Financial Services

Exports and imports

Different rules apply to the application of GST according to whether goods and services are being exported or imported.

Exports

Export of goods

As GST is primarily a tax on the consumption of goods within Australia, exports will generally be GST-free.

However, exported goods are GST-free only if they are exported within 60 days from the earlier of:

  • receiving any payment
  • the sending of an invoice.

If the payment is by instalment the transaction is not GST-free if the goods are not exported either:

  • before final instalment is paid
  • within 60 days after receiving any of the final instalment.

If the instalment is invoiced before it is paid then the goods must be exported within 60 days after providing the invoice in order to be classed as GST-free.

Export of services

In brief, the supply of services overseas will be GST-free if:

  • the supply is directly related to goods or real property situated outside Australia
  • the recipient is a non-resident of Australia who is not in Australia at the time the supply is done
  • the supply is made to a recipient who is not in Australia when the thing supplied is done, where the effective use and enjoyment takes place outside Australia
  • a right is supplied for use outside Australia or supplied to a non-resident entity that is not in Australia when the thing supplied is done.

Imports

GST is generally applicable on the importation of goods. It is calculated at 10 per cent of the value of the taxable importation.

GST is payable when the goods are imported, unless approval has been given by the Commissioner to defer the payment of GST on imports under the GST Deferral Scheme.

Imports that do not attract GST include:

  • GST-free or input-taxed goods
  • certain goods that qualify for customs duty concessions
  • goods that arrive by post with a customs value of less than A$1000, or arrive any other way, a customs value of less than A$250 (and on which the revenue is nil or insubstantial (A$50 or less)

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