Making the Most of GST: A Simple Guide


GST, or Goods and Services Tax, is like a special tax on things we buy and sell. Most businesses know a bit about it, but it’s important to understand it better to follow the rules and get the most out of it. In this blog, we’ll explain GST in simple terms and give you tips to use it wisely.

Understanding GST

GST is a tax we pay when we buy things or services. Businesses add this tax to the price of what they sell. If a business is registered for GST, it can get some of this tax money back from the government. But remember, it’s the seller who must pay this tax to the government, not the person buying the stuff.

Coffee or Cars: GST Tips

Let’s talk about buying things like a coffee machine or a car for your business:

  1. Second-hand Stuff: Sometimes, buying used things can save you money. But if you buy from someone who isn’t a registered GST seller, you might not get any GST back. And if you’re registered for GST, don’t forget to charge GST when you sell your stuff.
  2. Deposits: When you pay a bit of money upfront for something big, you can’t get GST back right away if you report GST when you pay. But you can get it back when you pay for the whole thing later.
  3. Cars: Be careful when buying a car for your business. If it’s expensive, there’s a limit to how much GST you can get back. But there are some exceptions, like buying a work vehicle or a camper.
  4. Cancelling GST: If you close your business, you might have to pay back some of the GST you got before. It depends on how long you’ve had the stuff and how much it costs.
Small but Important GST Stuff

GST isn’t just about big things. Even small expenses can cause problems if you’re not careful:

– Bank Fees: Regular bank fees don’t have GST, but some fees do. Make sure your money software knows the difference.

– Insurance: Some insurance costs have a tiny tax called stamp duty, not GST. If your software thinks it’s GST, you could pay too much tax.

– Recharge Cards: If you buy cards for things like tolls or phones, you only pay GST when you use them for business stuff, not when you buy them.

– Private Expenses: If you sometimes use things for both work and personal reasons, you can make a special tax adjustment once a year. But don’t reduce your tax twice!

– Software Bills: Check your bills for software subscriptions. The rules changed, so you might pay too much or too little tax.


To make the most of GST, remember these simple things: understand what it is, be careful when buying big stuff, and watch out for small expenses. Keep good records, and if you’re not sure, ask an expert. GST can be tricky, but with some knowledge and attention, you can use it to your advantage.