GST for Freelancers Australia

GST for Freelancers Australia: If you are a freelancer who is just starting out and is trying to understand their tax obligations or a freelancer who has recently crossed the $75,000 GST threshold and needs to register for GST, you are reading just the right article!

What is GST?

GST is an abbreviation for Goods and Services Tax. The majority of products and services sold for domestic use are subject to this value-added tax. 

GST is an indirect tax, which means that rather than being paid by the customer directly, businesses collect it and then remit it to the government.

The Goods and Services Tax (GST) rate in Australia is 10%.

Who needs to register for GST in Australia?

For businesses in Australia, if their annual turnover is above $75,000 (or $150,000 for non-profitable organisations), they must register for the Goods and Services Tax (GST). 

This criteria is set by the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) and applies to the majority of products and service suppliers.

It’s crucial to remember that after registering, companies must regularly file Business Activity Statements (BAS) with the ATO and charge GST on their taxable supply. 

How to account for GST in Australia?

There are two methods of accounting for GST in Australia:

On cash basis:

Companies that have a combined annual revenue of below $10 million can choose to use the cash accounting method to record their GST.

On non-cash basis (accruals)

Larger businesses are often required to use the non-cash accounting method. 

By using the non-cash method, you record GST on the business activity statement for the time period during which you either:

  • Received payment, or you have issued the tax invoice (in the case of a sale).
  • Received the supplier’s invoice prior to making the payment; or made any payment for a purchase.

GST for Freelancers

GST for Freelancers: As a freelancer, you should be aware that GST applies to the majority of products and services you supply if your annual revenue exceeds $75,000 AUD or you voluntarily register for GST. The GST is managed by the Australian Taxation Office (ATO).

GST for Freelancers Australia
GST for Freelancers Australia

Understanding what GST is and how it works could help freelancers in more successfully managing their business finances while avoiding potential legal concerns with taxing authorities due to non-compliance. 

This article will guide you through it.

GST Registration for Freelancers

In Australia, registering for GST is a vital step for freelancers. You must register for GST if your annual revenue is above $75,000. 

Even if your turnover is less than this amount, signing up might still be advantageous.

It reassures your customers that you are an actual business and not simply a side hustle. Moreover, it can enable you to recoup any GST you may have spent on supplies or software purchased for your company.

The procedure of registering for GST is simple and can be completed online through the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) website. ABNs (Australian Business Numbers) are required before submitting an application for GST registration.

After registering, any invoices you send to clients who have also registered for GST must contain the 10% GST payment. 

You do not need to charge the extra tax to customers who are not registered for GST, but you still need to make it clear in your pricing that it is not included.

Input Tax Credit for Freelancers

GST for Freelancers: For freelancers, Input Tax Credit (ITC) is a crucial component of GST. You can recover the GST you paid on purchases and company expenditures by using the Input Tax Credit.

To be eligible for ITC, your suppliers must be GST registered. Accurate records of all of your business expenses, including receipts and invoices, must also be kept. Your ITC claims might be rejected by the ATO if you don’t comply.

It’s crucial to remember that not every expense qualifies for the ITC. For instance, you cannot claim personal or private costs. You can only claim a portion of the GST paid if a cost was only partially used for business purposes.

In Australia, an input tax credit claim is essential for freelancers to lower their taxable income by recovering some of the taxes they pay on goods and services they purchase to run their businesses. 

However, this must be done correctly by adhering to rules established by governing agencies, such as registering their suppliers’ ABN numbers and maintaining accurate records, such as invoices and receipts, which will help them in future audits by regulators like the ATO.

GST for Freelancers Australia
GST for Freelancers Australia

GST Invoicing for Freelancers

GST for Freelancers: If you work as a freelancer in Australia, you should be aware that GST invoicing is crucial for your company. You must correctly include the amount of GST on each invoice you create for your clients. 

Make sure the words “Tax Invoice” are clearly visible at the top of each and every one of your invoices.

Clearly specify how much GST is included in the overall price of each item or service delivered. In Australia, the typical rate of GST is 10%; therefore, if you charge $100 for a service, the included GST would be $10.

Make sure that all of your invoices meet the regulations set out by the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) by keeping precise records of them. These documents will be necessary when it’s time to submit your Business Activity Statement (BAS).

Filing a GST Return as a Freelancer

As a freelancer, you must file your GST return every quarter, describing your total sales and purchases during that time period.

To file your GST return as a freelancer:

First log into your ATO account.

Choose the “Lodge” option under Business Activity Statements (BAS).

Fill in all the details pertaining to your purchases and sales for that quarter.

It’s crucial to remember that you must still file a nil BAS even if you don’t conduct any business activity during that particular quarter. The ATO may impose penalties or fines for failure to comply.

After completion check all the information you provided before submitting it.

As a freelancer in Australia, you should stay in compliance with tax rules and avoid unnecessary fines by keeping track of your GST return filing obligations.

GST tips for freelancers in Australia

Here are a few basic tips drawn out of mistakes made by freelancers in Australia:

Penalties and interest costs may result from neglecting to register for GST. It’s critical to understand when and how much turnover is necessary for your company to be registered for GST.

Not charging the right amount of GST on invoices is an expensive error. Make sure that your rates are appropriate for the type of services you offer.

When dealing with clients who are located abroad, many freelancers overlook their responsibilities. It will be easier to avoid issues later on if obligations for international clients are kept in mind.

Another problem is filing reports incorrectly or claiming deductions without the required paperwork. Make sure any costs claimed as tax deductions are actual business expenses and maintain correct records.

By following these tips, you can avoid significant financial losses due to fines or penalties while still maintaining compliance with Australian tax regulations.


In Australia, it is imperative that freelancers comprehend the Goods and Services Tax (GST) framework. Registering for GST, comprehending rates and input tax credits, accurately invoicing, completing returns on time, and avoiding frequent errors are the necessary steps to achieve legal compliance.

By following these crucial GST suggestions given in this article, you can avoid hefty penalties and fines while also preserving the financial health of your business. 

Note that it is essential to be informed about any modifications to GST laws since they may have an impact on the way your business operates.