Dear Lifehacker, I’m developing a paid app to be published on Google Play (my first paid app). I am wondering what do I have to know about? For example, tax and the likes, I cannot seem to find a lot of guidance on this aspects online, would you be able to help me? (And yes, I am in Australia.) Thanks, Mobile Money
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Once again, I’m dipping into my “I’m not an accountant” file, and I should state at the outset that depending on your financial situation it may be wise to check with one, or at the very least get a determination from the ATO.
In broad terms, however, the rules are quite clear. If you’re developing apps in order to generate revenue, then the ATO is likely to rule that you’re in effect running a business as distinct from coding for the purposes of a hobby. That means that you’re obliged to declare any and all income from your app activities, although at the same time if it’s your sole source of income you may be able to claim relevant deductions for the creation of your apps.
Google adds relevant local taxes, including GST into its app pricing for Australian consumers, which means that you’ve also got to make plans for registering for GST and an ABN, which will also make it easier to claim those business deductions. Google makes it plain in their developer guidelines that the onus on proper tax reporting falls onto your shoulders.
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