GST on Consulting Work Done for Overseas Customers and Clients

A question we are asked regularly by clients moving to Australia – whether as migrants or as returning Australians – concerns the need to account for GST on work that is done for a client (often a former employer) that is based outside Australia.

In Australia GST is to be applied at the rate of 10% on the supply of most supplied of goods and services – although not to all, as is apparent from the current political discussions concerning widening the scope of GST.

Exports of goods and services for consumption outside Australia are generally what is called GST-free supplies.

GST-free supplies are effectively supplies that are subject to GST at 0%.

This means that they should be considered in the context of a compulsory GST registration: there is a requirement to register if supplies over the next 12 months are expected to exceed A$75,000.

The supply of a service may be GST-free if it is for consumption outside Australia.

Further conditions include that:

  • The recipient of the supplied service is not in Australia when the services are supplied or performed. Regard must be had here to whether the recipient of the service has an office in Australia
  • The effective use or enjoyment must occur outside Australia
  • The supply of the service is not for work performed on any tangible property based in Australia
  • The supply is not connected with real property in Australia

Please complete the enquiry form on this page if you are (or will be) supplying consulting services to a client or customer outside Australia and would like to explore the issue of whether GST should be added to your invoices.