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Providing services in Australia

What you need to know about providing services in Australia.

Last updated 27 October 2016

Sometimes entities from other countries that provide services in Australia may have to pay tax.

This happens to entities that are from countries with tax treaties with Australia and countries without tax treaties.

You will need to register for an Australian business number (ABN) for some tax obligations.

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Income tax

You may be liable to pay Australian income tax if you have an Australian permanent establishment.

If you provide services as an individual you will need to pay income tax on the earnings if the income is attributable to your fixed establishment or if you were present in Australia for more than 183 days (6 months).

If your entity is registered in a non-treaty country you need to determine the source of your income.

Capital gains tax (CGT)

You may be liable for Australian capital gains tax (CGT) if you have assets that are considered taxable Australian property.

Goods and services tax (GST)

You may be liable for goods and services tax (GST), which is a broad-based tax of 10% on most goods, services and other items sold or consumed in Australia.

Other taxes

You may also be subject to:

  • foreign resident withholding tax
  • superannuation guarantee and PAYG withholding obligations if you employ workers in Australia, and
  • fringe benefits tax (FBT).

If you are exporting goods to Australia, and the buyer is responsible for clearing the goods through customs, you may not have Australian tax obligations. Your Australian customer will have tax obligations relating to the importation of the goods.

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