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Budget 2024 | The Government has confirmed changes to personal income tax, the independent earner tax credit, in-work tax credit, and the minimum family tax credit. Find out more: Personal income tax threshold changes

When you register for GST, you need to choose an accounting basis and a filing frequency. This page explains the options and who's eligible, and there is a tool at the bottom of the page, to help you decide the best accounting basis for you.

Choosing your GST accounting basis

The accounting basis you choose determines how you account for GST collected from your sales and income, and GST you’ve paid on purchases and expenses.

You choose your accounting basis when you register for GST.

Accounting basis

Who's eligible

What you need to do

Payments

If your total sales are:

  • $2 million or less in the last 12 months
  • likely to be $2 million or less in any 12-month period beginning on the first day of a month.

In your GST return for the period include:

  • amounts you've been paid by customers
  • amounts you've paid to suppliers if you hold taxable supply information.

Invoice

Anyone

In your GST return for the period include:

  • amounts you’ve notified customers to pay by invoice, even if you have not been paid yet
  • the full sale price amount if customers have paid any amount before you’ve invoiced them
  • amounts you’ve paid to or been invoiced by suppliers if you hold taxable supply information, even if you have not paid the full amount yet.

Hybrid

Anyone. Note: This method is not commonly used by small businesses because of negative cashflow consequences. This is because you may return GST on invoiced sales before you have received payment, but you can only claim GST when you have paid for your purchases (not when invoiced).

Use the invoice basis for your sales.

Use the payments basis for your expenses.

Choosing your GST filing frequency

You need to file regular GST returns. How often you file depends on your sales.

You choose your filing frequency when you register for GST.

Filing frequency

Who is eligible

Who it's suitable for

Monthly

  • Anyone.
  • You must file monthly if your sales are over $24 million in any 12-month period.
  • For a GST group the $24 million applies to the group as a whole.

Customers likely to get regular GST refunds.

Two-monthly

  • Anyone with sales under $24 million in any 12-month period.
  • For a GST group the $24 million applies to the group as a whole.

Customers who find regular filing helps them keep on top of paperwork.

Six-monthly

  • Anyone with sales under $500,000 in any 12-month period.
  • For a GST group the $500,000 applies to the group as a whole.
  • Customers with few sales and purchases.
  • You only need to file two returns a year but it can be a big job to account for six months' worth of trading in one go.

Once you've chosen your filing frequency, make note of when your returns and payments are due.

What's best for you?

Our online tool can help you choose the most suitable accounting basis and filing frequency.
Last updated: 01 Apr 2023
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