ARA disagrees with Labor's 12 month delay to GST low-value imports

BY Australian Retailers Association
23 April 2017

The Australian Retailers Association (ARA) disagrees with Labor's announcement to delay the implementation of GST to low-value imports and strongly supports the Government in closing the Low Value Threshold (LVT) loophole for the purchase of offshore tangible goods under $1000.

Russell Zimmerman, Executive Director of the ARA said they have been working with the Federal and State Governments to reduce the low value threshold and provide a level playing field for Australian retailers.

dreamstime_xl_31218846.jpg“This is a tax equity issue and internationally-based retailers should pay their fair share of tax,” Mr Zimmerman said.

“Retailers conducting business in Australia should pay their tax just like Australian retailers currently do.”

The ARA has said this GST has been a long time coming, expressing thanks to then Assistant Treasurer Bill Shorten for his commencement of the process in 2011.

“Multiple jurisdictions are already introducing similar laws as this is a global tax issue,” Mr Zimmerman said.

“This new legislation will create a fairer tax system for Australian retailers by creating a level playing field against international competitors.” 

This new model may not be perfect but the ARA believes that the proposed system is the best model at this point and should not be delayed for another 12 months.

“Freight companies and credit card businesses should not be responsible for collecting this tax, the onus should fall on internationally-based businesses to collect it” Mr Zimmerman said.

“Australian retailers already collect this tax in Australia, therefore it is unnecessary to complicate this process and allow international retailers to continue to exploit this legislative loophole.”

The ARA presented at the Senate Economics Legislation hearings last Friday 21 April, calling on the Senate Crossbench to pass the legislation, and immediately start collecting this tax from overseas importers.

“We should not delay this legislation as we already know that overseas retailers selling online have the capability of charging taxes as required by Australian law,” Mr Zimmerman said.

“These big global players already collect GST for digital products, therefore we want to see these retailers register and collect GST as of July 1."

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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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