Note that Upwork will not charge GST on fees freelancers charge their Upwork clients (these are the transactions I presume you're referring to) for work they provide for them.
Unless a valid ABN number is provided and the freelancer acknowledges that they are registered for GST, Upwork will asses GST on fees for services provided by Upwork. That includes Upwork Service Fee and payments for Membership and Connects. You can find more information in this help article.
GST is applied on Upwork fees, including the Upwork service fee, premium Upwork memberships, and purchases of Connects, not on freelancer's earnings. This tax will be collected by Upwork and remitted to the Australian Taxation Office, unless the freelancer provides a valid ABN number and acknowledge that they're registered for GST. I strongly encourage you to review this Help article in order to find more details about this charge. Let us know if you need further assistance or clarification.
I have read the information of the linked page, but as a client employing talent on Upwork and changing currency from AU$ to US$ I find the explanation and the whole process overly complicated and still not clear to me.
- Please do not suggest for me to ask my accountant as this is a very specific niche best explained by Upwork.
- Yes, Upwork is simply following Australian Government procedures but Upwork has strong vested interest on all sides of the transaction, therefore should make sure that complex procedures are clearly explained.
- Upwork needs to employ some of the talent available and design a clear, visual fact sheet to better explain the situation. Especially from a client's point of view (not just the freelancer)
I look forward to updated information and thank you in advance
Thanks for sharing your feedback about this information. I'd like to clarify that Upwork is required to collect the Goods and Services Tax (GST) on the services we provide freelancers. We do not keep the GST we collect; this is simply a tax that the Australian government requires us to collect and remit back to them.
GST is assessed on fees for services provided by us to the freelancers, not on fees freelancers charge their clients for services they provide. So if you're a client, you will see no change to the invoices between you and your freelancers.