SMALL BUSINESS RESOURCES

Registering for GST

3 min read

Do you have burning questions about registering for GST? Well, we have you covered.

If you’ve just started a business in Australia, some of the top questions you should be asking yourself are whether you should register for GST and how to register for GST.

Let’s look at the rules and choices you can make around registering for the goods and services tax (GST) and how to go about it.

When to register for GST

Firstly, if you’re over the GST threshold in terms of income (find them below), you must register for GST. Simple as that.

While the question of a GST threshold is enshrined in Australian tax legislation, when to register for GST isn’t as clear cut as it may seem.

If you’re under the threshold, there are several good reasons why you might choose to register or not register for GST, which are entirely dependent on your circumstances. For example:

  • You wish to be competitive in your pricing and choosing not to register for GST will cut 10% off your prices.
  • You wish to convey your business as being a larger, more profitable and older entity (engendering trust and professionalism), so you may choose to register anyway.

Who must register for GST within Australia?

This part is extremely clear cut. You must register for GST in Australia, by law, if you conform to the following circumstances:

  • Your business has an annual income of over $75,000.
  • Your non-profit entity has an annual income of over $150,000.
  • You operate a taxi service or business, including ride share services such as Uber, regardless of your annual income.

Should I register for GST?

In Australia, you must register for GST once your business hits a certain GST turnover threshold. Use the chart below to see where you fit:

What is my GST turnover?

Use this visual cheat sheet we’ve prepared below when working out your GST turnover:

Simple 2-step monthly GST turnover calculation

Now that you know what your GST turnover is, you need to work out your ‘current’ and ‘projected’ GST turnover. The following cheat sheet simplifies this for you:

How to register for GST

Now that we’ve determined whether you need (or should choose) to register for GST, let’s look at the process of doing so.

If you have a trusted business advisor, bookkeeper or accountant, this will be something you can rely on them for. In fact, if you have any queries at all about whether to register or how to register for GST, they should be your first call.

How to register for GST online

If you decide to (or are required to) register for GST after reading the above information, you can visit the ATO Business Portal, which is the hub for most of your interactions with the ATO.

Do you need an ABN to be registered for GST?

Absolutely you do. You can’t’ operate a business in Australia without an ABN, regardless of GST. Within the online GST registration process, you’ll be required to provide business details including your ABN.

How to register an ABN for GST

If you still haven’t registered your business with the ATO and acquired an ABN, simply visit The Australian Business Register. After doing so, you’re then able to register your small business for GST.

Free GST guide

There’s a lot to get your head around when you’re starting a new business, and GST is just one bit most fledgling business owners will need to get to grips with. If you’re looking for help, download our free guide to better understand GST.

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