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Chapter 4

Claiming GST (and input tax credits)

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Small business guides > Quick guide to GST and BAS > Claiming GST (and input tax credits)

Claiming GST

GST-registered businesses can claim back the GST they pay on business expenses. They can also sometimes claim back GST paid on income. Let’s learn how.

When you can claim GST back

You can claim GST back when

  • you’ve purchased goods or services for your business (these are called input tax credits)

  • a customer leaves you with a bad debt

GST tax credits for business expenses

When you buy something for your business, you’re usually charged GST. If you’re registered for GST, you can claim that back. You do this by claiming a GST tax credit when lodging your business activity statement (BAS). The ATO will balance those credits against the GST you owe when working out your refund or bill (learn more in working out your GST).

When expenses are split between business and home

If you bought something for both your business and for private use, you can claim a GST credit for the business portion.

When you’re not collecting any GST

You can claim back GST on supplies even if the end product or service that you sell is GST free.

Claiming back GST on a bad debt

If you account for GST on an accrual basis, you can sometimes get caught out by a bad debt. For example you might raise an invoice and pay GST on the expected income then find your customer doesn’t pay you. 

Don’t worry, you may be able to claim back the GST from the ATO on your next return. If the customer pays later, you will repay the GST then.

Learn more about bad debt adjustments on this ATO page.

Chapter 5: Working out your GST refund or payment

Keeping track of the GST you’ve collected and paid is easy with GST accounting. We’ll take you through the basics of bookkeeping and GST accounting.

Read next chapter

This guide is intended as general information only. Always check with a professional for advice.


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