German tax legislation is seen as too complex and bureaucratic by many experts and companies. However, the Australian legislation is also characterised by intransparency and difficulties in interpretation. Despite several similarities between the German and Australian tax legislation, companies planning to start business in Australia face substantial differences.
The German-Australian Chamber of Industry and Commerce assists you in various concerns regarding tax legislation in Australia with a portfolio of basic services. For more complex affairs, we are able to connect you with local experts.
The current standard rate for most goods and services is 10%, but a range of goods and services are exempt from the Australian goods and services tax (GST), such as basic foods. German companies pursuing to generate sales revenues in Australia are strongly advised to deal with the GST system beforehands in order to check whether a local registration is necessary and/or beneficial. Thus penalties can be avoided and at the same time cost can be reduced by claiming GST credits (e.g. GST on imports).
• Research and investigation whether a GST registration is necessary and/or profitable
• Information and explanation of different GST registration scenarios
• GST registration with the Australian Taxation Office
• Preparation and lodgement of business activity statements with the Australian Taxation Office
• Opening of an Australian bank account for receiving GST refunds or alternatively
• Organisation of trust account services
As Australia is part of the Common Law, its legal system differs significantly from those found in continental Europe. Precedents build the foundation of the legal system where acts of law can be considered but do not leave much space for interpretation. Practical outcomes are especially significant for companies as Australian contracts are substantially more detailed than German contracts due to limited implementation of standard regulations: many cases and conditions that are regulated by law in Germany, have to be included in an Australian contract separately in order to avoid unwanted consequences.
The German-Australian Chamber can assist you with basic and preliminary advice and information if you have general enquiries about Australian law. In complex cases, we are able to involve legal experts from the chamber's member base in order to support your business activities in Australia.