The GST Return

Find out how to run and finalise your GST Return. Use information from Xero's GST Return to complete the GST portion of Inland Revenue’s GST and Provisional Tax Return form. Xero's GST Return displays the amount of GST owed by or to your organisation for the GST period being reported.

About your GST Return

Your Xero GST Return may also contain the following reports:

Run your GST Return

Get to your GST Return by following these steps:

  1. In the Reports menu, click All Reports.
  2. Under Tax, select GST Return.

You can also favourite the GST Return to add it to the Reports menu.

If your GST return in Xero looks different, this could be due to transactions dated before the GST rate change on 1 October 2010. You'll need to check any approved invoices, bills, credit notes, expense claims or bank transactions, which may be incorrectly dated. Update the transaction or payment date as necessary, and re-run the GST return.

Choose settings for your GST Return

Xero displays a list of GST Returns due based on the GST settings you've selected. Xero displays your GST Returns up to the date of the next period due, as entered by you on the GST Settings screen.

How to change your GST basis

You may need to edit your GST details.

Click Edit GST Details to change your GST details. Changing your GST details here updates your financial settings.

Select Edit GST Details to change GST details.

Xero automatically populates your GST Registration number, accounting basis and filing frequency based on your Financial Settings.

Enter details for GST Return.

GST Details options

Option Description
  • Monthly
  • Two monthly
  • Six monthly
Accounting Basis
  • Invoice Basis
  • Payments Basis
Tax Form
  • GST Only (GST 101)
  • GST and Provisional Tax (GST 103)
Calculation (if you select GST 103)
  • Standard
  • Estimate
  • Ratio
The Inland Revenue will confirm what GST Return type your organisation is required to file. The GST 103 return includes Provisional Tax calculations.

Manually select a date range from the Next Period Due menu and Save.

If you enter a period from earlier in your financial year in the Next Period Due field, Xero displays all the GST Returns since that period.

Run your GST Return to finalise

Xero displays a list of returns that are due. For example, you may have several because they haven't been finalised in Xero, or because you've backdated some transactions.

GST returns must be finalised in consecutive order, therefore you will need to select the period in which you want to start generating GST returns from.

The due date in Xero is the actual filing date with Inland Revenue.

  1. Select the GST Return you'd like to finalise. To preview a GST period not yet finished, click Preview period so far.

    Select your GST Return to display it.

    Xero displays your GST Return in draft format.

    Xero displays a draft GST Return.

View your GST Reconciliation and Late Claims reports

At this point you may like to run your GST Reconciliation report. You may also like to view your Late GST Claims report, which Xero generates if applicable. For Xero to calculate late claims, you must have finalised the previous period's return in Xero.

Save your GST Return

Finalise your GST Returns in Xero to include any backdated transactions in your late filing calculations.

Save a draft of your GST Return

You can save your GST Return as a draft by selecting Save Draft from the Save menu. Save as a draft when:

  • you haven't entered all your transactions, or
  • you haven't reconciled all statement lines in the period, or
  • you've got adjustments that may change.

Save a draft or finalise your report.

Save your GST Return as final

Xero lets you finalise your GST Return by selecting Save Final from the Save menu. This saves the return so that it is ready to file with Inland Revenue. Additions or changes to transactions in the return period won't be reflected in the return.

If you are an accountant using Partner Edition, follow these steps:

  1. Select your name or practice name from the Author menu. Xero defaults to the last practice that was logged in.

    Select your practice name from the Author menu.

  2. Save.

Re-finalise a GST Return for the last finalised period

Xero lets you re-finalise your GST Return for the last finalised period. You may need to do this if you find additional transactions to process, or make any changes to transactions in the return.

  1. On the Reports menu, click All Reports.
  2. Under Tax select GST Return.
  3. Click the Final Returns tab.

    Select the Final Returns tab to see your return.

  4. Click your finalised GST Return to display it.
  5. Select Revert to Draft. You can only revert to draft on the most recently finalised GST Return.

    Select Revert to Draft.

  6. Re-finalise your GST Return by selecting Save Final from the Save menu.

    Click Save and select an option to finalise your GST Return.

Publish your GST Return in Xero

If you have the Adviser user role or Standard user role (with reports), and you've saved your GST Return as a final, you can publish it. A published report provides a snapshot of your data at the time it's published.

  1. On the Reports menu, click All Reports.
  2. Under Tax select GST Return.
  3. Click the Final Returns tab.
  4. Click on the GST Report you'd like to publish.
  5. Click Publish.

Set up printed report styles

  1. Under Cover page, select whether to include a cover page in the printed report using the Include a cover page check box. Edit cover page details as needed.
  2. Under Contents, select whether to include a table of contents in the printed report. Edit the table of contents as needed.
  3. Under PDF Styling, select a colour scheme for the printed report. To include your company logo, select Default.
  4. Select:
    • Hide decimals on all pages to round numbers on the published report to the nearest whole number
    • Show decimals as set on each page to show decimals on reports that have this option selected in settings.
  5. Save.

The report will be saved to the Published tab in the Report Centre.

Submit your GST Return to Inland Revenue

Use one of these methods to submit your GST Return to Inland Revenue.

  • File it online from Xero
  • Copy Xero's GST Return values onto a paper copy of Inland Revenue's GST Return and post it.
  • Copy Xero's GST Return values onto Inland Revenue's online form and submit it online.

Inland Revenue's GST Return (GST101A)

Print and export a GST report

Xero lets you export your report to Excel, PDF or Google Sheets formats.

Your export will include the GST Return and Provisional Tax Return. It will also include the GST Audit Report and Late Claims report, if applicable.

Select from the Export menu to export your report to PDF, Google Sheets and Excel.

Select an option from the Export menu.