back to article Adobe Australia drops SaaS tax dodge

The world's ongoing efforts to get multinational technology companies paying and collecting the proper amount of tax has claimed another win, with Adobe advising it will add Australia's Goods and Services Tax (GST - think VAT, British readers and sales tax in North America) to the cost of its Creative Cloud. Australia charges …

  1. secret goldfish


    They should have ALWAYS been charging GST.

    If you're an Adobe subscriber and you're pissed off, you should be far more pissed off by Adobe's actions than the government (for not closing this earlier).

    FFS Adobe and their ilk spend considerable effort justifying high local costs due to localisation expenses (offices, staff, language(haha) tax etc) yet when it comes to paying those local costs, they're suddenly NOT located in Australia......which is it Adobe, non-australian when it costs you, Australian when it benefits you?

    If you're selling a product to an Australian, in Australian dollars on a website with a .au suffix and with a local logistical office, then sorry but the transaction should incur GST.

    If these companies don't want to charge/collect/pass on GST (as every company in Australia is expected to do) then the answer is simple........

    ........let us buy your products from your home country at much cheaper prices...globalisation (hooray!)

    Nah that would lower Adobe profits, best to just do what we should have been doing in the first place and blame it on the nasty ol' government when people complain.

  2. Mark Simon

    Another reason to look elsewhere for software

    I’m lucky, because I don’t need Adobe (or Microsoft, for that matter).

    I have tried to cancel my cancel a membership I took out over a year ago, because I don’t want to pay for PhotoShop in order to get Lightroom. I found out that my membership was automatically renewed without so much as an email, and that cancellation will incur a penalty of 50% of the remainder of the year. Customer support as as helpful as ever, which is to say not at all.

    I now have to cancel my credit card to stop Adobe from stealing more of my money, but it’s worth it to tell them that I will not be part of their con game.

    There. That feels better.

    1. Foggeous

      Re: Another reason to look elsewhere for software

      Good luck with that, Mark. Seriously - good luck.

      My experience is that if you've allowed 'permanent' taps to be made into your credit card, you'll have to stop them at the source of the suck if you're going to be allowed to cancel your c/c account.

      In other words, if you've agreed to make payments with third parties, you'll have to stop the flow from those third parties if you're going to get unencumbered control of your credit card. Until then, your c/c is authorised to accept drawings on your behalf until you cancel those drawings at the source.

      It's all in the T&Cs.

      Would be interested to hear how it turns out.

  3. Andrew Commons

    Laughing all the way to the Bank

    I assume the 10% will be added to the purchase price and so will increase the currency conversion charge applied by the Bank/Credit Card handling the transaction....and appear on the Bank's bottom line.

    Nice work if you can get it!

    1. Magani

      Re: Laughing all the way to the Bank

      Adobe already is a little disingenuous with the plan I'm on (LR+PS), stating it's AUD9.99 per month. The only problem is that by the time it hits my credit card statement, it's become $10.29 as the bank shows it as an international debit and adds a $0.30 'International transaction fee'.

      I'd love to know :-

      1 How you get the plan for $9.99 WITHOUT paying the extra charge, and

      2 Is Adobe such a small operation in Australia that it can't afford to do its banking locally.

      Maybe No. 2 has something to do with shifting profits out of the country? Naaaah - they'd never do that, would they....

      1. James Ashton

        Re: Laughing all the way to the Bank

        Yes, apparently all the "Big 4" Australian banks decided just a few months ago that anything looking like an international transaction, even if entirely involving Australia dollars, was worthy of a full 3% bank fee. Any clues on avoiding this rip-off would be appreciated. Apparently some "platinum" credit cards are immune but gold and below are fair game :-(. It's particularly annoying because it's impossible to tell in advance whether international vendors like Adobe will generate the charge or not.

        1. Sampler

          Re: Laughing all the way to the Bank

          I use commbank and pay out of my regular account (not a credit card) and it's only $9.99 a month so maybe that's the approach?

          Got an email from Adobe on Tuesday:

          Dear <actual name redacted>,

          Thank you for being a valued Adobe customer. We wanted to share an important change to the tax you currently pay on your Adobe products and services.

          Starting December 1, 2016, Adobe will begin to charge 10% GST on all goods and services to our customers in Australia. Learn more. Your next bill, on or after this date, will reflect the new tax rate. Note that this change does not affect the base price of your Adobe products.

          If you have further questions, contact Adobe Customer Support.

          Best regards,

          Adobe Systems Incorporated

          So good to see they're not yet passing the ten percent on directly yet, though, I expect a month or two suddenly a $2 rise to cover inflation or some such (or possibly $30 to cover the change in exchange rates thanks to Trump)

          1. Phil Kingston Silver badge

            Re: Laughing all the way to the Bank

            "So good to see they're not yet passing the ten percent on directly yet"

            Yep, that's the bit that's going to hurt. Will be interesting to see how they describe the (inevitable) next price rise - I expect phrases like "to cover increased administration costs associated with GST collection" will get a lot of use this year.

        2. Tannin

          Re: Laughing all the way to the Bank

          It's not the few cents worth of "international fee" that bothers me so much as the damn administrative overhead at my end. Yes, it's only one more transaction to buggerise about with when you reconcile your statements, but it's one extra every damn month. With four or five subscriptions (one to Adobe for Photoslug, various others for other things) all of a sudden you have around 100 extra transactions to record, classify, make typos entering, forget to enter, double-count, any other trivial mistake you can make at the end of a long day when you really don't feel like reconciling bank statements, and you only bought four or five products.

          Some of these subscription products you can arrange to pay once a year in a lump sum, others you can't, and others you probably could but you quail at the thought of ringing/emailing customer service and just don't bother. It all takes time. I'd actually pay a little extra if I could have one single transaction once a year to cover the whole thing, just for the convenience.

          (And yes, I could use one of those services which auto-read bank statements into an accounting package, but that's a whole different can of worms I'm not going to open.)

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