Services and digital products for Australian consumers – goods and services tax (GST) changes

If you supply services or digital goods to Australian consumers, recent changes to the way Australia taxes these transactions mean you may now need to register in Australia for the goods and services tax (GST).

From 1 July 2017, if you supply services or digital products to Australian consumers, new changes to GST mean you need to register for GST if you meet the AUD $75,000 threshold.

  • The new law applies very broadly to sales of everything except goods or real property. Examples of sales captured under the measure include;
  • streaming and downloading of movies, TV shows, music, apps, games, and electronic books
  • online training and education services
  • consultancy and professional services, such as legal, architectural and accountancy services
  • financial and insurance services
  • telecommunications and broadcasting services
  • online supplies of software and software maintenance
  • digital data storage, and
  • online gaming.

GST applies to the sale if the customer is an Australian consumer. If you are selling to a business in Australia, GST is not charged on the sale. You will need to have systems in place that captures this information.

If you sell through an electronic distribution platform, like an app store, the platform operator will be responsible for collecting and paying the GST to the ATO.

Be aware that GST registration does not necessarily mean that you have an income tax presence in Australia and selling digital products or services to Australian consumers does not mean that you have a permanent establishment or business presence in Australia.

You can find more information about these measures, and the taxation of goods and services supplied to Australia on the ATO’s website.

There have also been additional changes to Australia’s GST law that mean that, from 1 October 2016, certain transactions between overseas and Australian businesses will no longer be subject to GST. You can read more about these changes on the ATO’s website.

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