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Written agreement to use margin scheme

Last updated 18 August 2021

Must be a written agreement for sales on or after 29 June 2005

There must be a written agreement to use the margin scheme before settlement for sales on or after 29 June 2005.

There is no set format for a written agreement. An agreement must:

  • be signed by both seller and purchaser
  • clearly identify the property being sold.

The agreement could be included in the sales contract.

If you don't have a written agreement when the sale was made, you may ask us for permission to extend the time to obtain the agreement in writing. We don't have discretion to apply the margin scheme where parties don't agree that it applies.

See also:

  • PS LA 2005/15 The Commissioner’s discretion to extend the time in which the agreement in writing must be made to apply the margin scheme under Division 75 of the A New Tax System (Goods and Services Tax) Act 1999

Sales before 29 June 2005

You don't need a written agreement between the seller and purchaser if the sale was made either:

  • before 29 June 2005
  • on or after 29 June 2005 but you entered into a contract or granted rights or options over the property you are selling before 29 June 2005.

For sales made or entered into before 29 June 2005, if you didn't apply the margin scheme when the sale was made, you may ask to account for GST on the sale as if the margin scheme applied.

You must show that:

  • you didn't choose to apply the margin scheme at settlement because of a mistake
  • you satisfy all other requirements under the margin scheme
  • the purchaser hasn't claimed a GST credit or a decreasing adjustment for the purchase
  • you and the purchaser didn't agree on a price that included GST
  • you aren't making the agreement to avoid paying GST.

See also:

Request for permission

To request an extension of time, or to apply the margin scheme to sales before 29 June 2005, write to us at

Australian Taxation Office
PO Box 3524

We will respond to let you know whether or not we agree to allow your request.

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