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I serve 150 millions impressions monthly with only around 5 millions are traffics coming from Australia (based on google analytics).
The tax office said, they sample my website and there are around 30% advertisements are coming from Australia.
How could the sample be accurate, if they do not get the correct data from google?
This is nuts.
Of course they would see a large proportion of Aussie ads - they are in Australia and therefore have an Australia IP!
Either they haven't really thought this through very well, or they just don't understand the online advertising business. Perhaps you could provide a more detailed explanation as to your traffic sources with backup evidence from your server logs and Adsense statistics.
For example, based on your figures above Aussie traffic is only 3% or so. For the 97% of non-Aussie traffic the amount of Aussie ads being served would be negligible, and if they are seeing 30% Aussie ads from Australia, then the total of Aussie ads served globally would be way less than one percent. Then, multiply that by your Click Through Rate and the amount of Revenue from Australia for GST purpose would be, um, not very much at all.
Australian companies may have made purchases from Google's Australian sales office, however your dealings have been exclusively with Google's US offices. Google US may have chosen to 'export' to you adverts which it has previously 'imported' from Australia; but the fact that they are served from Google in the US and you get paid by Google in the US should clearly show that you have no financial dealings with either Google's Australian office or the original advertisers wherever they are.
Important question: Are you entitled to make a back-dated claim for GST from Google, as if it was due it should have been paid by them?
My opinion only of course
Of course, silly me. As Adsense Publishers we are dealing with, and paid by, a US company, hence GST does not apply.
Mind you, I am no tax expert so it would be wise to consult one.
Even so, their expectation based on their figures and assumptions do make one shakes one's head.
As Adsense Publishers we are dealing with, and paid by, a US company, hence GST does not apply.
(wiping sweat from forehead)
Yep, that was my impression, too. I'm in Europe, and I am exporting advertisements to the U.S.; the "contract" is with Google, Inc., in Mountain View, CA, USA. Thus they are not applicable for VAT [or "GST" in Australia].
Then again, maybe things are different in Australia?
Yolkman, where do you live? Australia?
He also advised that we could apply for a ruling however. If GST applies to ebay and adsense income from Australian clicks then I might as well pull my AU sites and focus on US.
GST does not apply because the payment comes from outside of Australia. For example I work for "Google or Ebay" and as such my relationship is with them not the person who clicks on the ads.
I'm inclined to agree. Afterall, Google is importing our services, is it not? We do list it as a G3 item on the BAS statement as it is considered (revenue obtained GST free including imports)
I'm guessing here: In addition, if your hosting server is located offshore, then that would also make it a weaker case for the ATO.
[edited by: Scurramunga at 7:54 am (utc) on July 16, 2008]
You're dealings are with Google/eBay etc -- not with the punters who click on the ads -- regardless of where they may be.
[edited for typo]
[edited by: stuartmcdonald at 8:04 am (utc) on July 16, 2008]