Australian GST on digital services

From 1st July 2017, Australia imposed 10% GST on the sale of electronic/digital services by non-resident providers to its consumers. The enacting legislation is the Tax and Superannuation Laws Amendment (2016 Measures No1) Bill 2016.

Digital services liable to Australian GST

The following activities are included within the Australian definition of electronic services:

  • Streaming or downloads of music, films, apps and games
  • E-books
  • Online professional services
  • Online web, cloud and storage services

GST registration for non-resident providers of digital services

Non-resident providers of electronic services will only be required to register if their annual sales exceed AUS$ 75,000. Market platforms (Google Play; Apple App Store and Amazon Kindle) acting as the provider of the services to the consumer on behalf of content creators will be liable to declaring any GST due.

There are three types of Australian GST registrations:

  • 1. Simplified GST registration
  • 2. Standard GST registration
  • 3. Standard claim only GST registration

For digital services, most non-resident providers should opt for option 1, Simplified GST registration. Businesses may opt to voluntarily register for GST if they are below the threshold.

Australian GST returns

Australian returns are filed quarterly, along with a remittance of any GST due. If a provider’s annual turnover is below AUS$10m, it may be able to remit quarterly, but only file a GST return quarterly.