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  • Registering for GST

    You can register for goods and services tax (GST) online, by phone or through your registered tax or BAS agent when you first register your business or at any later time. This is called 'standard GST' registration.

    You only need to register for GST once, even if you operate more than one business.

    On this page:

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    When to register

    If you're not registered for GST, check each month to see if you've reached the threshold, or are likely to exceed it. You need to register within 21 days of your GST turnover exceeding the relevant threshold.

    You must register for GST:

    • when your business or enterprise has a GST turnover (gross income minus GST) of $75,000 or more (see Working out your GST turnover)
    • when you start a new business and expect your turnover to reach the GST threshold (or more) in the first year of operation
    • if you're already in business and have reached the GST threshold
    • if your non-profit organisation has a GST turnover of $150,000 per year or more
    • when you provide taxi or limousine travel for passengers (including ride-sourcing) regardless of your GST turnover – this applies to both owner drivers and if you lease or rent a taxi
    • if you want to claim fuel tax credits for your business or enterprise.

    Registering for GST is optional if your business or enterprise doesn’t fit into one of these categories. If you choose to register, generally you must stay registered for at least 12 months.

    How to register

    Before you register for standard GST, you need to have an Australian business number (ABN). You can get an ABN when you first register your business name or at a later time.

    Once you have an ABN, you can register for GST:    

    We'll notify you in writing of your GST registration details, including the date your registration is effective (and your ABN details, if you haven't already received them).

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    If you don't register

    If you don't register for GST and are required to, you may have to pay GST on sales made since the date you were required to register. This could happen even if you didn't include GST in the price of those sales.

    You may also have to pay penalties and interest.

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    Backdating your GST registration

    You can apply to backdate your GST registration. For tax periods commencing on or after 1 July 2012, backdating a GST registration is limited to four years. This means, unless there is fraud or evasion:

    • we can't backdate your GST registration by more than four years
    • you are not required to be registered before that date.

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    Working out your GST turnover

    Your GST turnover is your total business income (not your profit), minus any:

    • GST included in sales to your customers
    • sales that aren't for payment and aren't taxable
    • sales not connected with an enterprise you run
    • input-taxed sales you make
    • sales not connected with Australia.

    GST turnover threshold

    You reach the GST turnover threshold if either:

    • your 'current GST turnover' (your turnover for the current month and the previous 11 months) totals $75,000 or more ($150,000 or more for non-profit organisations)
    • your 'projected GST turnover' (your total turnover for the current month and the next 11 months) is likely to be $75,000 or more ($150,000 or more for non-profit organisations).

    Using a business software package to account for sales and expenses may make this easier.

    When working out your projected GST turnover, don’t include:

    • amounts you receive for the sale of a business asset (such as the sale of a capital asset)
    • any sale you make, or are likely to make, solely as a consequence of ceasing to carry on an enterprise, or substantially and permanently reducing the size or scale of an enterprise.

    Even if your current GST turnover is at, or above, the GST turnover threshold you don't have to register for GST if your projected GST turnover will be below the threshold.

    Example: Barry's current GST turnover – May plus previous 11 months

    Barry is a sole trader who sells specialised car parts. At the end of May this year, his gross business income for the month is $2,560. Barry has to work out if this amount plus the previous 11 months gross business income reaches the GST turnover threshold of $75,000.

    Barry adds his gross business income for May and the previous months together. His current GST turnover is $31,170.

    Although Barry's current GST turnover is less than $75,000, he must now calculate his projected GST turnover.

    Barry continues to calculate his projected gross business income each month and, if he meets the threshold in the future, he will have 21 days to register for GST from that time.

    End of example

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    GST for non-residents

    If you are a non-resident there are different proof-of-identity requirements that may apply to you.

    Depending on your business activities, you may need to register for either:

    • standard GST registration – for businesses that
      • have an ABN
      • make supplies connected with Australia
      • issue tax invoices
      • want to claim GST credits
       
    • simplified GST registration – where you
      • provide services and digital products to Australian consumers from outside Australia
      • import goods valued at A$1,000 or less (low value goods) into Australia.
       

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    GST groups and branches

    Related entities may form a single group for GST purposes.

    An entity may separately register a branch for GST purposes if this suits its management and accounting structure.

    If you're a member of a GST group, your turnover includes the turnover of the other group members. It doesn't include transactions between group members.

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    Last modified: 16 Jun 2020QC 22412