How to import GST or VAT on transactions into QuickBooks Online

Note: The information in this article should not be treated as Tax Advice we recommend that you consult a qualified tax practitioner.


With  the Zed Axis import utility you can import Goods and Services Tax (GST) or Value Added Tax (VAT) on transactions into QuickBooks Online. This article specifically relates to Canadian, UK, Australian or other Non-US editions of QuickBooks Online for guidelines importing US Sales Tax please refer to this article.

Where the fields appear in QuickBooks Online


Map relevant Tax Codes and let QuickBooks calculate the Tax Amounts (Recommended)
  • At the header level - GlobalTaxCalculation - Select whether the amounts are TaxInclusive, TaxExcluded or NotApplicable
  • At the line level - LineSalesItemTaxCodeRef - this is the name of Line Tax Code (ie Exempt, GST, 20.0% S, etc)
Once the Line Tax Codes have been set and the GlobalTaxCalculation and the data has been imported then QuickBooks will calculate the corresponding Tax Amounts for the transaction. Note at time of writing this article if you want to import amounts that include tax you will need to set the option to Convert Gross Amounts to Net.  This is a workaround we provide to address a bug in the QBO interface.

UK Vat Codes (QuickBooks Online default)

Line Tax CodeSalesPurchase Description
20.0% SYesYesStandard sales or purchases at 20%
5.0% RYesYesReduced sales or purchases at 5%
0.0% ZYesYesZero-rated sale or purchase
Exempt YesYesExempt from VAT
20.0% ECGNoYesEC Standard Goods purchase at 20%
20.0% ECSNoYesEC Standard Service purchase at 20%
0.0% ECGYesYesEC Zero-rated Goods sale or purchase
0.0% ECSYesYesEC Zero-rated Service sale or purchase

Canadian GST/HST Codes (QuickBooks Online default)

Line Tax CodeSalesPurchase Description
GSTYesYesFederal goods and service tax
Zero-ratedYesYesZero rated sales or purchases
ExemptYesYesExempt sales or purchases

Australian GST Codes (QuickBooks Online default)

Line Tax CodeSalesPurchase Description
GSTYesNoGST on sales at 10%
GST freeYesNoGST free sales at 0%
GST free exportsYesNoGST free export sales at 0%
GST on capitalNoYesGST on capital purhases at 10%
GST on non-capitalNoYesGST on non-capital purchases at 10%
GST-free capitalNoYesGST free capital purchases at 0%
GST-free non-capitalNoYesGSt free non-capital purchases at 0%
Input taxYesYesInput taxed on sales or puchases

Importing Multiple Taxes

If you need to import transactions with Multiple Tax rates for State, Province or City tax rates then use a Group Sales Tax code when importing
Troubleshooting Error message:
Error: Business Validation Error: We're sorry, QuickBooks encountered an error while calculating tax. Try reselecting the tax rate or reentering the product/service item and saving the form again - This error occurs when QuickBooks was unable to calculate the Tax on the transaction based on the information provided in the import message.  Typically that may be as the Tax Code specified is not applicable to the transaction being imported, such as only used on Sales Transactions or only on Purchase type transactions, ie 20.0% ECG is only permitted on Purchase Transactions.  Please check the Tax Rates and settings in QBO and adjust the Tax Code and retry the import.
Error: Business Validation Error: Make sure all your transactions have a GST rate before you save. - This error occurs when QuickBooks is unable to recognize the Tax Code (LineSalesItemTaxCodeRefValue) or the corresponding rate that you have provided and the field GlobalTaxCalculation, please check that you have mapped the TaxCode field and provided a relevant name that matches what you have in QuickBooks, and also mapped the field GlobalTaxCalculation.