Goods and services tax (GST) is a tax added to the supply of most goods and services sold or consumed in Australia. Once a business has registered for GST, they will usually include the  10% GST tax in the price of the goods and services, and then pass this amount on to the Australian Tax Office (ATO). You can either lodge your GST return monthly, quarterly or annually depending on your eligibility.

When is the due date?

The due date will be the same date your income tax return is due to be lodged. Usually this will be on 31 October, however if your returns are lodged by a tax agent, this deadline is extended until 28 February. If you are not required to lodge an income tax return, the due date will also be 28 February following the end of the annual tax period.

Am I eligible to report GST annually?

On the 31st of July each year, you must assess your eligibility to report GST annually. You can no longer report GST annually if on this date:

•  your projected GST turnover is more than the registration turnover threshold, that is:

– $75,000 for small businesses (and all other entities except non-profit organisations), and

– $150,000 for non profit organisations, or

•  you are required to register for GST for some other reason – for example, because you provide taxi travel.

If you have no GST activity to report, you are still required to lodge a report either via the ATOs automated phone service, or by lodging a paper form.

What are the exemptions?

Some transactions are outside the scope of GST altogether because, for example, they are gifts, or made by unregistrable people, or have no connection with Australia. Others are “GST-free” which means that the supplier does not charge GST, but can claim credits for the GST on its own acquisitions. The main GST-free items are exports, health, food, education, international travel and certain charitable activities.

If you are unsure whether your business is eligible to report GST annually or you need help lodging your return, the experienced accountants and tax agents here at The Quinn Group can assist. For this, or for any other tax related queries submit an online enquiry or call us on 1300 QUINNS (784 667) or on +61 2 9223 9166.