BAS and GST Information
GST on low value imported physical goods
The Government has passed legislation to reduce the current tax-free threshold on online sales of imported physical goods from $1,000 to zero.
The changes require non-resident suppliers with an Australian turnover of $75,000 or more to register and charge the GST.
- The Treasury Laws Amendment (GST Low Value Goods) Bill 2017 has been passed by parliament. Details here
- ATO: GST on low value imported goods
- Dropshipping arrangements – see Law Companion Ruling LCR 2018/1 GST on low value imported goods
- see also:
- Law Companion Ruling LCR 2018/2 GST on supplies made through electronic distribution platforms
- Law Companion Ruling LCR 2018/3 When is a redeliverer responsible for GST on a supply of low value imported goods?
- Commentary – “Government releases draft legislation to extend GST to low value imported goods“
GST on new property sales to be remitted from settlement proceeds
The legislation has been introduced to parliament to require purchasers to withhold and remit GST from settlement proceeds on the purchase of new residential premises and subdivisions.
The measures are to apply to contracts entered into from 1 July 2018, with pre-existing contracts excluded until 1 July 2020.
A 2015 Budget measure now enacted extends the application of GST to digital products and services obtained by consumers online from overseas suppliers.
The changes apply from 1 July 2017.
Foreign suppliers to Australian consumers (not through an enterprise in Australia) are required to register for GST if their turnover exceeds $75,000.
Under these measures, GST applies to anything other than goods or real property supplied to non-GST-registered Australian residents.
Note that these measures do not require GST-registered Australian businesses to pay GST on their imported inputs.
Where supplies are made by merchants through an Electronic Distribution Platform, GST liability falls on the Operator of the Electronic Distribution Platforms rather than the merchant.
The intention is that the affected suppliers and supplies will be subject to the same GST turnover, registration and payment rules as Australian domestic suppliers.
- Australia’s cross-border GST changes commencing 1 July 2017 – Wolters Kluwer 31 July 2017
- summary “The Netflix Tax And Other GST Changes For Cross Border Transactions” – Pitcher Partners news 9 March 2016
- Ruling: GSTR 2017/1 Goods and services tax: making cross-border supplies to Australian consumers
- ATO: GST registration for your non-resident clients
The Tax and Superannuation Laws Amendment (2016 Measures No. 1) Bill 2016 passed by parliament in May 2016 relieves non-resident suppliers of the obligation to account for GST on certain supplies, with any GST obligations shifted to Australian-based business recipients that are already registered for GST.
Non-residents and their resident agents can agree that the resident agent will be the liable entity for GST, despite the other amendments.
The measures are designed to prevent nonresident businesses being unnecessarily drawn into the Australian GST system through B2B transactions and come into effect from 1 October 2016.
- GST registration system for non-resident businesses
- Law Companion Guide – GST and carrying on an enterprise in the indirect tax zone (Australia): LCG 2016/1
- GST cross-border transactions between businesses
Uber Loses in The Federal Court
News: 17 February 2017 The Federal Court has decided (consistent with the position advanced by the Tax Office) that Uber services are indeed “taxi travel” for gst purposes. The Court accepted that the concept of “taxi travel” as defined in s 195-1 of the GST rules should be construed broadly and not technically.
- Uber, Taxis and Quacking Ducks
- Centrelink, Big Data And The Long Arm of Data Matching
- Federal Court finds UberX drivers supply “taxi travel” to customers
Barter transactions simpler[News: Nov 2016]
A Practical Compliance Guideline (PCG 2016/18) released by the Tax Office potentially reduces GST compliance in relation to certain barter (countertrade) transactions.
Basically, direct barter transactions which are GST-neutral will not be the subject to ATO enforcement of the GST reporting requirements. Those requirements would otherwise require the production of tax invoices and the determination of GST value.
A proviso is that countertrade transactions are no more than “approximately 10% of the entity’s total number of supplies”.
See also: “PCG makes GST barter transactions simpler”
As part of the 2017-18 Budget, the Government announced it would remove the double taxation of digital currency from 1 July 2017. From 1 July 2017, digital currency will be treated just like money for GST purposes.
Legislation has now been approved by parliament. See: Treasury Laws Amendment (2017 Measures No. 6) Bill
This page was last modified 2018-03-20