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Non-resident businesses claiming GST

Non-resident businesses can now claim back GST

The Goods and Services Tax Act 1985 has been amended to allow non-resident businesses that are not making taxable supplies in New Zealand to register for GST. This will allow non-resident businesses to claim back the GST they have paid provided certain conditions are met.

Non-resident businesses may be able to register for and claim the GST paid as long as they:

  • receive goods or services in New Zealand, and
  • don't make or intend to make taxable supplies in New Zealand

While registered with us, a GST return must be filed for each taxable period. If businesses haven’t made any payments in a period, a "nil" return must be filed.

These changes are effective for periods on or after 1 April 2014.

In the examples below the non-resident businesses meet the criteria to register as a non-resident GST business claimant.

Example 1 - Non-resident business sending employees for training in New Zealand

ZNA Airways sends two prospective pilots to train in aviation in New Zealand. ZNA doesn't operate in New Zealand.

ZNA pays the course fees and accommodation of their employees. They also reimburse the employees for incidentals, eg meals, general spending. The employees leave New Zealand at the end of the training.

ZNA can claim the GST paid on their New Zealand business expenses.

Find out more about qualifying as a non-resident GST business claimant

Example 2 - Non-resident business organises a conference in New Zealand for its management team

PRW is a US company that doesn't trade in New Zealand. It organises a conference in New Zealand for its management team. PRW pays all New Zealand costs associated with the conference, eg, venue hire, accommodation and meals.

PRW can claim the GST paid on their New Zealand business expenses.

Terms we use in our information

consumption tax - a tax on spending on goods and services. Is usually an indirect tax such as GST, sales tax, value added tax (VAT) or excise tax.

GST paid - means the GST component of the amount paid for goods and services during the taxable period. The GST component is 3/23rds of the amount paid.

input tax - is the GST you can claim on expenses. You can only claim on expenses paid during the taxable period.

IRD number - is replaced with GST number for non-resident GST business claimants.

nil return - a GST return showing no expenses. When you've registered for GST but don't have any expenses to claim you still need to complete and file your GST return showing nil as the expense amount and refund amount.

non-resident - anyone who doesn't meet the definition of a New Zealand resident.

non-resident GST business claimant - describes an entity that qualifies to register under section 54B of the Goods and Services Tax Act 1985.

receipt or proof of payment - is a document from the person providing the service. It shows:

  • you have paid the amount on the tax invoice
  • the date you paid it.

tax invoice - the bill supplied by the person providing the goods or service. It shows their GST number, the total of the amount being charged and if it's GST- inclusive or exclusive.
Find out what information a tax invoice must show

taxable activity

taxable period

taxable supplies

time of supply

turnover - means the total value of the taxable supplies in your taxable activity. It includes grants or subsidies you receive or barter transactions, excluding the GST content. This is not your profit because your expenses aren't deducted when determining your turnover.

you - means you as a business, eg, a sole trader, a partnership, a trustee of a trust, or a company.