When Do You Need to Register for GST? | upcover
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A Detailed Guide to GST Registration in Australia
The Goods and Services Tax (GST) forms an integral part of the Australian taxation system. This value-added tax is levied on most goods, services, and other items sold or consumed in Australia. Whether you're an entrepreneur, a small business owner, or a freelancer, understanding when you need to register for GST is crucial to your business operations.
Understanding Goods and Services Tax (GST)
GST is a broad-based tax of 10% on the supply of most goods, services, and anything else consumed in Australia. As a business, you charge your customers GST on the goods and services you provide, but you can also claim credits for the GST included in the price of your business purchases.
Criteria for GST Registration
In Australia, you must register for GST if:
1. Your business or enterprise has a GST turnover (gross income minus GST) of $75,000 or more.
2. You provide taxi or limousine travel for passengers (including ride-sourcing) irrespective of your GST turnover. This is required as you're considered to be running a taxi service.
3. You want to claim fuel tax credits for your business or enterprise.
Non-profit organisations have a higher threshold for registration and need to register for GST if their GST turnover is $150,000 per year or more.
How to Register for GST
You can register for GST via the Australian Business Register (ABR) website. If you're a new business, you can register for GST at the same time as your Australian Business Number (ABN) application. Existing businesses can add GST registration through the ABR portal.
Obligations Post GST Registration
Once registered for GST, there are several obligations businesses must meet:
1. Include GST in the price of taxable supplies: The standard GST rate is 10%. This should be factored into the prices of your goods and services.
2. Issue tax invoices for taxable sales: Your customers need these to claim GST credits.
3. Obtain tax invoices for business purchases that included GST**: You need these to claim GST credits.
4. Lodge activity statements: These detail the amount of GST collected and credits claimed.
5. Report and pay the net amount of GST: This is done through your activity statement.
Voluntary GST Registration
Even if your turnover does not meet the threshold, you may choose to register for GST voluntarily. This can provide benefits such as being able to claim back the GST on purchases used in carrying out your business.
Implications of Not Registering for GST
If you are required to register for GST and fail to do so, you may be liable for the GST on sales made since the date you were required to register. This could be irrespective of whether or not you included GST in the price of your sales.
Conclusion: A Vital Part of Doing Business in Australia
Understanding GST registration is a crucial aspect of running a business in Australia. This guide provides a comprehensive overview of the key factors related to GST registration. However, individual business circumstances can vary significantly, and it is always advisable to consult with a taxation or financial advisor for personalised advice.