Tax registrations

There are a number of taxes that you may be required to register for depending on the size and main activities of your business.

When you registered for an ABN you may have also registered for some other taxes (such as GST). It’s important to check that you have all the right registrations in place. You may need to add or cancel registrations as your business grows and changes. 

This can save you problems down the track. For example:

  • choosing the wrong business structure can result in you paying too much tax
  • registering for GST when you don’t need to be could result in unnecessary paperwork.

Goods and Services Tax (GST)

You must register if you run a business or enterprise and your GST turnover (gross income minus GST) is $75,000 or more.

It’s important to check each month to see whether you’ll exceed this amount. You need to register for GST within 21 days of reaching the threshold.

You must also register for GST if you:

  • want to claim fuel tax credits for your business
  • provide taxi travel.

Register for GST

Check out the ATO website for more information about GST.

Pay as you go instalments (PAYGI)

Pay as you go instalments (PAYGI) is a system for making regular payments towards your expected annual income tax liability if you earn business and/or investment income. PAYGI is often helpful for people new to business, especially if you’ve been used to having an employer deduct tax from your pay. Once you’re in business, it’s up to you to set aside enough money to pay tax at the end of the year.

There are two ways to start paying instalments:

  • the ATO will automatically enter you into the PAYGI system when your business or investment income reaches a certain level
  • you can register voluntarily.

Automatic entry

The ATO will contact you if you lodge a tax return with business and/or investment income and you need to start paying PAYG instalments. They will tell you about the options available for calculating your instalments and how often you need to pay.

Voluntary entry

If you think you're going to make a profit on your business or investment income, you can choose to voluntarily enter the PAYG instalments system. This reduces the chances of having to pay a large amount at the end of the year. If you're new to business, we recommend this option.

If you decide that voluntary entry into PAYG instalments is best for you, you can arrange this:

  • online (via myGov) if you’re a sole trader (individual in business)
  • by phone on 13 22 86

Learn more about PAYG instalments.

Fuel tax credits

You can claim credits for the fuel tax (excise or customs duty) included in the price of fuel you use in your business activities involving, machinery, plant, equipment and heavy vehicles. Some fuels are not eligible for fuel tax credits, including:

  • fuel used in light vehicles of 4.5 tonne gross vehicle mass (GVM) or less travelling on public roads
  • aviation fuels
  • alternative fuels.

To register for fuel tax credits you'll need to register for GST. You can then complete your registration for fuel tax.

You can register for fuel tax:

Other tax registrations

You may need to register for other tax obligations depending on your industry and business activities.

  • If you produce, store or manufacture alcohol, tobacco, fuel or petroleum products in Australia you need to have an excise licence and may need to pay excise duty.
  • If you make wine, import wine into Australia or sell it by wholesale, you'll generally have to account for Wine Equalisation Tax (WET).
  • Luxury car tax (LCT) is paid by businesses that sell or import luxury cars (dealers), and also by individuals who import luxury cars.

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