How (and when) to register for GST

Goods and Services Tax (GST) is a tax on most goods and services in Australia. GST is added to the price of taxable goods and services at a rate of 10%, except if the supplier is not registered for GST, if the goods and services are “GST Free”, or if the goods and services are input taxed supplies.

How does GST work?
What are taxable supplies?
When should I register for GST?
When to deregister from GST

First up – how does GST work?

Goods and services tax (GST) is a tax added to most goods and services in Australia. The tax is added to the price of these at a rate of 10%.

As a business, you’re acting as one of the governments agents by collecting GST on your product or service. At the same time, your business is also contributing GST each time it buys something (and for most purchases, you’re eligible to have the GST refunded).

At the end of each GST reporting period (monthly, quarterly or annually depending on your registration), you need to calculate the difference between the amount of GST you’ve collected and the amount you’ve paid on goods and services to figure out if you pay more to the ATO, or receive a refund.

This article is going to reveal whether you should register for GST or not. If you’d like a deep dive into understanding GST, check out our article, GST basics.

What are taxable supplies?

Taxable supplies are the goods and services that you supply in return for a consideration (money, compensation or reward)*.  They must be  connected with Australia and made in the course of business.

Goods include all types of personal and real property except money.

Services cover everything else besides goods and money – imagine things like consultations with a legal advisor or having your car repaired.

* This is irrespective of whether you’re producing a profit or not.

Taxable supplies don’t include:

  • Goods and services supplied by businesses that aren’t registered for GST
  • Exported goods and services
  • GST Free and input taxed supplies such as:
    • Letting or renting a residential premises
    • Most basic foods
    • Interest you receive and pay
    • Certain financial services
    • Bank fees
    • Penalties

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When should I register for GST?

You must register for GST when your turnover:

      • Was over $75,000 for the last 12 months, or
      • Is expected to go over $75,000 for the next 12 months (this equates to $6,250 per month), or
      • Was less than $75,000, but you are required to register for GST as a Taxi service provider.

If you’re charging 0% GST on some of your sales (typically when you’re selling overseas), know that these sales still count towards that $75,000 threshold.

Voluntary registration

Even if your annual turnover is under $75,000, you can choose to register for GST. It can be useful in a few situations – like when you’d like to purchase a large asset, or when the majority of your sales are GST Free.

If your business changes from being non-registered to registered for GST, you’ll need to make some changes – follow this link for more detailed information.

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When to deregister from GST

You can deregister from a voluntary registration at any time, as long as your sales are under $75,000 and expected to stay there.

Here are your obligations prior to deregistering:

  • You must include GST adjustments for assets which you previously claimed GST credits.
  • All GST debt must to be paid
How to deregister from GST

Head over to your ATO online services for business page and click on the Tax Registrations section. You will then be given the option to cancel your registration. Or simply contact our support team.

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Still unsure on whether you should register for GST? We’d love to help. Give us a shout at [email protected] or 1800 955 089.

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