• Cassie Patterson

Understanding GST

Once a business reaches $75,000 in sales it's a requirement to register for GST. We all know that GST is Goods and Services Tax, but what does this actually mean for you as a business owner?


Registering for GST means a few different things for a business owner, namely:


  1. You start charging an extra 10% on top of your invoices. It's a common misconception that when registering for GST you lose 10% of your income. This is not the case, the expectation is that you decide what you want to charge for your goods or services then add 10% on top of this for GST.

  2. You have to forward that GST received to the Australian Taxation Office by completing a monthly, quarterly or annual Business Activity Statement (BAS).




So what is a BAS?


In short terms, a BAS deducts GST you've paid from GST you've received. As a business owner you still pay GST on purchases where applicable, and when preparing a BAS, the GST you've paid on purchases is deducted from the GST you've received from invoices. If you've received more than you've paid then you're required to pay the balance to the ATO. If you've paid more than you received then you'll usually end up with a GST refund.


Do all expenses have GST on them?


No. Not all expenses will have GST on them. Certain items are GST-free, some businesses won't be required to be GST-registered and other expenses have GST-free components on them (for example: vehicle registration and insurance both have a stamp duty component which is GST-free). This is where tax invoices come in handy as it's a legal requirement for them to state GST charged.


GST can be a confusing concept, but that's where your Tax or BAS agent comes into play, with the right assistance it can become really simple.

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