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  • Australian GST registration for non-residents

    This information explains the 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 from two options.

    Option 1 – Simplified GST Registration

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

    Simplified GST registration is a two-step process.

    Step 1 – Get an AUSid

    To access the Simplified GST registration form you will need a secure credential called an AUSid. Simply download the AUSid application and set up your account to securely access the online platform for simplified GST whenever you need to.

    Get AusID
    Step 2 – Register for Simplified GST

    Click the 'Register now' button below to access our online services for non-residents with your AUSid and register for Simplified GST.

    Register now

    Once you have registered for Simplified GST we will send you an Australian Taxation Office reference number (ARN).This is a unique 12 digit identifier (for example, 12 345 678 9012) used to identify you in our systems, and may be used as an identifier on invoices.

    We will also send you a payment reference number to uniquely identify your GST payments.

    You can access other features provided by the GST law even though you are registered in the simplified GST system. For example, even if you are registered in the simplified GST system, you are eligible to form a GST group if you satisfy all other membership requirements.

    If you apply to register for Simplified GST and you have an active Australian business number (ABN), we will reject your application. You can instead register for GST under your ABN. See below for information on how to register for GST when you have an ABN.

    See also:

    Option 2 – Standard GST registration

    Standard GST registration is for businesses that have an 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 (for example 12 345 678 901) 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 and will not be entitled to Australian GST credits for acquisitions.

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

    • do not have to prove your identity
    • use an ATO reference number (ARN) instead of an ABN
    • cannot issue tax invoices
    • cannot claim GST credits
    • must lodge your GST returns and pay GST quarterly
    • can pay electronically via SWIFT bank transfer or credit card.

    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, for example 12 345 678 901.

    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 the ATO via email or phone (details below).

    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 a 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

    • email AustraliaGST@ato.gov.au
    • Phone us on +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 Sep 2018QC 18025