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  • Buying digital goods or services from overseas – for Australian consumers

    If you buy imported services or digital products from overseas you may be charged GST.

    Suppliers (generally with an annual Australian turnover of $75,000 or more) will:

    • charge Australian consumers the Australian GST rate – 10%, and
    • pay that GST to the ATO.

    Examples of imported services and digital products

    Examples of imported digital products include:

    • video streaming services
    • online subscriptions
    • digital books, movies and games
    • virtual goods and currency for apps and online games.

    Examples of other imported services include:

    • online legal services
    • design jobs.

    GST and listed prices

    Online suppliers often have customers worldwide, so prices displayed online may not initially include Australian GST.

    However, suppliers should:

    • advise that additional taxes may apply, and
    • include GST in the price as soon as they know that you are an Australian consumer.

    Example – listed prices

    Kara is an Australian consumer. She buys a computer protection program online from an overseas supplier. The listed price is $20 (plus additional taxes that may apply). When Kara enters her Australian credit card, the price displayed changes to $22 because the supplier has identified her as an Australian consumer and therefore includes GST in the amount payable.

    End of example

    Supplies before 1 July 2017

    If a supply occurred prior to 1 July 2017 and the invoice issued and payment is received after 1 July 2017 then GST will apply to the supply.

    Example – payments received after 1 July 2017

    Li is an Australian consumer. He has an ongoing contract for a movie streaming service with an overseas supplier and is billed monthly. Li makes payment after 1 July 2017 for the movie streaming service supplied to him in June 2017. As the law applies to all payments received from 1 July 2017, regardless of when the supply occurred, the overseas supplier includes GST on the amount it charges Li.

    End of example

    How GST is returned to Australia

    Suppliers that import services or digital products to Australia must meet Australian Government regulations. This includes any GST requirements.

    As with Australian businesses, overseas businesses that meet the GST registration requirements will have to register. Once registered for Australian GST the overseas businesses must report and remit the GST amounts to us.

    We are providing information and support for overseas suppliers to assist them with the new law. We will also monitor how the law is applied and take action if required.

    See also:

      Last modified: 17 Aug 2017QC 53115