Understanding and registering for taxes
There are a number of taxes that you may be required to register for. Understand the different types of taxations that may apply to your business and how to register below:
- Register for a Tax file number (TFN)
- Register for Goods and Services Tax (GST)
- Register for Fringe Benefits Tax (FBT)
- Register for Pay As You Go PAYG withholding
- Register for Pay as you go (PAYG) instalments
- Register for Payroll Tax
Other taxes you need to understand include:
Seek advice from your accountant or search Advisory Services to find a business advisor in your area. See our Registration and licences topic for information on other registration types such as registering for an ABN or ACN.
How do I register for taxes?
You can register for your taxes on the same form using the Business Registration Service.
Who can apply?
The Business Registration Service is available for:
- New businesses starting as a sole trader, partnership, company, trust, joint venture or superannuation fund who can apply for tax registrations with an ABN, business name or company registration.
- Existing businesses with an ABN, who can apply for tax registrations or an AUSkey login.
Paying your taxes
Paying your tax online is a fast, convenient and secure way to do business. The Australian Taxation Office (ATO) offers a range of online services to make compliance easier. To ensure that your privacy is protected you need an AUSkey to access most of these services.
If you have an AUSkey, then these online services are available to you:
- lodge monthly, quarterly or annual activity statements
- update your Australian Business Number (ABN) details
- lodge Pay As You Go (PAYG) summary reports
- lodge excise fuel grants schemes claims
- lodge superannuation statements and reports
- submit and access temporary residents' online applications.
If you're a sole trader and you have a myGov account linked to the ATO, you'll also be able to log in to the ATO’s online services for individuals to:
- lodge, view and revise activity statements
- manage your Pay As You Go (PAYG) instalments.
You can also apply online for an ABN, Goods and Services Tax (GST) and PAYG withholding through the Business Registration Service.
Tax can also be paid electronically by BPAY, direct credit or direct debit. You can also make mail payments or Australian Post Office payments.
Record keeping and taxation
Good business records help you manage your business and make sound business decisions. Business records are also useful if you want to sell your business.
Under tax law, you must keep records to record and explain your business transactions. You're required to keep records relating to income tax, Goods and Services Tax (GST), payments to employees and business payments.
You can keep your records on paper or electronically. A variety of electronic record keeping packages are available.
- Read the Australian Taxation Office's managing your small business records page about paper and electronic record keeping and reporting.
- Visit our Finance topic for information on setting up a bookkeeping system.
- Use the Record keeping evaluation tool to decide what records you need to keep.
- Visit The Treasury's Standard Business Reporting (SBR) website to find out how registering for SBR can save you time and money.
ATO tools to help you
The ATO offers a number of tools and services to help small businesses keep on top of taxation matters, including:
- Small business assist – provides easy access to information for a range of taxation matters.
- Small business webinars – free webinars on a range of taxation topics.
- Small business superannuation clearing house – a free online service to help you meet your super obligations for your employees.
- ATO app – a free app consisting of a range of tools to make it easier for you to conduct your tax and super affairs.
- Business assistance program – register for assistance from an ATO officer with your tax and super obligations, activity statements and ATO's digital services.
What to do...
- Read the ATO's Starting your own business topic to help you understand your tax obligations and entitlements.
- For online payments, go to the ATO's Online services page.
- See the Business Portal essentials for how to register for an AUSkey.
- For other ways to pay, go to the Making payments to the ATO page.
- Go to the Business Registration Service to apply for an ABN, GST, and PAYG.
- Do you conduct research and development (R&D) in your business? Learn about the R&D Tax Incentive to see if your R&D activities are eligible.