The 18 August Government discussion paper kicks GST on imported goods (e.g. Amazon books) out to later this year. But the possible regime for GST on imported services, including e-books, video, music and software, is shaping up. Things could change but the regime looks like:

  • It will apply only to B2C not B2B (so, for example, NZ businesses buying Google ads don’t pay GST). Businesses that are NZ customers though, will need to identify to the offshore supplier that they are businesses, by stating their GST numbers.
  • Where a supplier sells from an intermediary platform such as the iTunes Store, the intermediary (in this example, Apple) pays the GST;
  • Offshore providers will need to register for NZ GST purposes if they supply with NZ revenue exceeding a low threshold.

There is quite a bit of detail behind this.

This approach has similarities with the OECD, EU and Australian models.

Submissions are due by 25 September.