The low down on GST for small business


Last week, treasury boss Martin Parkinson reignited the GST debate by insisting that the GST must rise to 12% as a deficit decade looms for budget.  While the debate has been bubbling along since the introduction of the GST, it did remind us of the debate around GST small for business.

Most start-ups wonder: to register for GST or not? Especially if you’re early in your business journey it’s vital to understand and take a few key points into consideration.

What to consider

Currently, it’s mandatory to register for GST if you expect your annual turnover to be $75,000 or more. However, if your turnover will be less than this, registering for GST is optional.

Cash flow

If you’re forecasting a turnover below the $75,000 threshold, not registering for GST means your prices will effectively be 10% cheaper than those of your GST-registered competitors.

On the flipside: you will not be able to claim back the GST on your expenses or on any goods you purchase for sale. As well as this, some organisations deem unregistered businesses as not credible and this may affect your sales negatively.


GST registration means some additional administration work and reporting to the Australian Taxation Office (BAS).

A registered business has two distinct roles, the running of the business and a tax collector for the ATO. We don’t believe this should ever be a deterrent for GST registration. Maintaining your financial records assists in the management of the business, so the admin involved in completing your business activity statement (BAS) is actually a good thing!

GST for small business doesn’t have to be tricky. While every situation is different if you take stock of the two most important considerations: Cash Flow and Administration, you should be able to make to right decision best for your individual business situation.

Confused about GST for small business? Talk to us to arrange a consultation.

Or check out our website for more information.

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