Imports - GST fact sheet 13
From the 1 July 2000, GST is payable on most goods imported into Australia.. This is because the benefits arising from the imports would be enjoyed or consumed in Australia. GST is not payable on the imports of supplies that are not goods.
2. How will GST be paid on imports
The Australian Customs Service (Customs) collect GST on any taxable importations at a rate of 10 % of the value of the taxable importation.
A taxable importation is the sum of:
- The customs value of the goods;
- Any customs duty payable;
- The amount payable to transport the goods to the port or airport of final destination in Australia; and
- The insurance cost for that transport.
3. Claiming Input tax credits on imports
RMIT University has been issued an “owner code” by Customs upon the first taxable importation post the commencement of GST, 1 July 2000. The code is quoted each time an import enters Australia. Customs require a Customs Entry Form completed with owner code, and the ABN to be specified. The information is entered to Customs systems which has been linked to the Australian Tax Office (ATO).
The entry of RMIT University’s ABN triggers a response and transfer of GST information from Customs to the ATO of the total value of GST on the current month’s imports. This value of GST paid on the current month’s imports is advised on the current electronic BAS provided to RMIT University for completion and lodgement to the ATO by the 20th day of the next month.
The advised amount on the electronic BAS serves the purpose of a tax invoice and confirms the “input tax credit” available for claiming by RMIT in the current BAS lodgement.
4. When are imports non-taxable
Some importations made by RMIT University are not taxable for GST. An importation which will not be taxable if:
- the item would have been GST free if supplied within Australia; or
- it qualifies for Customs duty concessions
Customs duty concessions will include certain warranty-related importations such as:
- goods previously imported into Australia and returned for repair overseas (under warranty); or
- goods imported (under warranty) to replace goods previously imported into Australia
Customs duty concessions will also apply where goods are of insubstantial value. In this instance, insubstantial value takes the meaning of, the value on which customs duty and taxes of the goods total less than $ 50, and which have customs value of less than $ 1,000 (for goods imported by post), or less than $ 250 for other goods.
When taxable and non-taxable importations are made as part of the same shipment, Customs will calculate the GST according to the proportion of the shipment that is taxable.
5. Deferring GST payments on imports
Some approved entities will be allowed to defer payment of GST on imported goods under the Deferred GST Scheme. This scheme allows GST to be deferred until the first Business Activity Statement (BAS) is submitted after the goods sold to the final consumer. The GST regulations also allow importers to defer payment of GST on some other taxable importations.
RMIT University has obtained approval in writing from the ATO to defer payment of GST and operates under this scheme.
6. How this scheme works
RMIT University quotes its ABN to Customs when goods are imported into Australia, and after payment of any Customs Duty and other charges, releases the goods to RMIT.
Customs records the deferred GST liability of each shipment as it is cleared and at the end of each month, advises the ATO of the total deferred GST liability of each importer who has deferred GST.
The electronic BAS RMIT university collects online for completion each month contains the value of the current month’s deferred GST liability.
The advised amount on the electronic BAS serves the purpose of a tax invoice and confirms the “input tax credit” available for claiming by RMIT in the current BAS lodgement.[Next: Supporting documents and information ]