australia or made through an enterprise you run in Australia.
    • 'Limited Registration Entity' (LRE) – we mean a non-resident entity that elects to be an LRE. This election is available to an entity that makes inbound intangible consumer supplies and/or offshore supplies of low value imported goods. Limited registration entities are not entitled to Australian GST credits for acquisitions and must have quarterly tax reporting periods.
    • 'GST-free sales' – we mean that under Australian GST law some sales are GST-free. This term is generally the same as      
      • zero rated (in other countries with VAT/GST systems)
      • exempt (in countries with sales tax systems).

    See also:

    More information

    Contact us by:

    • Email AustraliaGST@ato.gov.au
    • Phone +61 2 6216 1111
      • Our business hours are 8.00am to 5.00pm, Australian Eastern Standard Time (AEST) or Australian Eastern Daylight-Saving Time (AEDST) Monday to Friday, except for national public holidays.
      • Ask the operator to connect you to 1300 146 094 with code 118#. You will be transferred to an officer who can help you.
      • For a free interpreting service, you can phone +61 3 9268 8332 and ask to be connected to 1300 146 094.
      Last modified: 05 Jun 2020QC 18025