GST on imported services and digital products for Australian businesses

Australian goods and services tax (GST) generally applies to sales of imported services and digital products to Australian consumers.

Examples of imported services and digital products include online supplies of software, digital trade journal/magazine subscriptions, website design or publishing services and legal, accounting or similar consultancy services.

GST does not apply to your business purchases of imported services and digital products if you are a business registered for GST in Australia.

For the supplier not to charge you GST, you will need to:

  • give them your Australian business number (ABN), and

  • state that you are registered for GST.

Example – Australian business registered for GST

Kev's Karate is an Australian business registered for GST. The business makes an online purchase of an electronic version of a computer protection program from an overseas supplier 'Computer B Safe'. Computer B Safe is registered for Australian GST. The computer protection program is for Kev's Karate's business computer, which is used to manage payments and bookings.

The price listed for this product on Computer B Safe's website is $200 plus additional taxes that may apply (for example, GST). Kev's Karate is making a business purchase, provides their ABN and tells the supplier they are registered for GST. Therefore, Computer B Safe does not charge Kev's Karate Australian GST on the purchase.

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