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Upwork Charging GST for Australian Freelancers and Agencies

Community Manager
Lena E Community Manager Member Since: Apr 7, 2015
1 of 41

Recently, Australia introduced a new law applying their Goods and Services Tax (GST) to international sales of services and digital products provided to Australian consumers. This change means that non-Australian businesses (like Upwork) will be required to collect GST on our sales to Australian users starting July 1, 2017.


As a result, we’re asking freelancers and agencies in Australia to do the following:

  1. Provide their Australian Business Number (ABN)
  2. Acknowledge they’re registered for GST


To provide your ABN number and acknowledge that you are registered for GST, go to Settings > Tax Information, or click here.


Users who provide their ABN and GST info to Upwork will not be charged GST by Upwork.



If you’re an Australian freelancer or agency and you’re not registered for GST or do not have an ABN, Upwork is required to charge the 10% GST on applicable Upwork fees (e.g. Upwork service fees, membership fees, and purchases of additional Connects) and report it to the Australian Taxation Office. These freelancers and agencies will see this GST charge as a separate amount on their Transaction History page and invoices from Upwork to you.


Here’s an example of how it would work:


Your contract amount


Upwork service fee (20% x $100)


GST on the service fee (10% x $20)


Take home earnings after fees and GST




For more information on applying for an ABN, see here

For more information on registering for GST, see here

For more information on our GST policy, please see the help article here.


If you have questions, let us know.

Active Member
Maria Laura L Member Since: Jun 14, 2017
2 of 41



I've a question. I've a ABN but I'm not registered for GST because my income is less than the minimum, what should I do? I can't add the ABN without the GST.




Active Member
Lynn M Member Since: Oct 29, 2015
3 of 41

I would NOT register for GST as then you will have to file GST statements, which I understand are a pain. I just registered for GST but my accountant has advised me to unregister. My situation may be different from yours, however, as I only earn a few thousand a year freelancing so the paperwork is simply not worth it. 

Active Member
Hayley C Member Since: Jun 14, 2017
4 of 41

I have the same question as Laura. You should be able to add in your ABN without having to click the 'registered for GST' checkbox.

Community Manager
Lena E Community Manager Member Since: Apr 7, 2015
5 of 41

Hi Maria and Hayley,


We understand that you may not be required to register for GST because the income for your freelance business is below the threshold. However, to comply with the new Australian laws, Upwork has to collect GST on the services we provide. You are not required to register for GST to use Upwork, but by not being registered you will pay the 10% GST tax on services (e.g. the sliding service fee you pay when you earn on Upwork, the fee you pay for a Freelancer Plus membership (if you have one), and the cost of purchasing additional Connects). 

You can find more information on GST here to decided if it makes sense for you to sign up. 

Active Member
Steven T Member Since: Jun 15, 2017
6 of 41

Hi Leone


You can just click on the "I don't have an ABN or GST" button to allow you into the site. 


You can always update your ABN details on UpWork later.


I'm in the same position, have an ABN but not registered for GST and have no plans to.


But we don't have to get one on Upwork anyway as all it will mean is our sliding service fee will be charged a GST and anything else you / we purchase from UpWork. 


With that in mind it is quite pointless advising UpWork of an ABN when they are still going to charge GST anyway because they require we be registered for GST to not apply the charges.


Also no GST charge applies to any work we complete and invoice clients.


Hope this helps.




Valeria K Moderator Member Since: Mar 6, 2014
7 of 41

Hi Steve,


The issue you described with the "Skip" button is known and our engineers are working on it as we speak. Sorry about the inconvenience.


Update: this issue has been resolved.

~ Valeria
Active Member
Leone B Member Since: Jun 15, 2017
8 of 41

With regard to the new GST/ABN requirements, I'm not going to say I don't have an ABN number because I do, but I am also not going to say I am registered for the GST because I am not and don't earn enough to register. Where does this leave me? I can't skip the answers because they keep on coming up so I can't log in

Active Member
Caitlin B Member Since: Nov 19, 2020
9 of 41

Hi Leone,

did you ever get to the bottom of this? I'm new to upwork and need to register an ABN but don't need to register for gst. 

Active Member
Hayley C Member Since: Jun 14, 2017
10 of 41
Thanks Steve, sounds good.