Q: I want to engage a US company for IT consulting. They will invoice my firm and I will pay them in US dollars. Can the US firm consult in Australia (no hidden licenses)? Do they need an ABN? Does the US firm pay GST?
A: So long as the US company is not carrying on a business and does not have a permanent establishment here, it should not have to charge you Australian GST. The regime relating to imports only applies to the importing of goods (GST Act Div 13 and 15). It does not apply to the provision of services.