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When GST has been charged twice

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GST may be charged twice when the correct information is not included in the customs documents.  This can happen when:

  • a single parcel valued over NZ$1,000 contains items that individually have an estimated customs value of NZ$1,000 or less
  • GST has already been paid on an item valued over NZ$1,000
  • the goods are priced in a currency other than New Zealand dollars and the exchange rate used by the supplier differs from that used by New Zealand Customs.

Getting refunds

The customer can ask for a refund of the GST charged if they give you a declaration or evidence that they paid GST at the border.

Once you have reimbursed the customer for the GST you charged, you will not need to pay GST on that sale.  If you have already paid GST on that sale, you can make an adjustment to reduce the GST payable in your next GST return.

Preventing GST being charged twice

  • The supplier needs to provide tax information on customs documents unless the goods are brought to New Zealand by international post.
  • The consumer can provide a receipt to make sure GST is not applied again.

You must also inform your transporter or customs broker:

  • whether GST has been paid at the point of sale
  • the name and GST of the business responsible for returning GST.

Penalties may apply if you fail to provide the required information. 

Information required for the receipt

Suppliers must provide a receipt to consumers if they have charged the consumer GST on some or all of the goods in the transaction. This receipt can then be used as evidence to Customs that GST has already been charged on the goods.

Suppliers must take reasonable steps to ensure that GST information is made available to consumers.

Find out what information you must include on the receipt here. 

When a NZ customer is not a GST-registered business

Overseas suppliers can presume that a New Zealand customer is not a GST-registered business unless they have provided their GST registration number or New Zealand Business Number, or otherwise notified the supplier of their status as a GST-registered business.

Accidentally charging a GST-registered business

If an overseas supplier inadvertently charges GST to a GST-registered business, they will likely seek a refund of the GST from the overseas supplier. If the value of the supply is NZ$1,000 or less, the overseas business can choose to provide a tax invoice to the GST-registered business instead of making a refund.

Tax invoices for GST