Google to withold 10% tax for Australian purchases regardless of seller

Hello Google Play Developer,

Beginning July 1, 2017, due to a change in Goods & Services tax (GST) laws in Australia, Google will be responsible for determining, charging, and remitting a 10% GST on Google Play app purchases in Australia. If you were previously collecting GST in Australia, you no longer need to do so. No other action is required on your part.

This change applies to all paid apps and in-app purchases made by customers in Australia, even if your business is not located in that country. After this change is made, you'll be able to save time previously spent calculating and remitting GST for your customers’ purchases.

Additionally, pricing in Australia will be GST-inclusive. In countries with GST-inclusive pricing, prices shown on Google Play must be equal to the amount paid during payment - all taxes (including GST) must be included in the price. You can sign in to your Google Play Console to review your prices for paid apps and in-app purchases in Australia.

Please note: At this time, we’re unable to change prices for existing subscription products. Beginning July 1, 2017, GST will be determined and remitted using existing prices for subscription products. Depending on how you’ve previously calculated taxes for subscriptions, prices to existing subscriptions might be affected due to taxes. However, you can publish and start selling new subscription products with a different price point.

To learn more, visit the Google Play Console Help Center. If you have any other questions, please consult your tax advisor.

I still do not understand how the app developer is the "Mercant of Record" (ie the legal selling entitiy) and, at the same time, Google can withold taxes. Furthermore, why do sellers outside of Australia have to pay 10% GST??


  • This was dubbed the Netflix tax in Australia.

    If services rendered to Austrians attracts GST, then an Australian getting a haircut whilst on holiday in New York would mean the hairdresser would (somehow) be liable for Australian tax!!

    See details here

    But, as explained, there's an exception when the supplier would otherwise have no such tax - which is then countered by moving the liability from the seller onto the "electronic distribution service". In this case Google.

    The whole things seems to have no legal basis, as suggested here.

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