Australian Treasurer Joe Hockey last week announced that the existing GST exemption for low-value imports would be removed, starting July 1, 2017 at the latest. Non-resident companies will be expected to collect and remit the GST to the ATO. But will such a system work in practice? Here are three sizable holes in the government’s plan.
It’s official: All overseas purchases under $1000 will soon be subject to a 10 per cent GST surcharge, following a consensus on tax reform between state and federal treasurers. In other words, your future Amazon and eBay orders are going to be treated the same way as a local purchase. Call it the Gerry Harvey tax.
Hi Lifehacker, I was just reviewing receipts for a work expense claim and noticed that the meal and beverages that I purchased when in the international departures lounge of Melbourne Airport (after going through customs) included a small portion of GST. I was under the impression that once outside of customs, retailers should not charge GST. Is this actually the case?
One of the main arguments against lowering the level at which GST is applied to online sales is that the cost of actually collecting that tax is likely to be higher than the amount of revenue collected from it. A new study by Choice confirms that, and suggests that the cost of some items might almost double.
The push to add GST to all online sales made to Australians — not just those which cost more than $1000 — appears to be gaining momentum. The argument is that we need to create a “level playing field” for Australian businesses, but when the price difference for some goods is already as high as 200 per cent, the idea that increasing overseas costs by 10 per cent by adding GST will cause a change in buying habits is frankly laughable.
Dear Lifehacker, I was recently purchasing something at an Australian online store and noticed the prices listed next to the items did not include the GST. They added the amount of GST at the end when you were paying for it. Do websites based in Australia have to have advertise prices with the GST included, or can they be sneaky and add all the fees at the end? Thanks, Taxing Times
Dear Lifehacker, I recently did a photoshoot for a company my cousin works for. The photos were entirely free and I provided them with a selection with my watermark on them. The company has since got in contact with me, asking to buy the rights to the images so they can edit them and use them in publications.