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  • Deferred GST

    As an importer, the deferred goods and services tax (DGST) scheme allows you to defer payment of goods and services tax (GST) on all taxable imports into Australia. You need to apply to us for approval.

    To apply to defer GST:

    Find out about:

    Check if you're eligible for DGST

    To be eligible to participate in the deferred GST scheme, you must:

    • have an Australian business number (ABN)
    • be registered for GST (you can register for GST and apply for an ABN on the one form if you don't already have an ABN)
    • lodge your activity statements online and pay electronically
    • lodge your activity statements monthly (if you are currently lodging quarterly, this will be changed to monthly once we receive and approve your application)
    • ensure the goods or excise-equivalent goods are for home consumption
    • if you are a member of a GST group, ensure your nominated representative is registered for the DGST scheme.

    You may not be eligible if:

    • you are not up to date with your tax returns or payments – this includes members of GST groups, branches and joint ventures
    • in the past three years, you or anyone relevant to the application has been convicted or penalised by a court for specific offences.

    Lodging monthly must be done online either by you or your registered tax or BAS agent.

    Find out about:

    See also:

    Change to monthly lodgment

    When you elect to change from quarterly to monthly lodgment, the change takes effect from the first month of the quarter.

    To support businesses during the COVID-19 period, we will backdate the GST cycle to help with your cash flow. This means that if you apply for deferred GST in the second or third month of a quarter we will update your lodgment cycle from quarterly to monthly.

    This will take effect from the first month of that quarter (July, October, January or April). You will need to lodge all the monthly activity statements for that quarter.

    We will:

    • confirm your lodgment cycle has changed from quarterly to monthly
    • advise if you are approved to defer your GST.

    Usually this change must take place in the first month of the relevant quarter.

    Apply to use the deferred GST scheme

    If you are eligible and want to apply for DGST status, complete the online Application for approval to defer GST on imported goods form (NAT 75136).

    The application form allows you to check your eligibility before you apply. If you are eligible, continue your application using the same form.

    If you have recently changed to a monthly BAS reporting cycle, you need to wait one business day before lodging your GST deferral application.

    Next step:

    Registered tax and BAS agents

    If you are attempting to change a lodgement cycle from quarterly to monthly, you won't be able to backdate this online when applying in the second or third month of a quarter.

    We ask that you complete the Application for approval to defer GST on imported goods form (NAT 76136) and we will make the necessary changes. We will confirm the update with you.

    Next step:

    GST group members and representatives

    If you are a non-representative member of a GST group, you aren't required to lodge an activity statement. However, you may be eligible to apply for the DGST scheme.

    Your nominated GST group representative must be the person to apply for the DGST scheme and lodge monthly activity statements online.

    GST deferred by non-reporting GST group members will be accounted for on the GST group representative's activity statement.

    Court convictions or penalties

    You may not be eligible to participate in the DGST scheme if, in the past three years, you or anyone relevant to the application has been convicted or penalised by a court for offences in relation to:

    • taxation requirements
    • customs requirements
    • the inaccurate description of goods
    • trade practices
    • fair trading
    • defrauding of a government.

    You must state in your application if you or anyone relevant to the application has been convicted or penalised by a court for any relevant offences. We may ask for additional information about the nature of the offence or penalty before making a decision about your application.

    People relevant to the application include public officers, directors, office bearers, partners and trustees of the applicant organisation.

    Deferred GST obligations

    If you participate in the deferred GST scheme, you must meet the following requirements:

    • Lodge and pay your business activity statements (BAS) online using   
      • the Business Portal
      • Standard Business Reporting (SBR)-enabled software
      • your registered tax and BAS agent – lodging on your behalf using Online services for agents
      • our online services for individuals and sole traders – using your myGov account.
    • Lodge on time – if you don't lodge on time, you may be withdrawn from the deferred GST scheme.
    • Keep up to date with payments – if you default from a payment plan, you may be withdrawn from the deferred GST scheme.

    See also:

    Deferred GST calculation

    If you have deferred the GST on a taxable import, and the goods will be used in your business and not for making input taxed supplies, you are able to claim a GST credit for the amount of GST that has been deferred. On each monthly BAS, when you are entitled to a full GST credit for the taxable import, you should be claiming the full amount of the deferred GST (a prefilled amount at label 7A) as a credit on your BAS at label 1B. The liability for deferred GST should always be offset on the BAS for the same month.

    Example: Deferred GST calculation

    Sarah is a computer wholesaler who imports computers and then sells to computer retailers. She is approved for deferral of GST on imports.

    Sarah imports some computers with a cost of $20,000. The GST deferred on this shipment is $2,000. She makes other business purchases in Australia of $16,500, which includes a total of $1,500 GST.

    Sarah makes $33,000 worth of computer sales to retailers during June. This includes $3,000 of GST collected (these computers are a combination of existing and new stock).

    Sarah completes her June monthly BAS as follows:

    Sarah's BAS for June

    BAS label

    Dollar amount

    BAS label

    Dollar amount

    Label G1 – total sales

    $33,000

    Label G11 – non-capital purchases

    (Simpler BAS clients don't need to complete Label G11)

    $38,500

    Label 7A – deferred GST

    $2,000

    Deferred GST is pre-filled by us

    Deferred GST is pre-filled by the ATO

    Label 1A – GST on sales

    $3,000

    Label 1B – GST on purchases

    $3,500

    Label 8A

    $5,000

    Label 9 – payment

    $1,500

    Sarah’s GST on purchases (Label 1B) is the total of the GST she pays on her Australian purchases and her claim for her deferred GST amount ($2,000 + $1,500).

    Sarah’s total purchases (Label G11) are the total of her Australian purchases and the importation, including GST ($16,500 + $22,000).

    End of example

    Revoking the deferred GST scheme

    To continue to benefit from deferring your GST, make sure all of your tax obligations are up to date and meet your deferred GST approval requirements. If you don't, you'll no longer be part of the deferred GST scheme. This means:

    • customs will keep your goods until you pay the GST
    • you'll have to register for the scheme again.

    More information

    For more information on DGST, phone us on 13 28 66 between 8.00am–5.00pm AEDT, Monday to Friday.

    See also:

      Last modified: 22 Jul 2020QC 17118