Tax for residents and non-residents of Australia


Your tax will differ depending on whether you’re a resident or non-resident of Australia.

If you’re a:

  • resident of Australia (for income tax purposes) – you’re liable for tax on your worldwide income
  • non-resident – you’re liable for tax only on income from Australian sources

Good and services tax (GST) on imported services and digital products


GST applies to most retail sales to Australian consumers of imported:

  • services (such as legal services)
  • digital products

Digital products include streaming or downloading of movies, apps, games and e-books.

GST isn’t charged to Australian GST-registered businesses which purchase these items for use in their business.

You must register for GST if your overseas business has a GST turnover of A$75,000 or more from sales connected with Australia and made in the course of your business.

You may not need to register for GST if the only sales you make are made through an electronic distribution platform.

Consider whether you need to register for GST if you operate an app store or website (electronic distribution platform) for the sale of imported services or digital products.

GST on low value imported goods


GST applies to most retail sales of low value physical goods imported by Australian consumers.

This affects goods valued at A$1000 or less including items like clothing, cosmetics, books and electric appliances. This A$1000 threshold is based on the customs value, which means transport and insurance costs are excluded.

GST isn’t charged to Australian GST-registered businesses which purchase these items for use in their businesses.

You must register for GST if your overseas business  has a GST turnover of A$75,000 or more from sales connected with Australia and made in the course of your business. You may not need to register for GST if the only sales you make are made through an electronic distribution platform.

Value Added Tax (VAT) for European Union (EU) businesses


This change applies to businesses that supply:

  • telecommunications (like SMS, phone, internet access)
  • broadcasting (like television, radio)
  • electronic services (like software downloads, cloud business online gaming, e-learning, online payment services)

VAT is now charged according to where the customer is based or trade from:

  • an EU-based business to another EU nation
  • a non-EU based business to the EU (for example, your Australian based business exports to the EU)

Visit the European Union Taxation and Customs Union website for more on VAT.

Find more on international tax

The ATO website has a range of international tax information including:

  • working out your residency
  • doing business in Australia
  • Australians doing business overseas
  • GST