• Part 1 - ABN and GST registration

    Issues on Australian business number (ABN) and goods and services tax (GST) registration.

    Issue 1: Who is required to be registered for the GST?

    Non-interpretative – straight application of the law

    Principle

    An entity is required to be registered if:

    • it is carrying on an enterprise (an entity that performs activities in the form of a business is carrying on an enterprise. The activities of a religious institution, or a charitable institution or fund, also fall within the definition of an enterprise), and
    • it has a GST turnover that meets a particular threshold. For non-profit bodies, this threshold is $150,000. For other entities, the threshold is $75,000.

    An entity may choose to register for GST if it is carrying on an enterprise but its GST turnover does not meet the threshold.

    If an entity is required to be registered because its GST turnover meets the threshold, it must make the application within 21 days of becoming required to be registered.

    Meeting a turnover threshold

    An entity's GST turnover will meet a particular turnover threshold if:

    • its current GST turnover is at or above the threshold and its projected GST turnover is at or above the threshold, or
    • its projected GST turnover is at or above the threshold.

    In other words, if an entity's current GST turnover is at or above the threshold, but its projected GST turnover is below the threshold, then it is not required to register for GST.

    If an entity's projected GST turnover is at or above the threshold, then it is required to register for GST even if its current GST turnover is below the threshold.

    Current and projected GST turnover

    Current GST turnover is the value (excluding GST) of all the supplies that an entity has made, or is likely to make, during the current month and the previous 11 months.

    Projected GST turnover is the value (excluding GST) of all the supplies that the entity has made, or is likely to make, during the current month and the next 11 months.

    For example, the current GST turnover of an entity as at the month of March 2002 is measured from the start of April 2001 to the end of March 2002. It is the sum of the values (excluding GST) of the supplies it has made, or is likely to make, during that time.

    The projected GST turnover of an entity as at the month of March 2002 is measured from the start of March 2002 to the end of February 2003. It is the sum of the values (excluding GST) of the supplies it has made, or is likely to make, during that time.

    When calculating current and projected GST turnover, an entity does not include:

    • input taxed supplies (if a supply is input taxed, then no GST is payable on the supply and there is no entitlement to an input tax credit for anything acquired or imported to make the supply)
    • supplies for which an entity does not receive any payment (except those supplies that are made to an associate of the entity that is not registered for GST or acquires the thing other than solely for a creditable purpose)
    • supplies that are not made in connection with an enterprise that the entity carries on
    • supplies that are not connected with Australia
    • payments from insurers in settlement of an insurance claim, or
    • the sale of capital assets (excluded from projected GST turnover only).

    How to register

    An entity can register for GST by:

    Failing to register

    If you are required to be registered for GST, but fail to do so, penalties will apply.

      Last modified: 18 Nov 2013QC 27139