Inside the Australian and New Zealand book industry

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GST to apply to all overseas goods purchased online from July 2017

The 10% GST will be applied to all goods purchased online from overseas retailers from 1 July 2017, following a meeting between federal and state government treasurers in Canberra on Friday.

Australian Booksellers Association (ABA) CEO Joel Becker has welcomed the move to abolish the existing $1000 GST-free threshold, saying he is proud of the association’s role in advocating for a zero threshold on overseas purchases.

‘The ABA has been an industry leader in supporting the abolition of a Low Value Threshold for more than four years—since it was first canvassed at the 2011 Productivity Commission report,’ said Becker. ‘We have always regarded collection of GST on online offshore purchases to be the responsibility of the seller, and not to be a costly customs collection issue, which is how it has been treated up to now.’

Becker added he was pleased that other retail bodies eventually supported the zero threshold, after earlier discussions focused on a $20 or $25 threshold. 

The states and the federal governments will design and implement a scheme to collect the tax from overseas vendors before its July 2017 start date. Federal treasurer Joe Hockey said he was confident big players such as Amazon would take part but couldn’t guarantee compliance from smaller vendors.

‘When a company overseas sells a product into Australia, they need to charge the GST in the same way that an Australian business employing Australians located in Australia will have to charge a GST for the same product or service,’ said Hockey. ‘This will ensure that there is a fair and equal treatment of all goods and services.’


Category: Local news