Part 2 - Accounting and attributions

Issues on accounting and attributions.

Issue 1: What should non-profits be aware of in accounting for GST?



The GST legislation allows for two alternative tax periods; one of three months and the other of one month. If a non-profit entity has a GST turnover of $20 million or more it has monthly tax periods under section 27-15. All non-profits entities with a turnover below $20 million can elect whether to account monthly or three monthly.

The GST legislation allows for entities to account for GST on either a cash or non-cash basis. Endorsed charitable institutions, endorsed trustees of charitable funds, gift deductible entities and government schools may choose to account on a cash basis regardless of turnover under Division 157.

Note: A gift deductible entity that operates a fund, authority or institution which can receive tax deductible gifts or contributions is only entitled to account for GST on a cash basis if it meets one of the general eligibility criteria. Those criteria are:

  • the entity's GST turnover does not exceed the cash accounting threshold, or
    • for income tax purposes the entity correctly accounts for income using the receipts method.

The GST legislation states that certain information must be specified on tax invoices in order to make them valid tax invoices. This information can be found in various ATO publications including the industry booklets. You should also be aware of the Ruling GSTR 2013/1External Link on tax invoices.

    Last modified: 18 Nov 2013QC 27139