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  • Levelling the GST playing field for Australian hotel room sales

    There is now a level playing field between domestic and offshore sellers of commercial accommodation, like hotels, thanks to a change in the way goods and services tax (GST) is charged.

    Offshore sellers of Australian commercial accommodation (including online sellers) now need to add GST when selling Australian-based accommodation, when these sales exceed AUD$75,000 in a 12 month period.

    ATO Deputy Commissioner Deborah Jenkins said the change means regardless of whether you book an Australian hotel room through a domestic or offshore seller, GST will now apply.

    “We’re pleased to see this loophole closed. This change removes the competitive advantage that offshore sellers had over domestic accommodation providers. It also allows businesses that book accommodation through offshore sellers to obtain a tax invoice and claim GST credits.” Ms Jenkins said.

    Ms Jenkins added that the change doesn’t affect offshore agents that organise Australian accommodation on behalf of domestic accommodation providers.

    “If you purchase through an offshore agent you will generally pay the hotel provider directly and they will charge you GST and provide a tax invoice.”

    The types of accommodation this change impacts includes:

    • hotels, motels, and hostels
    • serviced apartments
    • student accommodation
    • caravan and tourist parks
    • house boat hire or cruise operator
    • bed and breakfast accommodation.

    More information including examples of how this applies are available at ato.gov.au/AusGSTAccommodation

    Last modified: 30 Oct 2019QC 60501