Registering for goods and services tax (GST) has never been easier. The Australian Taxation Office (ATO) provides a range of different avenues to register for GST, making it a hassle-free process.
First, you need to decide whether you should register for GST. If your business has an annual GST turnover of $75,000 or more, it’s necessary. If your business makes less than that, registering for GST is optional.
To complete your GST registration you need to have an Australian Business Number (ABN). If you are just starting up your business and are applying for an ABN, you can use the same application form to apply for GST. You are required to have an ABN to be part of the GST system.
You can register by:
- Visiting business.gov.au
- Phoning the ATO on 13 28 66 to obtain the appropriate form
- Asking your tax agent or BAS agent to register on your behalf. In the majority of cases, your external accountant will be either a BAS or tax agent, but it’s important to check with them first.
Once the ATO has received your GST registration, you will be notified in writing confirming your registration details, including the date your registration is effective from and your ABN (if you have applied for one).
As a GST registered business, there are certain tax obligations you need to fulfil.
Generally speaking, businesses registered for GST include GST in the price of sales to their customers (10 per cent) and claim credits for the GST included in the price of their business purchases.
You need to report and pay GST amounts to the ATO, and claim GST credits by lodging a business activity statement (BAS) or annual GST return. You can lodge and pay your BAS electronically at ato.gov.au, by mail or person. Be sure to meet your BAS commitments by the due date to avoid penalties and interest.
If you’re unsure about the GST process or need guidance, it’s best to seek advice from a tax agent or your external accountant. Your tax agent can look after your BAS each quarter, meaning you can focus on other areas of your business.
Are you considering registering for GST?