• GST

    In doing your GST paperwork, you may have made a mistake or left information out of a previous activity statement, found a processing error that we've made, or have a further GST credit to claim.

    Correcting our mistakes

    We can make mistakes processing your activity statement – for example, it may scan incorrectly or we may make a keying error. If you think we've made an error, contact us by phone.

    Correcting your mistakes

    Where correcting an error results in a refund of GST to you (a credit error) you can correct it on a later activity statement provided you are within the four-year time limit.

    Where correcting an error results in an increase in the GST you owe (a debit error), you can correct it on a later activity statement provided you meet certain conditions, including time and value limits (based on your business GST turnover).

    If you're outside your value limit, you need to revise earlier activity statements until you bring the total value of your remaining errors below the limit. At that point, if you're within the time limit, you can make the remaining corrections on your current activity statement.

    The advantage of correcting a debit error on a later activity statement is that you avoid incurring interest or penalties that would otherwise apply from the due date of the activity statement on which the mistake was made.

    Note that you're not eligible to use a later activity statement to correct a debit error if:

    • you are subject to a compliance activity
    • the error has resulted from recklessness or intentional disregard for the law.

    If you're not eligible to use your current activity statement to reduce an error you must instead revise your earlier activity statement for the period in which the mistake was made (see Revising an earlier activity statement).

    Debit error time limit

    Where correcting an error results in an increase in your GST (a debit error), you can only correct it on a later activity statement if it's within the debit error time limit. The time limit depends on your current GST turnover (see table).

    Debit error time limits

    Current GST turnover*

    Time limit

    Less than $20m

    18 months from the due date of the activity statement on which the error was made.

    $20m or more

    12 months from the due date of the activity statement on which the error was made.

    *For a GST group, calculated for the group as a whole.

    Debit error value limit

    There is a value limit to correcting an error on a later activity statement where the correction results in an increase in your GST (a debit error). The value limit depends on your current GST turnover.

    The limit is not on a 'per activity statement' or 'per mistake' basis. The total or net effect of the errors you're correcting must be within the value limit.

    You need to consider the net effect if you have both debit (within the debit error time limit) and credit errors. If your correction relates to more than one activity statement, the net effect is the total debits less the total credits resulting from the corrections to all of the relevant activity statements.

    Debit error value limits

    Current GST turnover*

    Correction value limit

    Less than $20m

    Less than $10,000

    $20m to less than $100m

    Less than $20,000

    $100m to less than $500m

    Less than $40,000

    $500m to less than $1b

    Less than $80,000

    $1b and over

    Less than $450,000

    *For a GST group, calculated for the group as a whole.

    Reducing net error amount to the limit

    Any error amounts outside the value limit must be corrected by revising an earlier activity statement. But you only need to revise your earlier activity statement to bring the net value of your errors below the limit. At that point, you can make the remaining corrections on a current activity statement.

    See also:

    Annual GST return

    If you make an error in your annual GST return, you may be able to correct it in your next annual GST return. Correcting mistakes in this way may inflate your instalment amount in the following year.

    See also:

    Last modified: 27 Oct 2016QC 33825