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You're likely to be charged GST on most supplies you purchase for your taxable activity.

The amount of GST you claim (input tax) is subtracted from the amount of GST you charge (output tax) to calculate your tax to pay or GST refund.

What can be claimed

Most of the time, claiming GST is easy. As a GST-registered business, you can claim back the GST you’re charged on goods and services you buy and use in your taxable activity.

You must keep taxable supply information for any supplies you receive.

Our handy online tool will help you decide on the records you need to keep when you buy or sell goods or services.

How taxable supply information for GST works

Filing GST

Importing goods

If you've bought goods from overseas, the supplier probably will not charge you GST unless they carry on a taxable activity in New Zealand.

When you import the goods, you'll likely be charged GST by Customs as they come into New Zealand. You can claim this amount back if you’re GST registered and are using the goods solely to make taxable supplies.

BR Pub 22/07 gives you further guidance on importing goods and claiming GST.

BR Pub 22/07 - Goods and Services Tax – Importers and input tax deductions (Tax Technical)

Other GST credit adjustments

Buying from non-registered suppliers

If you buy goods or services from an unregistered person, they will not charge GST. This normally means you cannot claim GST on the purchase. For some special supplies, such as secondhand goods, you may still be able to claim a GST adjustment.

Special supplies

Adjusting your claim when supplies are put to both business and private use

You can only claim GST on goods and services to the extent they’re used in your taxable activity to make taxable supplies. You cannot claim GST for supplies you use privately or to make exempt supplies.

There are 2 ways to adjust your claim, the apportionment method and the principal purpose method.

Apportionment method

You’ll need to estimate and claim only the percentage of GST on the goods and services used for taxable activities.

Estimate a fair and reasonable percentage when you first get the goods or services.

You may need to keep an eye on the ongoing use of the goods and services. If the amount of use changes, you may need to make further adjustments if it’s different to your first estimate.

Principal purpose method (for goods and services of $10,000 or less)

For goods and services $10,000 or less in value (excluding GST), generally apportioning the GST is not needed. The goods and services are either claimable or not claimable.

If the principal purpose of the good or service is for making taxable supplies, you can claim the full GST amount.

If making taxable supplies is not the principal purpose of the good or service, you cannot claim any GST.

You can carry on using the apportionment method if you choose not to use the principal purpose method.

GST adjustments for business or private use

Last updated: 01 Apr 2023
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