10.4. Can a foreign bank with a representative office in Australia register for GST?
For source of ATO view, refer to MT 2006/1External Link - The New Tax System: the meaning of entity carrying on an enterprise for the purposes of entitlement to an Australian Business Number
Yes. A foreign bank with a representative office in Australia can register for GST as it is carrying on an enterprise, even if that enterprise is carried on overseas and not in Australia.
The requirements to obtain an ABN are different to the requirements to obtain GST registration. Section 8 of the ABN Act requires that an applicant must be carrying on an enterprise in Australia or making supplies that are connected with the indirect tax zone – whereas Division 25 of the GST Act allows for GST registration where the Commissioner is satisfied that the applicant is carrying on, or intends to carry on, an enterprise and there is no requirement that the enterprise be carried on in Australia.