• Selling goods without a physical presence in Australia

    Selling from a treaty country without a physical presence in Australia

    This section applies to you if:

    • you are a resident entity of a country that has a tax treaty with Australia
    • you export goods to Australia without having a physical presence in Australia, such as an agent, subsidiary or permanent establishment, and
    • you don't employ staff in Australia.

    Under these circumstances you will have the following tax obligations:

    • Income tax - You will not be liable to pay Australian income tax. Income tax only applies if you have an Australian permanent establishment.
    • Capital gains tax (CGT) - You will not be liable to pay CGT. CGT only applies to assets that are taxable Australian assets.
    • Goods and services tax (GST) - You may be liable for GST. GST is a broad-based tax of 10% on most goods, services and other items sold or consumed in Australia.
    • Superannuation, PAYG withholding and fringe benefits tax (FBT) - As you don't have employees, you won't have any of these obligations.
    • Other tax obligations - If you are exporting goods to Australia by selling to an Australian resident entity on a free on board (FOB) basis, this may be considered an importation by the Australian entity. This means you may not have any Australian tax obligations - rather, your Australian customer will have tax obligations relating to the importation.

    You will need to register for an Australian Business number (ABN).

    Selling from a non-treaty country without a physical presence in Australia

    This section applies to you if:

    • you are a resident entity of a country that does not have a tax treaty with Australia
    • you export goods to Australia without having a physical presence in Australia, such as an agent, subsidiary or permanent establishment
    • you don't employ staff in Australia.

    Under these circumstances, you will have the following tax obligations:

    • Income tax - You may be liable to pay income tax. You need to work out the source of your income, as this will determined how you are taxed.
    • Goods and services tax (GST) - You may be liable for GST. GST is a broad-based tax of 10% on most goods, services and other items sold or consumed in Australia.
    • Superannuation, PAYG withholding and fringe benefits tax (FBT) - As you don't have employees, you won't have any of these obligations.
    • Other tax obligations - If you are exporting goods to Australia by selling to an Australian resident entity on a FOB basis, this may be considered an importation by the Australian entity. This means you may not have Australian tax obligations - rather, your Australian customer will have tax obligations relating to the importation.

    You will need to register for an Australian Business number (ABN).

    See also:

      Last modified: 28 Oct 2016QC 18431