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  • GST-free supplies for non-residents

    Under Australian GST law some sales are GST-free. This term is generally the same as:

    • zero rated (in other countries with VAT/GST systems)
    • exempt (in countries with sales tax systems).

    On this page:

    Food and beverages

    Most basic food and beverage items are GST-free. This includes some food and beverage ingredients. Non-essential food and beverage items are taxable – for example, confectionery or savoury snacks. 

    See also:

    Medical services

    Medical services are GST-free if either:

    • a benefit is payable for the services under the Australian Medicare legislation
    • the service is both
      • provided by or on behalf of a medical practitioner registered under a law of a State or Territory of Australia, and
      • generally accepted as being necessary for the appropriate treatment of the recipient.

    This is subject to some exceptions, such as cosmetic procedures, which are taxable.

    See also:

    Medical aids and appliances

    Medical aids and appliances (including spare parts for medical aids and appliances) are GST-free if the items are all of the following:

    • specifically listed in the GST legislation
    • specifically designed for people with an illness or disability
    • not widely used by people without an illness or disability.

    Goods that assist in medical research or the manufacture of medical aids and appliances are not included, for example 3D printers and related software.

    See also:

    Education courses and materials

    Generally, an education course is GST-free if the course or institution providing the course is accredited either:

    • under the relevant law of a State or Territory of Australia
    • by the Education Minister.

    Education course materials are GST-free when provided by the entity supplying the GST-free education course.  The materials used by the students doing the course for the purpose of the course, for example, photocopied or printed course notes for a GST-free education course, are GST-free.

    However, some materials, used in education courses are not GST-free, for example textbooks. 


    If you still have questions after reading this information, you can:

      Last modified: 02 Jun 2017QC 52379