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GST (Goods and services tax)

Who needs to register?

Find out who is required to register for GST and learn about special types of registration.

Required to register for GST

You must register for GST if you carry out a taxable activity and if your turnover:

  • was over $60,000 for the last 12 months, or
  • is expected to go over $60,000 for the next 12 months
    (This equates to $5,000 per month. If your turnover is $5,000 per month and you expect to maintain that level all year, you'll need to register for GST.), or
  • was less than $60,000, but you include GST in your prices, for example taxi drivers who have included 15% in their taxi fares.

You can choose to register for GST even if your annual turnover is less than $60,000, as long as there is a taxable activity. This is referred to as voluntary registration.

Exception: You are not obliged to register for GST if your turnover exceeds $60,000 because you sell plant or other capital assets when you are:

  • ceasing any taxable activity
  • substantially or permanently reducing the scale of any taxable activity, or
  • replacing the plant or assets.

If you're required to register for GST, you must apply within 21 days of becoming liable. The timeframe is based on self-assessing your situation. We may charge penalties if you fail to register.

What is a taxable activity?

A taxable activity is an activity carried out continuously or regularly by a business, trade, manufacturer, professional, association or club. It includes any activity that supplies, or intends to supply, goods and services to someone else for a consideration (money, compensation, reward) but not necessarily for profit. We refer to these goods and services as "taxable supplies".

Taxable activities don't include:

  • work for salary or wages
  • being a company director
  • hobbies or any private recreational pursuit
  • private transactions such as the occasional sale of household or domestic items, or
  • exempt supplies, such as:
    • letting or renting a dwelling for use as a private home
    • interest you receive
    • donated goods and services sold by a non-profit body, and
    • certain financial services.

What is my turnover?

Your turnover is the total value of taxable supplies made excluding GST for all your taxable activities. In most businesses, the annual turnover will be the total value of your sales and income, including any:

  • grants or subsidies received
  • barter transactions, and
  • imported services.

Special types of GST registration

The table below lists special types of GST registration and describes them briefly. You can also use the links to find out more about each type.

Registration type Description Find out more...
Voluntary GST registration Voluntary registration applies if you can choose to register for GST because your taxable activity has an annual turnover of less than $60,000. Registering for GST voluntarily
GST registration of non-profit bodies If you register a non-profit body for GST, you may apply to us to treat each branch and division separately. Registering non-profit bodies for GST
GST registration of separate branches or divisions If you operate your business in separate branches you may wish to register branches or divisions for GST separately. Registering branches or divisions for GST separately
GST group registration If you register for GST as a group, you'll elect a group representative to file GST returns on behalf of the group. Registering for GST as a group
GST registration of an agent or representative You may need to register as an agent or representative if you take over part or all of the taxable activity on behalf of a GST-registered person. Registering for GST as an agent or representative

Find out more