Netflix Australia to be GST-free, it's no surprise Quickflix ain't happy

Netflix GST

The streaming war has intensified, with Netflix Australia announcing that it would not be charging users from Australia and New Zealand GST to use the service, effectively giving it the leg up against competing streaming services.

A spokesperson for the company has commented on the issue, explaining that Netflix is exempt from charging GST, as it's "not a local entity".

The Netflix Australia spokesperson went on to say that discussions have occurred in both Australia and New Zealand to change the law to allow non-local entities to collect GST, saying that it's "something to look at in the future".

As Netflix is exempt from paying GST, we're hoping to see that reflected in the service's as-yet unannounced monthly subscription fee.

Netflix's rivals aren't happy

Quickflix founder Stephen Langsford is more than peeved about the news, understandably saying that it's odd that Quickflix has to pay GST and Netflix doesn't, and that "most Australians would expect Netflix to pay their fair share of tax," though we'd also assume that most Australians would be happier about having to pay less for Netflix.

While Presto did not comment on the Netflix matter, a spokesperson for the company instead stated that the company "fully complies with its GST obligations" and that it will keep doing so "for the life of our business."

A spokesperson for the New Zealand-based internet TV service Lightbox called the news "an example of the lack of a level-playing field," stating that "Lightbox has been set up as a New Zealand-based company, working under New Zealand rules and paying New Zealand tax and we think other companies should be doing the same," which doesn't really apply to Netflix, if we're being honest.

The streaming service Stan did not offer any comments on the matter.

  • Netflix has officially launched in Australia. Time to read our Netflix review!
Stephen Lambrechts
Senior Journalist, Phones and Entertainment

Stephen primarily covers phones and entertainment for TechRadar's Australian team, and has written professionally across the categories of tech, film, television and gaming in both print and online for over a decade. He's obsessed with smartphones, televisions, consoles and gaming PCs, and has a deep-seated desire to consume all forms of media at the highest quality possible. 

He's also likely to talk a person’s ear off at the mere mention of Android, cats, retro sneaker releases, travelling and physical media, such as vinyl and boutique Blu-ray releases. Right now, he's most excited about QD-OLED technology, The Batman and Hellblade 2: Senua's Saga.