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:
- Provide their Australian Business Number (ABN)
- 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
We've identified an issue that is causing the following email to get sent when some freelancers enter and successfully save their ABN and GST information (entering the ABN, checking "I'm registered for GST", and clicking "Save.") Please disregard this email if you're receiving it after entering/saving your ABN.
If you have questions about the information you entered during this process, give us a holler here or with our Customer Support team.
We'll have this issue fixed as soon as possible.