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You're likely to be charged GST on most supplies you purchase for your taxable activity.

The amount of GST you claim (input tax) is subtracted from the amount of GST you charge (output tax) to calculate your tax to pay or GST refund.

What can be claimed

Most of the time, claiming GST will be easy. As a GST-registered business, you are able to claim back the GST you are charged on goods and services you purchase and use in your taxable activity

You must keep records to support your expense claims.

If you receive a tax invoice, please keep it in your records.

If you do not receive a tax invoice, you can keep other records that are sufficient on their own, or in combination to support your expense claims. For example:

  • invoices
  • supplier agreements
  • contracts
  • bank statements.

Rules for tax invoices are changing on 1 April 2023

Filing GST

Importing goods

If you've bought goods from overseas, the supplier probably will not charge you GST unless they carry on a taxable activity in New Zealand.

When you import the goods, you'll likely be charged GST on them by Customs as they come into New Zealand. You can claim this amount back if you are GST registered and are using the goods solely to make taxable supplies.

BR Pub 22/07 provides further guidance on importing goods and claiming GST.

BR Pub 22/07 - Goods and Services Tax – Importers and input tax deductions (Tax Technical)

Other GST credit adjustments

Buying from non-registered suppliers

If you buy goods or services from an unregistered person, you will not be charged GST. This normally means you will not be able to claim GST on the purchase. For some special supplies, such as secondhand goods, you may still be able to claim a GST adjustment.

Special supplies

Apportioning GST

You can only claim GST on goods and services to the extent they are used in your taxable activity to make taxable supplies. For supplies that are partially used privately or to make exempt supplies, you will need to estimate and claim only the percentage of GST on the goods and services used for taxable activities. This estimation should be made when you first acquire the goods or services and must be fair and reasonable.

Sometimes you will need to monitor the ongoing use of the goods and services and further adjustments may be required if the subsequent use differs from the initial estimation.

GST adjustments for business and private use

Last updated: 12 Sep 2022
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