• Deferred GST scheme

    For GST, Luxury Car Tax and Wine Equalisation Tax purposes, from 1 July 2015, where the term ‘Australia’ is used in this document, it is referring to the ‘indirect tax zone’ as defined in subsection 195-1 of the GST Act.

    The deferred GST (DGST) scheme allows you as an importer, to defer payment of GST on all taxable importations into Australia. You need approval to do this, which you can get by applying to us.

    Check the rules below to help work out if you are eligible to participate in the scheme.

    Apply for DGST status

    If you are eligible and want to apply for DGST status, you can complete the application online.

    Next step:

    Check whether you are eligible

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

    • have an 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
    • lodge your activity statements monthly (if you are lodging quarterly, you can elect to lodge monthly)
    • make your activity statement payments electronically.

    Additionally, 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 (see GST group members and representatives)
    • you or anyone relevant to the application has, in the past three years, been convicted or penalised by a court for specific offences.

    Changing to monthly lodgment

    When you elect to shift from quarterly to monthly lodgment, the change will not take effect until the start of the next quarter. This means you will not be eligible to defer GST on your imports until the start of the next quarter.

    GST group members and representatives

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

    Your nominated GST group representative will also need to apply for the DGST scheme and lodge monthly activity statement 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 misdescription of goods
    • trade practices
    • fair trading
    • defrauding the Australian Government.

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

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

    This will help work out if you are eligible to use the deferred GST scheme when importing taxable goods into Australia.

    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 – this can be done through the Tax Agent Portal or by the electronic commerce interface (ECI)
    • lodge on time – if you do not lodge on time, you risk being 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.

    The electronic lodgment service (ELS) can't be used for deferred GST activity statement lodgment.

    See also:

    For more information on DGST, phone 1300 130 915 between 8.00am and 5.00pm EST/EDT, Monday to Friday.

      Last modified: 19 Apr 2017QC 17118