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Overseas businesses meeting the GST registration rules are expected to charge and return GST on any remote services, including online services, they supply to New Zealand resident customers.

Remote services can include:

  • digital content such as e-books, movies, TV shows, music and online newspaper subscriptions
  • games, apps, software and software maintenance
  • online gambling services
  • website design or web publishing services
  • legal, accounting, insurance or consultancy services. 

Who needs to charge GST on remote services

You may need to register for and charge GST if you supply remote services to New Zealand resident consumers directly, or if you operate an electronic marketplace, such as an app store.

Overseas businesses that supply remote services need to register for GST when their total supplies of goods and services to New Zealand consumers either:

  • were NZ$60,000 or more in the last 12 months
  • will exceed NZ $60,000 or more in the next 12 months.

Total supplies are all sales to New Zealand consumers that GST applies to, including:

  • low value goods valued at NZ$1,000 or less each
  • online services and digital products such as e-books, software downloads and streamed movies and music
  • services such as delivery, insurance and your fees.

Electronic marketplaces

When certain conditions are satisfied, an operator of a marketplace, such as an app store, may be required to register and return GST on supplies made through the marketplace, instead of the underlying supplier.

Online marketplaces

How to tell if your customer is a New Zealand resident

To confirm if your customer is a New Zealand resident you will need to check you have 2 pieces of evidence, that do not conflict, which indicate the recipient of the service is a New Zealand resident. You can use the following as evidence:

  • the person's billing address
  • the internet protocal (IP) address of the device used by the person, or another geolocation method
  • the person's bank details, including the account the person uses for payment, or the billing address held by the bank
  • the mobile country code of the international mobile subscriber identity stored on the subscriber identity module (SIM) card used by the person
  • the location of the customer's fixed land line through which the service is supplied to them
  • any other commercially relevant information.

How to tell if your customer is GST registered

You will not need to return GST if you supply services to a New Zealand GST-registered business. 

Suppliers should treat New Zealand resident customers as not registered for GST unless the customer either:

  • states they are GST-registered
  • provides their GST registration number or a New Zealand business number.

Registering for GST

If your supplies to New Zealand resident customers exceed the registration threshold of NZ$60,000 you need to register

Register for GST on low value imported goods or remote services 

Special report on GST on cross-border supplies of remote services

Last updated: 28 Apr 2021
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