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Let a GST credit slip through the cracks? All is not lost

Monday 1 October 2018

Most small business owners stay on top of their GST refunds, mainly because of cash flow concerns, but it’s not all that uncommon to now and then lose track of a credit.

What quite a few small business owners may not know is that you have four years to claim any GST credit you’re entitled to.

The ATO deems that an entitlement to a GST credit ends four years from the due date of the earliest activity statement in which a taxpayer could have claimed it (setting aside any requirement to hold a tax invoice). You can claim the credit in any activity statement lodged in this period.

Generally, if you have a refund resulting from a GST error, you can:

  • revise the activity statement the error was made in
  • request an amendment in writing
  • correct the error in a later BAS.

GST errors can include, for example, a simple clerical error (maybe you paid $5,600 instead of $5,060, or doubled up on a business activity statement amount) or miscalculated an amount related to an importation.

You have four years and one day from when you lodged the activity statement to make an adjustment. This time limit is known as the period of review.

However for tax periods starting before 1 July 2012, the ATO can still be persuaded to consider outstanding amounts if it can be proven that notification has previously been made about the amount.

An “outstanding GST credit” is any GST credit for a purchase that you’re entitled to but have yet to claim – including not claiming it because you didn't hold a valid tax invoice.

If you have an outstanding GST credit for a purchase, it’s generally not necessary to revise an earlier activity statement. Instead, providing you hold a valid tax invoice, you can claim the GST credit in the next activity statement lodged providing this is done within the four-year time limit.

If you believe you have a GST credit that may have slipped through the cracks please contact us for advice specific to your situation.


Let a GST credit slip through the cracks?  All is not lost Back