If eligible, the deferred goods and services tax (DGST) scheme allows importers to defer payment of goods and services tax (GST) on all taxable imports into Australia.
The DGST scheme allows the GST payable on taxable imports to be paid via your monthly business activity statement (BAS) rather than to the Australian Border Force (ABF) at the time of importation.
To be eligible to participate in the DGST 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 BAS online and pay electronically
- lodge your BAS monthly – if you are currently lodging quarterly, you must change to monthly GST reporting before you lodge 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.
When you elect to change from quarterly to monthly lodgment, the change will not take effect until the start of the next quarter. This means you won't be eligible to defer GST on your imports until the start of the next quarter.
You may not be eligible if
- your tax return, BAS lodgments, and payments are not up to date
- for branches and joint ventures, this includes their members
- for GST groups, this includes their members and the GST Group Representative
- in the past 3 years, you or anyone relevant to the application has been convicted or penalised by a court for specific offences.
If you are eligible and want to apply for the DGST scheme, 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.
To complete the form, you must save it to your desktop computer or laptop (with the latest version of Adobe Acrobat installed).
If you are a non-representative member of a GST group, you aren't required to lodge a BAS. However, you may be eligible to apply for the DGST scheme.
Your nominated GST group representative must be the entity person to apply for the DGST scheme and lodge monthly BAS online.
GST deferred by non-reporting GST group members will be accounted for on the GST group representative's BAS.
You may not be eligible to participate in the DGST scheme if, in the past 3 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.
If you participate in the DGST scheme, you must meet the following requirements:
- Lodge and pay your BAS online via
- Lodge on time – if you don't lodge on time, you may be withdrawn from the DGST scheme.
- Keep up to date with payments – if you default from a payment plan, you may be withdrawn from the DGST scheme.
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 as a credit on your BAS at label 1B (matching the pre-filled DGST amount at label 7A). The liability for DGST 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 DGST on imports.
Sarah imports some computers with a cost of $20,000. The DGST 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:
Label G1 – total sales
Label G11 – non-capital purchases#
(Simpler BAS clients don't need to complete Label G11)
Label 7A – deferred GST
Prefilled by the ATO
Label 1A – GST on sales
Label 1B – GST on purchases*
Label 9 – payment
(Label 8A less Label 1B)
* Sarah’s GST on purchases (Label 1B) is the total of the GST she pays on her Australian purchases and her claim for her DGST 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
To continue to benefit from deferring your GST, make sure your tax obligations are up to date and meet the DGST approval requirements. If you don't, you'll no longer be part of the DGST scheme.
- the ABF will keep your goods until you pay the GST
- you'll have to register for the DGST scheme again.