Change your GST registration status

Your organisation will be registered for GST by default in Xero. You can change this if you are not registered for GST.

Important points about changing your GST registration status

  • Only make these updates if you fully understand the necessary GST requirement for all accounts within the chart of accounts. If you're not sure, check with your accountant or bookkeeper.
  • You might like to use a lock date to avoid accidentally entering transactions for the period before your registration change.

Currently not GST registered and becoming registered

Ensure that this process is followed only after all transactions dated before the GST registration date are fully accounted for. If you have entered transactions for the period after the date of registration, you will need to void these and re-enter them to include the correct GST treatment after completing the steps below.

If your organisation with Xero was previously not GST registered and is becoming GST registered, you will need to make the following changes within Xero.

Note: it is crucial that you only make these updates if you fully understand the necessary GST requirement for all accounts within the chart of accounts. You can look at Xero’s default chart of accounts for a GST-registered company for guidance, although your accountant or bookkeeper may have specific GST requirements for your accounts. If you want to keep a copy of your chart of accounts showing the code, name, type and tax for each account, use the Print button in the chart of accounts to create a PDF of your current Chart of Accounts that you can save or print.
  1. Update your GST status in Settings > General Settings > Financial Settings. Change your GST Basis from 'None' to the appropriate option.
  2. If you are an accountant or bookkeeper with a client on Xero's Cashbook you need to change their pricing plan to GST Cashbook. This will allow their organisation to generate GST Returns.
  3. Your chart of accounts will not have GST applied. Before entering any transactions into Xero for your first GST period, you need to edit each account to update the default tax setting on each so that it has the correct GST treatment, instead of No GST. The advanced tip below describes how to do this by exporting your chart of accounts, editing it, then importing it back into Xero.
  4. If you have any:
    • Bank rules
    • Repeating invoices or bills
    • Repeating journals
    • Draft invoices or bills not yet processed
    you’ll need to update the tax option currently set on each line item.

You can now begin to use Xero as GST-registered and you will see GST Return reports in All Reports under the Reports menu. We suggest you first read about GST in The accounting behind Xero. Any existing transactions already entered into Xero will not be affected by this change – you’ll still be able to see them and include them in reports.

Advanced tip

Talk to your adviser about updating many GST chart of account codes at once.

Read the help for advisers on updating many accounts in your client's chart of accounts at once.

De-registering for GST

Ensure that this process is followed only after all GST transactions are accounted for and returns filed while being GST registered. You won’t be able to complete a GST Return in Xero after you have changed your organisation's GST registration.  If you have entered transactions including GST since the date of de-registration, you will need to void these and re-enter them after completing the steps below.

If your organisation is de-registering for GST, you only need to follow Step 1 above to change your GST registration status to the ‘None’ option.

  • All accounts in the Chart of Accounts will be automatically updated to have the tax option No GST.
  • The GST Return reports will no longer be available in Xero.
  • If you have any:

    • Bank rules
    • Repeating invoices or bills
    • Repeating journals
    • Draft invoices or bills not yet processed
    you’ll need to update the tax option currently set on each line item to No GST.
  • Any existing transactions already entered into Xero will not be affected by this change – you’ll still be able to see them and include them in reports including GST account and amounts which are retained for reporting purposes.