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GST (Goods and services tax)

Who needs to register for GST?

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

When to register for GST 

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

  • your turnover was $60,000 or more in the last 12 months or will be $60,000 or more in the next 12 months, or
  • your prices include GST.

As soon as any of these things apply to you, you must register for GST within 21 days.

What do we mean when we say taxable activity and turnover?

Taxable activity - GST is charged on the supply (sale) of most goods and services in New Zealand and some specified imported services. Supplying or making a supply is your taxable activity.

Turnover - This is the total gross value of all goods and services you sell or provide in New Zealand, excluding GST. It includes exported goods as well as grants, subsidies and barter arrangements. It does not include the sale of stock and assets when you wind down a business, the sale of plant or replacement of assets, GST-exempt goods and services or unconditional gifts.

No need to register for GST

You don't have to register for GST simply because you start a company, have an IRD number, or because you're in business or trading.

Specifically, you don't have to register for GST if:

  • your turnover was under $60,000 in the last 12 months or is expected to be under $60,000 in the next 12 months
  • your turnover exceeds $60,000 because you have sold business assets due to:
    • stopping your taxable activity
    • substantially or permanently reducing the scale of your taxable activity, or
    • replacing your plant or assets.

Special types of GST registration 

Some circumstances require a special type of GST registration. These are:

Voluntary registration 

If your turnover is under $60,000 you can voluntarily register for GST, but bear in mind:

  • you have to account for GST on all of your taxable goods and services, including grants and subsidies
  • complying with GST requirements takes time - you have to file regular GST returns
  • if you cancel your GST registration you have to pay GST on the open market value of any business assets that you keep for private use.

We encourage you to register only when you know your turnover will be more than $60,000 in the next 12 months. For example when your turnover is $5,000 per month and you expect to maintain that level all year.

What do we mean when we say open market value

Open market value is the price you might reasonably expect to get for an asset in a competitive auction setting in New Zealand on that date.

Find out more about open market value

Next steps in the GST registration process 

Once you've worked out if you need to register, find out the next steps in the GST registration process.

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