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Everything a Startup Has to Know About Australia’s E-commerce Tax

E-commerce is a booming industry in Australia, with more and more businesses turning to online platforms to sell their products and services. While this brings many benefits, it also comes with a unique set of tax obligations that can confuse startups.

If you are venturing into e-commerce, you must understand the tax obligations that come with it. This comprehensive guide will provide an overview of e-commerce tax in Australia, including the different types of taxes that apply, how to register for them, and tips for staying compliant.

Types of Taxes that Apply

Several different types of taxes can apply to e-commerce businesses in Australia. These include:

1. Goods and Services Tax (GST)

GST is a tax of 10% that applies to most goods and services sold in Australia. If your business has an annual turnover of $75,000 or more, you must register for GST and charge it on your sales. This applies to both physical and digital products.

2. Income Tax

Income tax is a tax on the profits your business makes. All companies in Australia are required to pay income tax, regardless of their size or structure. Your tax amount will depend on your business structure, income, and deductions.

3. Import Duties

If you import goods into Australia, you may be required to pay import duties. These are taxes levied on certain products to protect local industries and are based on the value of the goods.

4. Payroll Tax

If your business has employees, you may be required to pay payroll tax. This is a tax on the wages you pay to your employees and is based on the amount of payroll you have in a given state or territory.

5. Other Taxes

Other taxes may apply to your e-commerce business, depending on your specific circumstances. For example, if you sell alcohol or tobacco products, you may be subject to additional taxes.

How to Register for Taxes

To register for taxes in Australia, you will need to follow these steps:

1. Register for an Australian Business Number (ABN)

Before you can register for any taxes, you will need to apply for an ABN. This unique identifier for your business is used for tax purposes.

2. Register for GST

If your business has an annual turnover of $75,000 or more, you must register for GST. You can do this online through the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) website.

3. Register for Other Taxes

Depending on your business structure and activities, you may need to register for other taxes. This can include income tax, import duties, and payroll tax.

Tips for Staying Compliant

To stay compliant with e-commerce tax obligations in Australia, here are some tips:

1. Keep Accurate Records

It is important to keep accurate records of all your business transactions, including sales, expenses, and taxes paid. This will make it easier to complete your tax returns and ensure you are paying the correct amount of tax.

2. Use Accounting Software

Using accounting software can help you stay on top of your finances and ensure you are meeting your tax obligations. This involves tracking your sales, expenses, and GST payments.

3. Seek Professional Advice

If you need clarification about your tax obligations or help with tax compliance, seeking professional advice is a good idea. You can consider speaking to an accountant or tax specialist.


E-commerce tax in Australia can be complex, but startups need to understand their obligations and stay compliant. When you know all the steps, your e-commerce business will be on the right track.

Looking for e-commerce accountants in Australia? Connect with The ECommerce Accountant. Our award-winning accounting and bookkeeping firm caters to all types of online entrepreneurs. Book your free strategic session today!

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