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Australia Issues Notice on Deferring GST for Importers During COVID-19 — Orbitax Tax News & Alerts

The Australian Taxation Office (ATO) has issued a notice on the deferred GST scheme, which may assist importers during the COVID-19 period.

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Deferring GST for importers

If you're importing goods into Australia, using the deferred GST scheme may assist your business during the COVID-19 period.

Deferring GST payments on taxable imports

If you are an importer, you may apply to use the deferred GST scheme, which defers the GST payable on imports until the first activity statement lodged after the goods are imported.

To get the most benefit take action in April.

If you move from quarterly to monthly GST reporting during April, you should be able to access the deferred GST scheme for imports shortly after lodging a successful GST deferral application. However, if you delay your request until May or June then GST deferral can't start until 1 July.

GST monthly reporting will also give you quicker access to any GST refunds you are entitled to.

How to access the deferred GST scheme

To access the deferred GST scheme, follow these steps:

  1. Change your GST reporting from quarterly to monthly using your tax or BAS agent, the Business Portal, your myGov account or by phoning the ATO on 13 28 66. If you already lodge monthly, go to step 3.
  2. Wait 24 hours for processing to occur.
  3. Apply for the deferred GST scheme – this must be done by the person authorised for tax purposes on the ATO's system.

If you are successful you should be notified within 24 hours.

Note: It may take three days before Australian Border Force's (ABF) systems recognises and processes imports through the deferred GST scheme.

Next steps:

Change your GST reporting cycle

Eligibility and how to apply for Deferred GST