GST & E-Commerce‚Äč

With the increased amount of commerce that is now being transacted using the internet and alike, the rules regarding GST may become a little blurred.  So what are the GST rules relating to services, goods, computer software and intellectual property?

Services

Services are anything that is not goods or money, and any services provided by a New Zealand resident to a customer in New Zealand must have GST charged unless it is an exempt supply.  Where the recipient of the services is outside New Zealand at the time the services are performed or where the New Zealand provider of the services physically performs the services outside of New Zealand, then GST at a zero rate applies.  

Goods

The sale of goods from a New Zealand GST registered person to a customer in New Zealand has GST charged at the normal rate.  However, if the goods are sold to a customer residing overseas, then the sale can be zero rated.  The same rules apply where the goods provided are digital products which are downloaded over the internet.

Computer Software and Intellectual Property

Intellectual property includes copyright and licenses to use, licenses to sell, and royalties.  

Whether it is a supply of intellectual property between a New Zealand resident to a New Zealand customer, GST is chargeable on the supply at the normal rate.  

Where software is downloaded from an overseas supplier and the supply is for services only, then GST will not be chargeable on the imported services.  

Copies of software programmes are considered to be goods, while the copyright in relation to software programmes is considered to be services.  

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