Chapter 9: Pricing for Australian and non-resident customers
Australian business retailing on the internet, can receive orders from anywhere in the world. Sales of items to recipients not in Australia are generally GST-free. The current pricing guidelines require that businesses need to fully inform consumers of the price of goods or services on offer, including the cost of the GST.
How is pricing for Australian and non-resident customers to be addressed on the internet?
Non-interpretative - straight application of the law
Suppliers of things other than goods or real property, for consumption outside of Australia, need to make sure that any pricing does not mislead or deceive and any prices offered to Australian residents comply with the Australian Consumer Law.
The Australian Consumer Law makes it an offence to state only part of the price without also specifying the total amount to be paid. The full price includes any applicable GST.
The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has made it clear that where prices are displayed they should be GST-inclusive so that recipients know the full selling price before purchasing. This also applies to prices displayed on web sites which sell to both non-residents and residents. In this case, a web site can display a GST-exclusive price for recipients outside Australia, but will also need to display the GST-inclusive price or the price and the GST amount for recipients within Australia.
If a business only supplies things other than goods or real property, for consumption outside of Australia, it can show a GST-exclusive only price on its web site. However, it should be made clear that the price does not include GST so that any domestic enquirers are not misled.
This information has been supplied by the ACCC after representation by the ATO. The ACCC was given a prices oversight role during the GST transition period. This is in addition to its other responsibilities under the Trade Practices Act 1974, including ensuring that businesses do not engage in false, misleading or deceptive conduct.