Spacer Image
chapter one of six

What is GST?

Table of contents

Spacer Image

What is GST?

You’ve probably heard of GST before – it stands for goods and services tax and is added to nearly everything you buy in Australia. As it’s almost always included in the price on the shelf, you probably don’t give it a second thought.

How can GST affect my business?

If you’re a business, you may be required to register for and collect GST. This means:

  • you may need to add GST to your prices

  • you will need to send that extra money to the ATO

  • you can claim back any GST that you’re charged on business supplies and expenses

How much is GST?

10% is the GST rate. It’s charged on most sales in Australia, but not all of them.

GST-free sales

Some types of products and services can be sold without adding GST, including:

  • staple foods such as fruit and vegetables, meat, most dairy, spices, and sauces

  • some education courses and resources

  • some medical and healthcare products

  • financial products and services

You can get a full list of GST-free goods and services on this ATO page.

How does GST work in Australia?

GST on imports

You will have to pay GST on most imported goods. It’s added to the price you paid for the goods plus shipping costs, and you may have to pay it before customs will release the shipment. You can generally claim the cost back when submitting a GST return.

GST-registered businesses don’t have to pay GST on services or subscriptions from overseas suppliers.

GST on exports

You don’t have to charge GST on exports so long as the goods leave Australia within 60 days of you receiving payment or issuing an invoice, whichever comes first.

Chapter 2: Registering for GST

Ready to register for GST? We’ll take you through the methods and each step of the registration process.

Read next chapter

Download the PDF

Everything you need to know about GST and BAS in Australia.

Thanks! You'll receive an email shortly with the PDF link.