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Registering for GST and other taxes

You may need to register for GST and other taxes such as fuel tax credits, PAYG withholding and fringe benefits tax.

Last updated 9 February 2021

You may need to register for goods and service tax (GST) and other taxes, depending on the type of business you're running. If any of these taxes apply to you, you need to register for them.

If you're applying for an Australian business number (ABN), you can register for taxes, such as GST and pay as you go (PAYG) withholding, at the same time (if you need to).

If you need tax help for your business, phone us on 13 28 66.

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Goods and services tax

GST is a tax of 10% on most goods and services sold in Australia.

If you're registered for GST, you must include GST in the price of goods and services you sell to your customers. You need to show the GST as a separate amount on your tax invoices.

You then send the 10% GST amounts to us, usually four times each year. To do this you lodge a business activity statement (BAS), which you will receive if you're registered for GST.

Register for GST

You need to register for GST if:

  • your business has a GST turnover of $75,000 or more a year
  • your non-profit organisation has a GST turnover of $150,000 per year or more
  • you're a taxi driver or provide limousine travel for passengers in exchange for a fare (including ride-sourcing, such as Uber, Ola or DiDi)
  • you want to claim fuel tax credits for your business.

To work out whether you reach the GST turnover threshold, you need to calculate both your current and projected GST turnover. (That is your total turnover for the current month and the next 11 months.)

If your current GST threshold reaches the threshold but your projected GST turnover doesn't, you don't need to register for GST (unless you provide taxi travel or want to claim fuel tax credits).

In most cases, registering for GST means you can claim back the GST you pay on goods and services you buy for your business – as long as you have a tax invoice from your supplier.

Example 1: Henry's current GST turnover – March plus previous 11 months

Henry is a sole trader who sells exercise and fitness equipment. At the end of March this year, his gross business income for the month is $2,560. Henry needs to work out if this amount plus the previous 11 months gross business income reaches the GST turnover threshold of $75,000.

Henry adds his gross business income for March and the previous months together. His current GST turnover is $31,170.

Although Henry's current GST turnover is less than $75,000, he must now calculate his projected GST turnover .

Henry continues to calculate his projected gross business income each month and, if he meets the threshold in the future, he will have 21 days to register for GST from that time.

End of example

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PAYG withholding

If you have employees or contractors working for you, you must withhold tax from payments you make to them. This is known as pay as you go (PAYG) withholding. You need to register for PAYG withholding.

You need to register for PAYG withholding before your withhold the first amount.

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Fringe benefits tax

As an employer, you have to pay fringe benefits tax (FBT) if you provide fringe benefits to your employees. Some examples of fringe benefits are:

  • private use of a work car or mobile phone
  • paying for their private health insurance or on-site accommodation
  • cheap loans, entertainment or goods.

If you give your employees fringe benefits, you must register for FBT. You need to tell us you've made these payments by lodging an FBT return. You must send your FBT return to us after the end of the FBT year, which runs from 1 April to 31 March each year.

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Fuel tax credits

If you use fuels as part of your business – for example, for machinery, equipment or heavy vehicles – you may be able to claim fuel tax credits.

With fuel tax credits, we pay you back the tax you paid for the fuel. To register for fuel tax credits you also need to register for GST.

You cannot make a claim for some types of fuels and activities – for example, driving a light vehicle on a public road.

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