For international businesses, it is important to know what your GST obligations are when importing and/or selling goods and services in Australia. There are many errors international small and medium businesses make that can land them in hot water with the ATO. To avoid this and to ensure that your business has a successful time navigating Australia’s GST obligations, we have created this handy guide covering common mistakes made with GST on imports and exports.
GST on low value imported goods
If you import and sell a good in Australia and it is valued at $1000 or less you will be required to charge GST. However, for these types of goods you will be able to collect GST through the sale instead of at the border. This allows a simple, seamless collection of GST for your business. Simply register for GST at GSTregister.com.au and lodge quarterly or monthly BAS with the ATO.
On-sale of imported goods
GST is required to be paid on most goods imported into Australia. Goods that are not subject to GST are laid out in our article here. If your goods are subject to GST on importation you must pay the amount to the Department of Home Affairs before the goods can be released.
When the imported goods are then on-sold, you must report the sale including GST, even if you have paid GST when you imported the good. This GST then needs to be reported on your BAS and paid, except if the good is GST-free.
To assist businesses, if you have registered for GST you can claim an input tax credit if you imported the goods for a credible business purpose. If you are not registered for GST, register today at GSTregister.com.au.
GST on digital products or imported services
GST applies to sales of all digital products and imported services entering Australia. Even if you are an overseas business you will need to register for GST to sell your digital products and import services.
GST does not apply to some services and digital products provided within Australia by overseas businesses for Australian businesses. For more information contact GSTregister.com.au today.
Do I need to charge GST on sales to customers overseas?
Exports from Australia are generally GST free. This means that you can sell your product to overseas customers without paying GST. You may have to investigate any taxes and fess in that overseas market, such as GST/VAT in that country, import tariffs, or quarantine inspection fees.
If you are registered for GST, you are still able to claim GST tax credits for the GST you paid when you purchased the goods you exported.
In the case that the goods are in Australia 60 days or more after they have been purchased you may be required to pay GST.
How to register for GST?
The simplest way to register for GST is through GSTregister.com.au. This will allow you to quickly register for GST and backdate your GST registration if need be. GSTregister.com.au are also registered tax agents allowing us to provide the highest level of support for all businesses.
If your business is a non-resident business, you will also be able to choose to register for the existing Australian GST registration system, or into the simplified GST system. For more information contact GSTregister.com.au.