• Australian GST registration for non-residents

    This content includes information relevant to:

    • GST on imported services and digital products from 1 July 2017, and
    • GST on low value imported goods from 1 July 2018.

    Non-resident entities may need to register for goods and services tax (GST) in Australia.

    If you only sell low value imported goods to consumers in Australia, you are not yet required to register for GST.

    Find out about:

    Simplified GST registration is now available. To learn more about this system, see Simplified GST registration or register here.

    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, meets or exceeds the registration turnover threshold of A$75,000 (or A$150,000, if you are a non-profit body).

    Sales of imported services and digital products connected with Australia

    From 1 July 2017 a sale of something other than goods or real property is connected with Australia if any of the following apply:

    • the purchaser is an Australian consumer
    • the thing is done in Australia
    • you make the sale through an enterprise that you run in Australia
    • your sale is of a right or option to purchase something that would be connected with Australia.

    For example, your sale is connected with Australia if you sell:

    • a digital product, such as software or an eBook, to an Australian consumer
    • services, such as consulting services, to an Australian consumer.

    Your sale of goods is connected with Australia if any of the following apply:

    • pending passage of the Bill before parliament, you make offshore supplies of 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
    • you source the goods from within Australia and deliver or make them available in Australia to the purchaser
    • the goods are removed from Australia
    • you import the goods into Australia.

    Your sale of real property is connected with Australia if the real property is in Australia.

    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).

    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
    • sale of a right or option to purchase something that is not done in Australia or made through an enterprise carried on in Australia while the underlying sale would be connected with Australia
    • from 1 July 2017, sale of a right or option to purchase something that is not done in Australia or made through an enterprise carried on in Australia while the underlying sale would be connected with Australia unless all of the following apply
      • the sale is made to an Australian consumer
      • the sale is not GST-free
      • the underlying sale is not a sale of goods or real property.
       

    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 GST registration available in Australia are:

    • Simplified GST registration – for non-residents who are eligible and want to electronically register, report and pay quickly and easily
    • Standard GST registration with an Australian business number (ABN) – for entities that make supplies connected with Australia, issue tax invoices, and want to claim GST credits
    • Standard claim only GST registration without an ABN – for non-residents with an enterprise outside Australia that
      • are not entitled to an ABN
      • do not make supplies connected with Australia, and
      • 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.

    If you only sell low value imported goods, you will not be able to apply to register using simplified regsitration until 1 January 2018.

    You can register for simplified GST if you make:

    • sales of one or more inbound intangible consumer supplies
    • taxable supplies of low value imported goods (subject to parliamentary approval).

    An inbound intangible consumer supply is a sale of anything other than goods or real property (for example, digital products and other services) that is:

    • made to an Australian consumer, and
    • not wholly done in Australia or made through an enterprise you run in Australia.

    By registering for the Simplified GST registration system 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
    • You use an ATO reference number (ARN) instead of an ABN
    • You cannot issue tax invoices or adjustment notes.
    • You cannot claim GST credits
    • You must lodge your GST returns and pay GST quarterly.
    • You can pay electronically via SWIFT bank transfer or credit card.

    Registration is a two-step process

    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.

    If you need an AUSid, go to ato.gov.au/AUSid

    2. Register for simplified GST

    Select 'Register' now to access our online services for non-residents with your AUSid and register for simplified GST.

    Register now

    We will send you an Australian Taxation Office reference number (ARN).The ARN is a unique 12 digit numerical identifier used to identify you in ATO systems and may be used as an identifier on invoices, for example, 123456789012.

    We will also send you a payment reference number to use with 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 ABN we will contact you. If you decide to proceed with simplified registration we will cancel your ABN and change your GST registration from standard to simplified.

    See also:

    Standard GST registration

    To register for standard GST registration you first need to apply for an Australian business number (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 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.

    Apply for an ABN and GST registrationExternal Link

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

    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 (sometimes 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 standard claim only GST registration by completing an application form. You can obtain the form by contacting the ATO via email or phone (details below).

    To register for standard 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, and
      • 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.
    • 'adjustment notes' – we mean a document issued by the supplier and shows ABN of the supplier for an adjustment that arises from an adjustment event relating to a taxable supply. Adjustment event occurs when there is a cancellation of a supply, change in the amount charged for the supply or a supply becomes taxable or stops being taxable.
    • '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. Please 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: 26 Jun 2017QC 18025