The tax system currently allows Australia to tax payments made by an Australian customer in relation to technical services provided by an Indian firm, even when the services are provided remotely. This is due to the wording contained in the double tax agreement between Australia and India.
Under an agreement reached in connection with the Australia‑India Economic Cooperation and Trade Agreement (AI-ECTA), these payments will no longer be taxed in Australia. The typical categories of services intended to be covered by the amendments include:
- engineering services;
- architectural services; and
- computer software development.
The amendment to the tax rules is in consultation phase and not yet law. If enacted, it will apply once the amendments receive Royal Assent, assuming the AI-ECTA has been entered into force.