Goods and Services Tax (GST) is usually part and parcel of running a business. However, there is one lingering question that most business owners often ask: does my business need to register for GST?
A business with an annual turnover of $75,000 or more needs to register for GST and if it is less than that, you can choose to not register. The registration must be made within 21 days.
For ride-sharing drivers and taxi drivers, GST registration will be required regardless of the annual turnover. On the other hand, non-profit organisations have the option to not register even if they reach up to $150,000 turnover.
The registration process can be done online via Australian Business Register (ABR) website. The ATO website also provides you an option to register for GST.
The Implication of GST Registration
If you are going to register for GST, there will be an additional 10% charge which should be paid to the ATO. For example, if you charge $50 for your goods or services, the customer will be charged $55. You pay the additional $5 to the ATO.
If you make a purchase of business supplies, you will also be charged 10% in GST. This can be claimed back as a credit. It is important to note that you need to account for the GST, you have collected on your sales, minus the credits on your purchases. Your transactions must reflect on a business activity statement.
If your business has a turnover of less than $75,000, you will given a choice of registering for GST. This is applicable for business spending extensively on supplies. This enables the business to claim the GST credits back.
What happens to non-GST registered businesses?
Businesses that are not required to register for GST should not collect GST on sales or claim GST credits on the goods that have been purchased. Since you have not registered for GST, your business should only issue normal invoices. Unlike invoices issued by GST registered businesses, normal invoices do not include tax invoice. It does not also indicate that the invoiced amount includes GST.
As a non-GST registered business, you can also claim the full cost of your business purchases. This already includes any GST. It will be a tax deduction on your income tax return.
You cannot claim a GST credit if you receive an invoice for goods or services you have purchased from a non-GST registered business. This is because the invoice will not be considered a tax invoice.