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When you can claim a GST credit

Find out if you can claim GST credits.

Last updated 14 September 2022

Claiming GST credits

You can claim a credit for any GST included in the price you pay for things you use in your business. This is called an input tax credit, or a GST credit. To claim GST credits in your BAS, you must be registered for GST.

You can claim GST credits if:

  • you intend to use your purchase solely or partly for your business, and the purchase does not relate to making input-taxed supplies
  • the purchase price included GST
  • you provide or are liable to provide payment for the item you purchased
  • you have a tax invoice from your supplier (for purchases more than A$82.50).

When claiming GST credits, make sure your suppliers are registered for GST. You can check the GST registration status of an entity by searching the ABN Lookup websiteExternal Link. A 4-year time limit applies for claiming GST credits.

For more information on GST credits, time limits and tax deductions, see:

GST and purchases for private use

If you purchase goods or services for both business and private use, you can only claim a GST credit for the part of the purchase relating to your business use.

If you later find your actual use differed from your intended use, you may need to adjust the amount of GST credits you have claimed.

If you are a small business, you may be able to account for the private portion of your business purchases once a year, rather than each time you lodge an activity statement. To do this you need to make an annual private apportionment election.

For more information, see:

When you need a tax invoice

You must have a tax invoice to claim a GST credit for purchases that cost more than A$82.50 (including GST). Your supplier has 28 days to provide you with a tax invoice after you request one. Wait until you receive it before you claim the GST credit, even if this is in a later reporting period.

Tax invoice is incomplete

An invoice containing incorrect or incomplete information is not a valid tax invoice. You may be able to treat it as a tax invoice if it is missing information that can be obtained from other documents the supplier has given you. Alternatively, you can ask your supplier to replace it with a complete and correct tax invoice.

When you don't receive a tax invoice

If your supplier does not respond to your request for a valid tax invoice:

  • within the 28-day period, and
  • you haven't been able to find the missing information from other documents issued to you by the supplier, you can seek our permission to treat a document as a valid tax invoice.

To request our permission, either:

  • contact us using Online services for business or Online services for agents and select
    • Communication tab and then either Secure mail or Practice mail
    • then select New
    • in the Topic field, select View more topics from the dropdown list
    • in the Other topics list, select GST
    • select the subject Other Sales, Purchases or Tax invoice enquiry from the dropdown list
    • complete all the required details and click submit.
  • write to us at
    • Australian Taxation Office
      PO Box 3524
      ALBURY  NSW  2640

Small purchases

To claim a GST credit for purchases that cost A$82.50 or less (including GST), you should have one of the following:

  • a tax invoice
  • a cash register docket
  • a receipt
  • an invoice.

If you can't get one of these, keep a record of the purchase, such as a diary entry with:

  • the name and ABN of the supplier
  • the date of purchase
  • a description of the items purchased
  • the amount paid.

For more information, see issuing tax invoices.

When you should not be charged GST

GST generally applies to:

  • imported services and digital products
  • low value imported goods.

You should not be charged GST on these sales if you are registered for GST. You must give the supplier your ABN and state that you are registered for GST. The supplier is not required to provide tax invoices for these sales.

If the supplier has wrongly charged you GST on an imported service, digital product or a low value imported good, you should seek a refund from the supplier.

Reverse charges rules

If you have not been charged GST on a purchase because you have provided the supplier with your ABN and a statement that you are registered for GST, then, in some circumstances, ‘reverse charge’ rules require you to pay GST on the relevant purchase through your BAS.

Broadly, under these reverse charge rules, you will need to pay GST on a purchase if you would not have been entitled to claim a full GST credit.

If you are a non-resident business selling goods and services into Australia, see:

How to work out a GST credit

If your tax invoice does not specify the amount of GST included in the price of your purchase by only stating that the price includes GST, you can work out the GST amount yourself by dividing the price by 11. The answer is the amount of GST credit you can claim (provided you use the item wholly for business purposes).

For purchases that you use both for business and private purposes, you can claim a GST credit for the portion you use for business purposes. For example, if 50% of your use of the purchased item is for business purposes, you can claim a credit of 50% of the GST you paid.

If you account on a cash basis and have not fully paid for a purchase, you can claim a GST credit only for the GST included in the amount you have paid (for more information, refer to Choosing an accounting method).

When you have worked out your total GST credits, you can offset them against the amount of GST you are liable to pay to us. If your GST credits are greater than the amount you are liable to pay, you're entitled to a refund.

Follow the links below for more information about: