So, your business has finally taken the plunge and registered for GST. Congratulations, that's a big step! Now, you need to get your invoicing in order to comply with the GST law. The good news is there are only a few must-haves to include on your tax invoices. The bad news is that if you miss any of them, your invoices won't be valid.

As a business owner, the last thing you want is the taxman knocking on your door because your invoices weren't up to scratch. We get it, running a business is hard work, and invoicing is probably low on your list of priorities. But get it right now, and you'll save yourself a lot of hassle down the track.

This blog will run through the absolute minimum details you need on your tax invoices to ensure they meet the GST requirements. We'll explain each item in plain English,with examples to make it as easy as possible for you. So take a deep breath and read on - you've got this! By the end of this article, you'll be issuing compliant tax invoices with confidence.

What Is a Tax Invoice?

What Is a Tax Invoice?

A tax invoice is a document that serves as proof of purchase for taxable goods or services. For any business transaction involving GST, a tax invoice must be issued. It will allow you to claim input tax credits and provide evidence of the transaction.

To be considered valid, a tax invoice needs to contain certain details like:

  • Your business name and ABN
  • The date the invoice was issued
  • A description of the goods or services supplied
  • The price of each item, including any GST
  • The total amount payable, including GST
  • For sales over $1,000, the buyer’s identity or ABN

If your invoice includes taxable and non-taxable items, it must clearly specify which sales are taxable and the amount of GST payable for each. You can use an online GST calculator to work out the GST inclusive price.

These days, tax invoices don’t have to be paper-based. You can issue digital tax invoices via:

  • eInvoicing (like - free account), which automatically exchanges invoices between software
  • Emailing a PDF invoice.

As long as the record contains all the required details, it can serve as a tax invoice. However, it’s up to you to ensure it meets all legal requirements.

When GST amounts result in fractions of a cent, you must round to the nearest cent. Use either the total invoice rule (round GST for each item and total) or taxable supply rule (calculate GST for each item, round and total).

Providing a tax invoice within 28 days of a customer’s request is a must unless the sale was less than $82.50. Following the rules around tax invoices will ensure you stay compliant and able to claim the input tax credits you’re entitled to.

When a Tax Invoice Is Required

So you've made a sale or provided a service and now need to issue an invoice to your customer for their records and so you can claim your GST credits. But when exactly is a tax invoice required?

For sales under $1,000, you'll need to provide a tax invoice only if the customer requests one. However, a tax invoice is mandatory for sales of $1,000 or more to claim GST credits or input tax credits. These invoices must include both the seller's and buyer's identity or ABN.

If your invoice includes both taxable and non-taxable items, it needs to clearly show which sales are subject to GST. List each taxable sale individually along with the amount of GST charged. Then provide the total amount payable for the full invoice. The ATO website has calculators to help work out the GST owed on mixed invoices.

Digital or eInvoices are also acceptable as long as they include all the required information. You can email PDF invoices or use eInvoicing standards like Peppol to electronically exchange invoices between your accounting system and your customer's. While eInvoicing aims to simplify the process, you're still responsible for ensuring your invoices meet all legal requirements.

When calculating GST, round to the nearest cent. For a single taxable sale, just round up or down. For multiple taxable sales on one invoice, either calculate GST for each sale, then round and total them or total the GST-exclusive amounts, calculate 10% GST on the total, then round. Your accounting software should handle the rounding for you, but be aware of the rules in case of manual calculations.

Providing complete and compliant tax invoices, whether digital or hard copy, is an important part of running a business. Following the guidelines helps ensure you and your customers claim the right GST credits and avoid potential penalties. If you have any doubts, check with your accountant or the ATO website for the latest requirements.

Key Information Required on Tax Invoices

To be compliant, your GST tax invoices must include some key details. These ensure both you and your customers can claim the proper input tax credits.

Seller and Buyer Details

Your business name, ABN, address, and contact information should be clearly listed. For sales over $1,000, the buyer’s identity or ABN is also required.

Invoice Number

Each tax invoice needs a unique reference number. This helps keep track of invoices in your records and allows customers to query a specific invoice.

Date Issued

The date the tax invoice was issued to the customer must be included. This establishes when GST becomes payable on the sale.

Description of Goods or Services

Briefly describe the items sold, including quantities and prices. For example, “Consulting services, 10 hours at $150 per hour. Total $1,500.” This gives enough detail to determine what was sold and the total amount payable.

GST Amount

The amount of GST charged on the sale must be clearly stated, either as a total or broken down by item. For example, “Total price includes $136.36 GST” or “Consulting $1,500 (includes $136.36 GST).”

Taxable and Non-Taxable Sales

If the invoice includes both taxable and non-taxable items, list them separately. Show which are subject to GST and which are GST-free or input-taxed. Calculate the GST only on the taxable portion of the sale.

Providing complete and accurate tax invoices is essential for managing your GST obligations. Be sure to keep copies of all tax invoices issued in your records for five years. Let me know if you have any other questions!

Tax Invoices for Sales Under and Over $1,000

For sales under $1,000, your tax invoice must include some basic details to be compliant. At a minimum, it needs to clearly show:

1. It’s intended as a tax invoice

State this clearly at the top, such as ‘Tax Invoice’ or ‘Recipient Created Tax Invoice’.

2. Seller and buyer details

Include your business name, ABN, address and contact information. For sales over $1,000, the buyer’s identity or ABN must also be included.

3. The date of issue

The date you provided the goods or services. This establishes when the liability for GST arises and when the buyer can claim input tax credits.

4. A description of the goods or services

List what was sold, the quantity and the price. Be specific enough that the goods or services can be identified.

5. The total price

The total amount paid or payable for the taxable supply. Indicate if GST is included in the total by stating ‘Total price includes GST’. If GST is listed separately, it must equal 1/11th of the total price.

6. Whether the sale is taxable

Note whether the sale is fully taxable, GST-free or input-taxed. Fully taxable sales are subject to GST, while GST-free and input-taxed sales are not.

The taxable portion must be clearly distinguished for more complex invoices that include both taxable and non-taxable items. The ATO provides specific guidelines on showing taxable and non-taxable sales. It’s best to familiarise yourself with these to ensure full compliance.

Keeping good records of your sales and providing compliant tax invoices will make lodging your business activity statements and managing your GST obligations much easier. Let me know if you have any other questions!

Special Rules for Tax Invoices

As a business owner, you need to be aware of the special rules around tax invoices for certain types of sales. Some situations require additional details or have exceptions to the general requirements.

Recipient-created tax invoices

If your customer creates the tax invoice for your sale, it must include:

  • Your identity and ABN
  • The recipient’s identity and ABN
  • A statement that the invoice was created by the recipient
  • The other standard tax invoice details

This applies whether the sale is over or under $1,000. As the supplier, you must agree to the recipient creating the tax invoice on your behalf.

GST groups

Members of a GST group can issue tax invoices for sales made by other group members. The tax invoice must show:

  • The supplier’s identity and ABN
  • The recipient’s identity and ABN
  • Enough details about the sale for attribution to the correct supplier
  • A statement that the supplier is a member of the GST group

Multiple recipients or co-owners

For a sale made to multiple recipients or co-owners, a tax invoice can be issued to any one of the recipients if it includes:

  • The identities and ABNs of all recipients
  • Enough information to determine what was sold to each recipient

Alternatively, you can issue separate tax invoices to each recipient showing their sale portion.

Be sure to check the ATO website for the most up-to-date rules around tax invoices. Requirements change, and as a business owner, you want to ensure you stay compliant. Following these guidelines will help ensure your invoices meet the requirements, allowing you and your customers to claim the proper GST credits.

ATO Website: Tax Invoices -


So there you have it, the basics you must include on your GST tax invoices to keep the taxman happy. Double-check that you've covered all the essentials before sending any invoices to your customers. The last thing you want is a fine for failing to meet the minimum requirements. While the rules seem straightforward, missing something in the rush of running a business and chasing payments is easy. Take a moment to review a sample of your recent invoices to ensure everything is in order. The few minutes it takes could save you time and money. With the formalities taken care of, you can return to doing what you do best - providing great products and services to your customers!