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Registering for GST as a group

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A group is formed when two or more entities, which carry out taxable activities, register for GST as a group.

An entity can be any of these:

  • a person
  • a company
  • an incorporated or unincorporated society or club
  • a joint venture or partnership
  • a trustee or a trust or estate
  • a public or local authority.

A company can be either of these:

  • a body corporate incorporated in New Zealand or elsewhere
  • a limited partnership registered under the Limited Partnerships Act 2008.

Who can be in a group

There are different criteria depending on the types of entities.

Company-only groups

If every member in the group is a company, the companies must be at least 66% commonly owned in terms of voting interests or market value interests.

The group must also meet one of these criteria:

  • each company is GST-registered
  • the total value of taxable supplies made by the group is at least 75% of the total supplies made by the group to outside entities.

Mixed groups

Entities which are not all companies can form a group if they are GST-registered and meet one of these criteria:

  • each member of the group is controlled by at least one other member of the group
  • at least one member of the group controls all other members of the group
  • two or more members of the group carrying out a taxable activity in partnership control the other members of the group.

Non-resident entities registered under section 54B of the GST Act 1985 can only be grouped with other non-resident entities registered under the same section.

How a group works

We treat a group as a single entity and use its combined turnover for GST purposes.

The group chooses one GST-registered member to be its representative. The representative's GST number becomes the group's GST number.

The group representative files one GST return on behalf of the group at the end of each taxable period.

Responsibilities of the group representative

The group representative:

  • must be registered for GST before joining the group
  • is treated as carrying out the taxable activities of the group
  • is responsible for filing the group's GST returns and paying any GST due to us
  • can ask us to add or remove group members, change the representative or cancel the group registration
  • is our contact for all matters relating to the group's GST activity.

Responsibilities of each member

Each member:

  • must keep its own GST records
  • is liable, both as a group and as an individual member, for any GST due to us
  • must use the same filing frequency and accounting basis as the group
  • does not file its own GST returns while a member of the group
  • must give the representative details of its income and expenses so the representative can include these in the group's GST return.

If the member was GST-registered before joining the group it must issue tax invoices under its own GST number for supplies made outside the group.

Members do not need to charge GST on sales to other members or claim GST from each other for transactions within the group.