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Industry guidelines Ngā aratohu ahumahi

GST registration as a non-resident business supplying remote services

If you're a non-resident business supplying remote services (including online services) to New Zealand customers, you're required to register for and charge New Zealand GST if:

  • your turnover, ie your sales:
    • were more than NZD $60,000 in the last 12 months, or
    • are expected to be more than NZD $60,000 in the next 12 months.
  • your customers are resident in New Zealand
  • your customers are not registered for New Zealand GST, and
  • you supply a qualifying remote service.

To register for GST in New Zealand:

What a remote service is

A remote service is where there is no connection between the physical location of the customer and the place where the services are performed.

+Examples of qualifying remote services

Examples of qualifying remote services include:

  • supplies to digital content such as e-books, movies, TV shows, music and online newspaper subscriptions
  • online supplies of games, apps, software and software maintenance
  • webinars or distance learning courses
  • insurance services
  • gambling services
  • website design or publishing services, and
  • legal, accounting or consultancy services.
+Examples of non-qualifying remote services

Examples of non-qualifying remote services include:

  • accommodation services
  • hairdressing, beauty therapy and physiotherapy
  • car rental services
  • entry to cinema, theatre performances, sports events and museums
  • gym membership
  • passenger transport services, and
  • restaurant and catering services.

Work out if your customer is resident in New Zealand

You need two pieces of evidence to confirm you're supplying services to a customer in New Zealand. The evidence can include:

  • the customer's billing address
  • the internet protocol (IP) address of the customer's device or another geolocation method
  • details of the bank account the customer uses for payment, or the billing address held by the bank
  • mobile country code of the international mobile subscriber identity stored on the SIM card
  • where the customer's fixed land line is supplied, and
  • other relevant information.

In some cases we may ask you to provide the evidence to confirm your customers are resident in New Zealand.

Note

These pieces of evidence must not contradict each other.

New Zealand GST registered and non-GST registered customers

You'll need to charge GST on supplies sold to every New Zealand customer, unless they have:

  • indicated they're GST-registered, or
  • provided you with their New Zealand GST number, or business number.

You can choose to treat the supply as zero-rated (taxed at 0%). This may let you claim back New Zealand GST costs incurred in making zero-rated supplies to GST-registered businesses.

Tax invoices and refunds of accidentally charged GST

When you supply a remote service to a New Zealand customer you don't have to give them a tax invoice. Tax invoices are a standard requirement for New Zealand GST-registered businesses.

If you've charged GST to a GST registered customer, they may ask you to refund it back to them.

If the supply was NZD $1,000 or less you can choose to provide a tax invoice instead of a refund. A tax invoice allows a GST-registered customer to claim back the GST in their own GST return.

Filing your GST return

You'll need to work out your sales and income before you can work out your GST total.

If you registered as returning and claiming GST you'll also need to calculate your purchases and expenses.

Find out how to work out your GST

File your GST returns in myIR

All non-resident businesses that supply remote services must file quarterly GST returns. The quarters (taxable periods) are:

  • 1 April to 30 June
  • 1 July to 30 September
  • 1 October to 31 December, and
  • 1 January to 31 March

You have until the 28th of the month following your taxable period to file and pay any GST owing. For example, the June quarter GST payment and return are due 28 July. One of the exceptions to this is the return and payment for the March quarter, which is due 7 May.

If you haven't had any sales in a taxable period you must file a nil return. If you don't file a nil return we may charge a late filing penalty.

A pay-only GST return is available for non-resident suppliers that only return GST. This return will only include fields relevant to returning GST, such as the amount of:

  • supplies to customers resident in New Zealand, and
  • GST required to be paid.

If you return and claim GST you'll be required to file a full GST return.

You can claim any New Zealand GST you've been charged on expenses you've incurred. These are expenses relating to your business of supplying remote services to New Zealand customers. This includes zero-rated supplies to GST-registered businesses.

Find out more about non-residents supplying remote services claiming GST expenses

Note

The first time you claim GST expenses we may ask you to provide more information about your business to help confirm your identity. This might include a Certificate of Incorporation or confirmation of your legal existence. We may also ask you to provide documents to support the expenses you're claiming.

Converting your currency to New Zealand dollars

You'll need to convert your currency to New Zealand dollars when you prepare and file your GST return. You can choose to convert this at:

  • the time you supplied the service
  • the last day of the relevant taxable period
  • a time agreed with us, or
  • the earlier of the:
    • date you file your return for the relevant period, or
    • due date for filing your return for the relevant period.

Once you've decided when to convert the currency you can't change it for two years unless we agree.

Go to our glossary of GST terms for definitions or terms we use