Collection of GST for online international transactions must eliminate all thresholds, says ARA

BY Australian Retailers Association
23 July 2015

23 July, 2015: The Australian Retailers Association (ARA) says that COAG’s in principle agreement to broaden the GST to include international online purchases under $1000 is positive, however, action on this issue must not be delayed.

While the move is a step in the right direction, the ARA maintains that further progress beyond this agreement must be made quickly, to ensure that Australian retailers are no longer disadvantaged by this loophole.

“The only acceptable outcome of a broadening of the GST to include overseas online transactions under the current threshold of $1000 is to eliminate the threshold altogether,” said Russell Zimmerman, Executive Director of the ARA.

“The ARA considers the simplest method of collecting this sales tax is at the point of sale. Most international retailers already have mechanisms in place to be able to accept GST at the point of purchase, and we don’t envision that this would involve extra effort on their part, and will not incur any additional costs by the Government.

“While the ARA welcomes this long overdue extension of the GST, it is critical that the process does not stall. The agreeance of State Premiers is a good start point, however, it must also be backed up by State Treasurers at their meeting next month,” Zimmerman said.

The decision on the Low Value Threshold was one of several made at a COAG meeting this week, which focused largely on GST.

“Australian retailers have suffered too long with the uneven playing field the LVT has created, giving international retail businesses the upper hand in our own market, and it is critical that an end be put to this as soon as possible, with the complete elimination of the threshold,” he said.

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For interview opportunities with ARA Executive Director Russell Zimmerman call: The ARA Media Line T: 0439 612 556  E: media@retail.org.au

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Australian Retailers Association

Founded in 1903, the Australian Retailers Association (ARA) is Australia’s largest retail association representing Australia’s $310 billion sector, which employs more than 1.2 million people. As the retail industry’s peak representative body, the ARA works to ensure retail success by informing, protecting, advocating, educating and saving money for its 7,500 independent and national retail members throughout Australia. For more information, visit www.retail.org.au or call 1300 368 041.

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