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  • Australian GST registration for non-residents

    Non-resident businesses outside of Australia may need to register for Australian goods and services tax (GST) if they are selling things connected with Australia.

    Sales connected with Australia

    Sales of goods are connected with Australia when the goods are any of the following:

    • delivered or made available in Australia to the purchaser.
    • removed from Australia.
    • brought to Australia – provided the seller either imports the goods or installs or assembles the goods in Australia.

    GST applies to sales connected with Australia, including goods, property or other things. Examples include:

    • digital products, such as software or eBooks to Australian consumers
    • imported services (such as professional consulting services) to Australian consumers
    • low value goods imported into Australia with a customs value of A$1,000 or less when the price is first agreed with the customer (except for tobacco products or alcoholic beverages)
    • imported goods made available for sale
    • real property in Australia.

    Find out more:

    See also:

    When you must register

    You must register for GST in Australia if both of the following apply:

    • you are carrying on a business or enterprise
    • your GST turnover from sales connected with Australia in your enterprise is equal to, or greater than the registration turnover threshold of A$75,000 (or A$150,000 if you are a non-profit business).

    GST turnover includes the combined value of online sales of services and digital products and sales of low value goods to Australian consumers.

    If your sales are only through an online marketplace or electronic distribution platform you may not need to register for GST.

    For more information about sales made through an electronic distribution platform see Who charges GST.

    Work out your GST turnover

    You reach the GST registration turnover threshold if your:

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

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

    • online sales of services and digital products and sales of low value goods to Australian businesses registered for GST
    • sales not connected with Australia
    • 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.

    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).

    Types of GST registration

    Most non-resident businesses that are required to register for Australian GST can choose from two types of GST registration – 'simplified' or 'standard'.

    • simplified GST registration – for eligible non-residents who make supplies connected with Australia that
      • want to electronically register, report and pay quickly and easily
      • don't need to claim GST credits
       
    • standard registration
      • standard GST registration – for non-resident entities that
        • have an Australian business number (ABN)
        • make supplies connected with Australia
        • issue tax invoices
        • want to claim GST credits
         
      • standard 'GST-only' registration – for non-residents with a business or enterprise outside Australia that can claim GST refunds for Australian GST that has been paid (often referred to as 'claim-only'). With this option, you:
        • aren't entitled to an ABN
        • don't make supplies connected with Australia
         
      • voluntary registration.
       

    You're not required to register with the Australian Securities & Investment Commission (ASIC) to get an Australian Registered Body Number (ARBN) unless you have a business in Australia.

    Changing the type of your registration

    You can change the type of your registration, but you can't be registered in both at the same time.

    To change between simplified GST and the standard GST system, contact us and we will help you to change your registration.

    See also:

    Simplified GST registration

    Simplified GST registration is for non-residents who make sales of:

    • online services and digital products to Australia (referred to as imported services and digital products or intangibles)
    • goods valued at A$1,000 or less (low value imported goods).

    Merchants, electronic distribution platform (EDP) operators and goods re-deliverers are eligible to register for simplified GST.

    Simplified GST is secure and accessible for non-residents using our Online services for non-residents. This allows you to register, lodge and pay your Australian GST to meet your GST obligations.

    By registering for simplified GST you are electing to be a limited registration entity (LRE) and aren't entitled to claim Australian GST credits for purchases.

    In the simplified GST system for non-residents – you:

    • use an ATO reference number (ARN)
    • must lodge your GST returns and pay GST quarterly
    • can pay electronically via SWIFT, bank transfer, credit or debit card
    • don't have to prove your identity
    • can't issue tax invoices
    • can't claim GST credits.

    Next step:

    How to use Online services for non-residents

    Online services for non-residents is only for non-resident businesses that have elected to use the simplified GST registration.

    Find out about:

    Register for simplified GST

    To register, you need to:

    Access your simplified GST account

    To access your account:

    • Select Login on the ato.gov.au homepage
    • At the Login as dropdown menu select Non-resident and select Login or press Enter
    • Enter your AUSid username
    • Follow instructions to open AUSid to accept the authentication request
    • Enter your AUSid password.

    Once you have registered for simplified GST, we will send you an ATO reference number (ARN). We use this unique 12-digit identifier to identify you in our systems. We may also use it as an identifier on invoices.

    We will also send you a payment reference number (PRN) to identify your GST payments.

    Lodging and paying using simplified GST

    You can only lodge your simplified GST return online.

    • Login to the Online services for non-residents.
    • Enter your AUSid details.
    • Select ARN.
    • Select Lodge GST return.

    Complete the following two labels:

    • Total Australian taxable supplies (excluding 10% GST) – if your business has any corrections or adjustments you must account for them when calculating your total taxable supplies, such as supplies included in previously lodged returns.
    • GST payable (10% of total Australian taxable supplies) – if the total GST payable is less than10% of your total sales, select one of the reasons from drop down box.

    Don't include GST-free supplies, input taxed supplies or supplies made to Australian GST registered businesses – unless you have already treated them as taxable supplies.

    Once completed:

    • Tick the declaration box to confirm the information is true and correct and press Submit.
    • You will be notified how much GST to pay and be given an option to pay – you can return to complete payment any time before your due date.

    Lodgment and payment due dates

    Lodge your returns and pay your GST quarterly by the due date.

    Quarter

    Due date

    One – July, August and September

    28 October

    Two – October, November and December

    28 February

    Three – January, February and March

    28 April

    Four – April, May and June

    28 July

    See also:

    Paying your GST

    We send you a payment reference number (PRN) to identify your GST payments.

    When paying, you need to convert the amount of GST in Australian dollars.

    You can pay by:

    You need to pay the full GST amount owing and any card payment fees, bank handling and exchange fees.

    Payment reference number (PRN)

    Your payment reference number (PRN) is your unique reference that ensures your payment is credited to the correct account. A PRN can also be called an EFT code.

    Next step:

    See also:

    Add authorised contacts

    Adding an authorised contact allows that person to make enquiries on behalf of your business.

    Each authorised contact who is given online access needs a separate AUSid.

    Each AUSid holder will need to individually install their AUSid on their own computer prior to logging on.

    You can have up to 20 authorised contacts for each account and we recommend that you have multiple contacts. To add new authorised contacts:

    • Select Login on the ato.gov.au homepage.
    • At the Login as dropdown menu select Non-resident and select Login or press Enter.
    • Enter your AUSid and keep the AUSid screen open when accessing Online services for non-residents.
    • Go to Manage details.
    • Scroll down to Authorised contacts and select Add new authorised contacts.
    • Check the declaration box and select Save.

    Giving authorised contacts access to your simplified GST account

    To give authorised contacts access to your account you:

    • scroll down to Access to a simplified GST account and select Add
    • answer the question Does the new user have an AUSid? If you select No, the system won't generate an authorisation code.
    • check the declaration box and Generate authorisation code
    • provide the new user with their unique authorisation code – the authorisation code is only valid for four hours.

    If you have more than one ARN, you need to generate separate authorisation codes for each ARN and each individual contact. You must then logout so the authorised contact can use the system.

    Linking AUSid and simplified GST accounts

    The new authorised contact should link their AUSid to your simplified GST account when you:

    • select Login on the ato.gov.au homepage
    • at the Login as dropdown menu select Non-resident and select Login or press Enter
    • select Enter Authorisation code under the Login button
    • login with your AUSid details and select Continue
    • enter your authorisation code and select Continue.

    Removing an authorised contact

    To remove an authorised contact you:

    • select Login on the ato.gov.au homepage
    • at the Login as dropdown menu select Non-resident and select Login or press Enter
    • login with your AUSid
    • go to the Manage details tab
    • scroll down to Authorised contacts and select Remove the contact
    • check the declaration box and select Save.

    Issues with your AUSid

    If you are experiencing problems with your AUSid account, you can email us at ausidsupport@ato.gov.au, and include:

    • the date and time when the error occurred
    • details of the error code or screen message
    • screen shots (if possible).

    Before we can discuss your simplified GST account with you, we need to establish that we are dealing with an authorised contact. To help us do this you need to include:

    • your ATO reference number (ARN)
    • your business name
    • your full name (first and last name)
    • the registered AUSid email or username
    • any three of these details from your simplified GST registration  
      • business address
      • reference number from ATO generated correspondence
      • the date of registration
      • payment details (amount and date of payment).
       

    If you can't add a new authorised contact, also include the AUSid user’s details.

    Cancelling your registration

    Write to us at australiagst@ato.gov.au if you need to cancel your simplified GST registration for any reason, such as no longer making sales to Australia.

    When cancelling your simplified GST registration:

    • an authorised contact needs to notify us
    • you must lodge a final GST return and ensure all sales are reported
    • cancel on the last date of your quarterly reporting period – if you are backdating your cancelation you need to tell us why.

    If you have multiple ARNs, only cancel the relevant ARNs.

    Standard GST registration

    Standard GST registration is for businesses that:

    • have an Australian business number (ABN)
    • make supplies connected with Australia
    • issue tax invoices
    • want to claim GST credits.

    When registering for standard GST registration, you can apply for an ABN and GST registration at the same time.

    As a non-resident, you need to provide additional proof of identity when you apply for an ABN, which may increase the processing time.

    Voluntary registration

    You can choose to register for GST voluntarily if you run an enterprise and your Australian turnover is less than A$75,000 ($150,000 for non-profit organisations).

    If you choose to register, you should stay registered for 12 months.

    How to register

    Being registered for GST doesn't mean you have a permanent establishment for income tax purposes.

    You can register for standard GST online, using a form, by phone or through your registered agent.

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

    Next step:

    See also:

    Standard GST-only registration

    If you're a non-resident running an enterprise outside of Australia, you may be entitled to claim GST refunds for Australian GST you paid. To claim, you need to register for GST without an ABN (referred to as GST-only registration) and make your claim on an activity statement.

    This option is only available if you are not entitled to an ABN due to:

    • not making supplies connected with Australia
    • only running your enterprise from outside Australia.

    How to register

    You can register for GST-only online, by completing a paper form or through your registered agent.

    When registering online using the ABN application,External Link at the question 'Are you applying for GST-only registration?', select Yes.

    You can get the paper form by contacting us.

    To apply for GST-only registration, you must provide the following evidence by having:

    • documents to show you are registered with an equivalent corporate, market or financial regulator in your country of origin
    • a letter issued by a revenue authority of a comparable tax regime as Australia stating that you exist in their records and carry on an enterprise.

    See also:

    Contact us

    Contact us by:

    • Email AustraliaGST@ato.gov.au
    • Fax
      • within Australia: 1300 337 921
      • from outside Australia: +612 7922 4002
       
    • Phone +61 2 6216 1111  
      • Our business hours are 8.00am to 5.00pm, Australian Eastern Standard Time (AEST) or Australian Eastern Daylight-Saving Time (AEDST) Monday to Friday, except for national public holidays.
      • Ask the operator to connect you to 1300 146 094 with code 118#. You will be transferred to an officer who can help you.
      • For a free interpreting service, you can phone +61 3 9268 8332 and ask to be connected to 1300 146 094.
       
      Last modified: 14 Jan 2021QC 18025