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Save time and improve your cash flow? How to defer GST on shipments

13th May 2020 in Definitions & Incoterms, Freight Forwarding by Lyndsay Reyn

Is your company deferring GST on your cargo when you import goods from overseas?

By deferring the GST, you can gain access to your goods from customs straight away and then immediately start selling them to your customers. 

If you’re registered for the Australian Tax Office’s DGST scheme, you are able to defer GST payments until the due date of your next monthly Business Activity Statement (BAS).

When you defer your GST, import taxes no longer become an upfront cost on freight invoices.

Are you eligible for the DGST scheme? You must:

  • have an Australian business number (ABN)
  • be registered for GST (you can register for GST and apply for an ABN on the one form if you don’t already have an ABN)
  • lodge your activity statements online
  • lodge your activity statements monthly (if you are lodging quarterly, you can elect to lodge monthly)
  • make your activity statement payments electronically
  • enter the goods or excise-equivalent goods for home consumption for customs purposes.

You may, however, be ineligible to join the scheme if you do not pay your tax return and make your tax payments on time. You may be removed from the scheme if you do not pay your monthly BAS on time.

The Australian Tax Office (ATO) are notified by customers at the end of each month, for the total deferred GST for each imported. The ATO calculates your deferred GST and this will be included on your BAS before it is released to you. You must then lodge your BAS with the ATO within 21 days of the end of the month. 

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