GST and your business
Whether you’ve finished your apprenticeship and plan to become a sole trader, or you’re a tradie whose business is starting to take off, it’s important to remember your goods and services tax (GST) obligations.
If you’re carrying on a business, you must register for GST within 21 days if your GST turnover is $75,000 or more. You should check each month to see if you’re reaching the threshold or if you’re likely to exceed it.
Once registered, you need to include GST in the price of your goods and services sold in Australia – unless they’re GST-free. The GST rate is 10%. This means GST is 1/11th of the amount you charge for your goods or services.
You report and pay the GST collected on your sales, and claim credits for GST on your business purchases, by lodging a business activity statement (BAS).
You can find more about GST on the ATO website at ato.gov.au/GST.
How to register for GST
Before you register for GST, you need to have an Australian business number (ABN). You can register for GST at the same time you register for an ABN.
If you already have an ABN, you can register for GST:
Remember, you only need to register for GST once, even if you run multiple businesses. For more information about registering for GST visit ato.gov.au/GSTregistration.
Once you’re registered, the ATO will automatically send you a BAS when it’s time to lodge.
When to lodge your BAS
Unless the ATO has told you otherwise, you’ll generally need to lodge your BAS quarterly. You can see the quarterly due dates below.
|July, August and September||28 October|
|October, November and December||28 February|
|January, February and March||28 April|
|April, May and June||28 July|
If you lodge your quarterly BAS online, you may receive an extra two weeks to lodge and pay.
If the due date is on a weekend or public holiday, you have until the next business day to lodge and pay. The due date for lodging and paying is displayed on your BAS.
In some circumstances you may be able to change how often you lodge and pay your BAS, you can find out more at ato.gov.au/BASduedates.
How to lodge and pay your BAS
You have several options for lodging your BAS. Most businesses that lodge their own BAS, prepare and lodge online. Lodging your BAS online is quick, easy and secure.
You can lodge online via:
- Online services for individuals and sole traders (accessed through myGov)
- Online services for business
- Standard Business Reporting (SBR)-enabled software.
Registered tax and BAS agents can also lodge your BAS on your behalf.
It’s important to keep your lodgements up to date even if you can’t pay immediately. Lodging on time means you can understand your tax position and the ATO can offer help such as payment plans or deferrals.
There are many ways to make payments to us including BPAY, debit and credit cards, through our online services and using the Government’s Easy Pay system. Paying electronically saves you time and is processed on your account faster.
For more information on how to lodge and pay visit, ato.gov.au/lodgeBAS
When you can’t lodge or pay on time
If you’re unable to lodge or pay on time, contact the ATO early to discuss your options. The ATO will work with you or your registered tax or BAS agent to help you manage your obligations.
For more information, visit ato.gov.au/cantlodgeorpay
Does your small business have overdue lodgements?
The small business lodgement penalty amnesty can help you bring your overdue income tax returns, BAS, and fringe benefits tax (FBT) returns up to date. For lodgements eligible for the amnesty, failure to lodge penalties will be remitted, without the need to apply. To be eligible for the amnesty, you must meet the following criteria:
- had an annual turnover of less than $10 million at the time the original lodgement was due
- have overdue income tax returns, BAS or FBT returns that were due between 1 December 2019 and 28 February 2022
- lodge those overdue forms between 1 June and 31 December 2023.
The amnesty does not apply to privately owned groups, or individuals controlling over $5 million of net wealth.
You can find out if your small business is eligible for the amnesty at ato.gov.au/FTLpenaltyamnesty
This article was written and supplied by the Australian Taxation Office (ATO).