Australian business to sell online services to UK customers under Brexit deal
Australian businesses will be able to sell their online services under a new deal that could see UK customers buy them for a fraction of their original cost.
Key points:The deal could help Australian companies sell to UK consumers more cheaply than they can in the USUnder the deal, which is expected to be finalised this month, businesses will have to pay a fee to be eligible for a tax credit of up to 25 per cent, and some services will be sold through the US market.
Under the new arrangement, UK customers would only be able buy services from the US, and only if they also had a UK-based company operating in the UK.
Businesses with more than 20 employees will be exempt from the UK’s tax credit requirements and will be eligible to apply for a waiver.
The deal is expected be finalising this monthThe move is being welcomed by a number of Australian businesses, including banks and credit unions.
“The UK has an advantage in the financial services sector because it is a relatively small market,” said John Williams, chief executive of the Business Council of Australia.
“In our experience, the UK is an excellent market for Australian businesses to take advantage of.”
But the deal is also drawing criticism from the business lobby.
“We welcome the announcement of a deal with the US which will help Australian businesses sell to customers overseas,” said the Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry’s chief executive, Tim Gower.
“But it is unclear whether this deal will actually make Australia competitive in the markets we currently compete with the United States and will in fact encourage overseas competition.”
He said the UK was likely to impose a 15 per cent tax on Australian companies selling services to customers in the EU.
“It is a very, very bad idea for Australia to be trying to export to the United Kingdom,” Mr Gower said.
“If we are to be competitive in this sector we need to make sure we are not exporting to other countries.”‘
It’s not the US’Under the Brexit deal, businesses would be able sell to a US company if they had an Australian office.
However, if they were based in Australia but operated in the United State, their customers would have to buy their services from a US-based business that had a British office.
This would effectively mean the United Sates government would be paying for the services of UK customers, with the UK Treasury effectively paying the UK companies the tax on the revenue they bring in from the sales of the services.
“As the UK Government continues to seek a long-term solution for our economic problems, it is critical that we maintain the United Kingdom status quo,” the Treasury said in a statement.
“There is no better way of ensuring that we are always in a position to compete with our closest and most dependable trading partners.”
The UK Government has already said that it will introduce a tax on international trade if the deal goes ahead.
“This will apply for all trade in services in the European Union and the United Nations,” the UK Foreign Office said in an emailed statement.
“In this case, services would include all types of goods and services.”
However, the agreement does not make clear what type of services would qualify for the tax credit.
Under the agreement, the United Services Union, which represents the UK government, will provide a report on the impact of the Brexit vote on UK companies.
It said the report would show that “any service that is not available to all British citizens in the country will be priced more than that available to other UK citizens”.
“The report will also show that UK businesses are likely to pay less tax on their international trade,” the statement said.
“This is because the UK has less than a 10 per cent rebate to its own taxes on income from international trade.”
Businesses will be required to file a UK tax return with the Treasury on the basis of the UK-US agreement.
Companies will be also required to pay the UK tax on revenue brought in by their overseas operations.
The deal will also apply to all US-owned businesses that are located in the continental United States, but not all.