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Posts Tagged ‘Importing’

Selling goods without a physical presence in Australia

Posted on: November 21st, 2017 No Comments

If you are looking to sell goods or services into Australia then you need to consider the taxation consequences, particularly where you are selling from a treaty country such as the USA, UK etc.

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).