Taxes That Could Affect Your Business’s Importing Of Goods


Importing goods in Australia can be subject to a range of different taxes, rules and procedures

As an island country, Australia imports a lot of the products that businesses sell. Whether it’s a paperback bestseller from the New York Times, a luxury car for a dealership or heavy machinery for the mines, taxes on the imports of these goods is an issue that needs to be addressed and outlined.

It’s often a complex area, and those taxpayers that fail to abide by the many rules and regulations surrounding the different imports can be penalised with unexpected costs.

The main import taxes in Australia that you need to be aware of and concerned with primarily are the Goods and Services Tax (GST) and customs duty. In specific circumstances, some imports may have other taxes applied to them on top of that. This might include the Wine Equalisation Tax for wine imports or the Luxury Car Tax for certain car imports, for example.

GST is payable on most goods that are imported into the country. It is usually about 10% of the value of the taxable importation.

GST on a taxable importation (product) is payable by businesses, organisations and private individuals, whether they are registered for GST or not. If a business is GST-registered, and importing goods is a part of their activities, a GST credit may be claimable for any GST paid on the imported goods.

Refunds and concession schemes that may be available to importers of goods can include:

  • A refund of the customs duty and GST on the import where they subsequently export the good from Australia (under the duty drawback rules)
  • The Deferred GST Scheme – this scheme allows GST-registered businesses that import goods to defer the GST payable on import until they lodge their business activity statement (which a registered tax agent like us may be able to help with).

For tax or business queries with regard to the importation of goods, registered tax agents can have the knowledge that you need. Speak with us to find out how we might be able to assist.


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