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Claiming GST (and input tax credits)

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

Claiming GST (and input tax credits)

GST-registered businesses can claim back the GST they pay on business expenses. And in some cases, they can claim back GST that they’ve already paid to the IRD. Let’s take a look at what you can claim back and how.

When you can claim GST back

You can claim GST back when

  • you’ve purchased goods or services for your business

  • a customer leaves you with a bad debt

Claiming back GST on business expenses

When you buy something for your business, you’re usually charged GST. If you’re registered for GST, you can claim it back. You do this when filing your return. Simply add up the GST you paid on business expenses and subtract it from the GST you collected on sales.

How to claim GST

When expenses are split between business and home

If you bought something like a car or computer for both business and private use, you can claim GST for the business portion. Check out the IRD page on GST adjustments for mixed-use assets.

When you’re not collecting any GST

In most situations, you can claim back GST on supplies even if the end product or service that you’re selling doesn’t attract GST. 

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 can claim back the GST from the IRD on your next return. If the customer pays later, you repay the GST then.

Learn more about writing off bad debts from the IRD.

Chapter 5: Working out your GST refund or payment

How do you keep track of the GST you’ve collected and paid, and how do you account for it in your books? We take you through the basics of GST accounting.

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Everything you need to know about GST in New Zealand.

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