• GST and ABNs

    Government entities can register for GST even if they are not entities and not carrying on an enterprise.

    The Commonwealth Government has a policy that Commonwealth Departments of State, Departments of Parliament and statutory agencies must have an Australian business number (ABN) and be registered for GST.

    Government entities do not have to cancel their GST registration when they cease to carry on an enterprise, as long as they continue to exist.

    Generally, each state (or territory) government has a policy requiring all state (or territory) government entities to be registered for GST.

    A government-related entity that is not a government entity must register for GST if it:

    • carries on an enterprise
    • has a GST turnover of $75,000 or more.

    However, GST registration is optional if the government-related entity’s GST turnover is less than $75,000. A government-related entity that is not a government entity must cancel its GST registration when they cease to carry on an enterprise.

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    Applying for an ABN and GST registration

    Government organisations can apply for an ABN and register for GST by completing an Application for ABN registration for government organisations (NAT 2946) form.

    Completed forms should be signed by the authorised contact person and submitted by:

    • mail to the address listed on the form
    • fax to 1300 130 906.

    State and territory government entities should check their application requirements. Some states and territories require applications to be submitted via the relevant department of treasury. In these cases, treasury will provide us with relevant proof of identification.

    When applying for an ABN or registering for GST, new Commonwealth government organisations must comply with proof of identification requirements that have been developed by the Department of Finance and Deregulation.

    Get it done

    To request a copy of the Application for ABN registration for government organisations (NAT 2946) form, phone us on 1300 130 904.

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    Cancelling an ABN and GST registration

    Government entities that have been abolished should cancel their ABN, GST and other tax registrations by completing the Application to cancel registration (NAT 2955) form.

    Completed forms should be signed by the authorised contact person and submitted by mail to the address listed on the form.

    When cancelling an ABN and GST registration, Commonwealth government entities must follow procedures developed by the Department of Finance and Deregulation. However, State and territory government entities should follow procedures developed by their relevant department of treasury. Some states and territories require cancellations to be submitted via their relevant department of treasury.

    If a government related entity, such as a local governing body which is a body corporate, is abolished under relevant legislation the entity must cancel its ABN.

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    This guide only relates to GST. Cancelling GST registration can impact on other tax obligations such as pay as you go withholding (PAYGW), fringe benefits tax (FBT) and your eligibility to claim fuel tax credits.

      Last modified: 22 May 2014QC 22915