Goods and Services taxes (GST)
The Federal Government levies a multi-stage sales tax of 10% on the supply of most goods and services by entities registered for Goods and Services Tax (GST). This tax system was introduced in Australia on 1 July 2000 by the then Howard Liberal government. A number of supplies are GST-free (eg, many basic foodstuffs, medical and educational services, exports), input-taxed (residential accommodation, financial services, etc), exempt (Government charges) or outside the scope of GST.
The revenue from this tax is distributed to the States.
State governments do not levy any sales taxes though they do impose stamp duties on a range of transactions.
In summary, the GST rate of 10% will be charged on most goods and services consumed in Australia. If you are registered for GST, you need to include GST in the price you charge your customers for goods and services they purchase from you (called sales). However, you will be able to claim a credit for the GST you have paid on your business expenses and other inputs (called a GST credit). You have to pay the difference between GST charged on sales and GST credits to the Tax Office periodically.
There are two types of sales which will be treated differently:
- Suppliers of GST-free goods and services will not have to pay GST when they make a sale but they will be entitled to GST credits.
- Suppliers of input taxed goods and services do not have to charge GST on sales but they will not be entitled to claim GST credits from their purchases of inputs.