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Goods and services tax

Learn when selling, leasing and subdividing farmland will be GST-free, and how to pay GST in 2 instalments each year.

Last updated 12 July 2023

GST instalments

As a primary producer, you may choose to pay goods and services tax (GST) in 2 instalments per year. Find out more at Choosing GST instalments.

GST on livestock and carcasses

The GST definition of food does not include live animals (other than crustaceans or molluscs). For GST purposes, meat is GST-free when it becomes food for human consumption. This happens when an authorised person inspects it and either stamps or passes it as food for human consumption in accordance with federal, state or territory law.

As a general rule, the GST status of a transaction is worked out when the transaction takes place. Therefore, if you sell a carcass before it has been passed as food for human consumption, your sale will be subject to GST.

Find out more at GST on livestock and game sales.

GST and property

If you sell or lease farmland

When you sell farmland it is GST-free if both:

  • the land was used for a farming business for at least 5 years immediately before the sale
  • the buyer intends to use it for a farming business.

A lease by an Australian Government agency or a long term lease of farmland is also GST-free if the above conditions are met.

A long-term lease is:

  • a lease for at least 50 years
  • likely to continue for at least 50 years because of renewals or extensions provided for in the lease.

Sub-divided farmland

A sale of sub-divided land on which a farming business has been carried on for at least 5 years will be GST-free if:

  • it is permissible to use the land for residential purposes
  • the sale is made to an associate of the supplier for less than market value.

The sale of farmland and certain assets may be GST-free.

If you sell farmland and you do not meet the above conditions, the sale is taxable and you are liable for GST on the price. For more information, see GST and property.

GST issues registers

For more information and guidance, see: