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  • GST transactions with mainland Australia

    GST and other indirect taxes don’t apply to Norfolk Island. However, Norfolk Island businesses may need to consider the GST implications when dealing with businesses on the Australian mainland.

    Transactions on Norfolk Island

    The Norfolk Island GST ceased on 1 July 2016 and the Australian GST doesn’t apply to Norfolk Island residents. Therefore Norfolk Island businesses shouldn’t charge GST, or advertise prices including GST, or issue invoices including GST for transactions on Norfolk Island.

    Transactions with the Australian mainland

    Norfolk Island businesses are only required to register for GST when they make supplies connected to the Australian mainland and have a GST turnover of over $75,000 in any 12-month period. GST turnover is your gross business income (before tax) that excludes sales on Norfolk Island.

    When it comes to dealing with the Australian mainland, Norfolk Island businesses can:

    • purchase goods GST-free from Australia (by negotiation with the mainland seller)
    • claim a GST refund (via the tourist refund scheme), or
    • register for GST and claim the GST credits on their business activity statement.

    If the goods or services you purchase include GST, and you do not receive a refund of the GST, you can use the total price paid to work out your allowable tax deductions at the end of the income year.

    GST-free sales

    Australian mainland suppliers can sell goods to residents of Norfolk Island GST-free where they meet the export requirements.

    This involves a bit of paperwork and it’s important to arrange this with the supplier upfront before you complete the transaction. You may need to refer the supplier to the information on our website about GST and sales to external territories if they are unfamiliar with the rules.

    If you have questions about GST and dealing with Australian mainland suppliers, you can email us at GSTmail@ato.gov.au.

    See also:

    Tourist refund scheme

    You may also be able to get a GST refund under the tourist refund schemeExternal Link (TRS).

    The TRS is administered by the Department of Home Affairs.

    Registering for GST

    As a business, you have the option of voluntarily registering for GST and claiming a credit for the GST included in the price, as long as:

    • the goods or services are for your business, not personal use
    • you have a valid tax invoice from the supplier (if the price is more than $82.50 including GST)
    • the purchase doesn't relate to making input-taxed supplies.

    See also:

    What does voluntarily registering for GST mean?

    Voluntarily registering for GST means you will:

    • need to apply for an ABN and GST, or add GST to your current ABN registration
    • prepare and lodge a business activity statement (BAS) either monthly, quarterly or annually depending on how you choose to report
    • keep records of the valid tax invoices from your Australian suppliers showing the GST you've paid
    • include 10% GST in the price of taxable goods and services you supply to the Australian mainland
    • stay registered for GST for a minimum of 12 months.

    I didn't register for GST, so can I claim the GST I have been charged up to now?

    Yes. You can claim the GST you've paid on or after 1 July 2012, providing you:

    • were required to be registered for GST, or voluntarily register for GST, and
    • have a valid tax invoice from the supplier.

    To claim a refund of the GST paid, you will need to register for GST and backdate the registration to the date of the earliest valid tax invoice that you're making the claim for.

    If you choose to backdate your GST registration, you will also need to notify us of the GST liability for any sales you made in Australia.

    How do I register for GST?

    Table 4: How to register for GST

    Do you already have an ABN?

    Then you will need to ...

    No

    Apply for an ABNExternal Link before you can register for GST. The good news is you can register for GST at the same time you apply for your ABN.

    Yes

    Register for GST:

    • online via the Business PortalExternal Link
    • by phoning 13 28 66 (toll-free if you don't dial the international country code for Australia)
    • by lodging the Add a new business account (NAT 2954) form which you can order using our online ordering service
    • via your registered tax or BAS agent.
     

    If I register for GST, will I need to charge GST to all my customers?

    No. You will only need to charge GST on taxable goods and services you supply to the Australian mainland. Goods and services you supply to customers on Norfolk Island are not subject to GST.

    Can I register for GST and claim GST charged on items for personal use?

    No, the item must be for business use. If you purchase goods or services to use for both business and private use, you can only claim a GST credit for the part of the purchase relating to your intended business use.

    What information will I be required to show on my BAS?

    You must complete the GST section of the BAS if your business is registered for GST. Only sales that are connected with the Australian mainland should be included.

    What are input-taxed supplies?

    Input-taxed sales are sales of goods and services that don't include GST in the price. You can't claim GST credits for the GST included in the price of your 'inputs'.

    The most common input-taxed sales are financial supplies (such as lending money or the provision of credit for a fee) and selling or renting out of residential premises.

    See also:

    When will I lodge my BAS to claim back my GST?

    If you are voluntarily registering for GST you can chose to lodge your BAS monthly, quarterly or annually.

    We will send you a BAS for the first tax period after you register, depending on how often you choose to lodge your BAS. Any GST credits you are able to claim (or pay) can be claimed in that BAS.

    Last modified: 13 Mar 2017QC 51470