What ScoMo stands for: higher taxes

In yet more evidence that ScoMo has lost the plot, he has announced the imposition of GST on low value items bought from overseas even though the bureaucrats can’t figure out how this will work and the start date is 1 JULY 2018.  That’s right, over twelve months away.  My advice would be stay quiet on this until the details are worked out.

As Sinc has pointed out, this is just a tax grab with no merit.  After all, the overseas suppliers are unable to access any input credits and so this tax is just 10 per cent retail tax.

The Productivity Commission had warned against its imposition, citing in part the high transactions costs of collecting the tax. Australia Post is unwilling as are other carriers.

But why waste an opportunity when ScoMo can do the party’s base in the eye yet again.

Delivering a fairer playing field for Australian businesses

Turnbull Government (sic) laws will level the playing field for Australian businesses by applying the GST to goods costing $1,000 or less supplied from overshore to Australian consumers from 1 July 2018, following passage of legislation in the Parliament today.

The Australian Government (sic) has delivered a win for Australian retailers, by removing the unfair advantage foreign businesses had with respect to GST. A level playing field will help Australian businesses grow and create more jobs and opportunities.

Using a vendor collection model, the law will require overseas suppliers and online marketplaces such as Amazon and eBay with an Australian GST turnover of $75,000 or more to account for GST on sales of low value goods to consumers in Australia.

This start date strikes a balance between giving additional time for industry participants to make the system changes to implement the measure, and not prolong the current uneven GST treatment faced by domestic retailers.

Removing a distortionary tax advantage to foreign businesses will restore integrity to Australia’s tax system to close down loopholes and prevent tax avoidance.

The legislation complements other tax integrity measure of the Turnbull Government to ensure foreign businesses pay the right amount of Australian tax such as the Diverted Profits Tax and applying GST to digital goods and services purchased from offshore websites.

The GST collected from this measure will go to States and Territories to fund essential services.  The States and Territories have been strong supporters of this measure (no kidding), and unanimously approved the vendor collection model in this Bill.

The Turnbull Government is committed to ensuring that Australia’s taxes are working as intended and individuals and companies pay their fair share of tax.

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76 Responses to What ScoMo stands for: higher taxes

  1. Even with a 20% tax, many items would still be cheaper.

    I wonder how all this would go if vast numbers of people started to buy $1 items from China for the hell of it and simply swamp whoever ends up having to collect the tax? And you just leave the $1 items sitting there.

  2. Rabz

    this tax is just a 10 per cent retail tax

    The staggering stupidity and intellectual and moral bankruptcy of the gliberals in a nutshell.

  3. stackja

    Which MP does not minimises tax?

  4. Mark M

    Apologies. going o/t …

    The Guardian has a piece:
    UK heart disease deaths fall by over 20% since indoor smoking ban
    https://www.theguardian.com/society/2017/jun/25/uk-heart-disease-deaths-fall-by-over-20-since-indoor-smoking-ban?utm_source=dlvr.it&utm_medium=twitter
    A tweeted reply with graph:
    Heart disease mortality has declined greatly over the years, but nothing suggests the smoking ban has played a part.
    https://twitter.com/cjsnowdon/status/879051152591028224

  5. Megan

    The Gerry Harvey tax. I’m about to spend multiple five figures on kitchen appliances and that whiny retail millionaire bastard will not see a single cent of it. Including GST.

    As for the pathetic, snivelling squandermonkeys that think they are the Liberal Party, I hope they all die in a filthy, pestilence infected ditch. The sooner the better. (NADT)

  6. Rob

    Can’t agree on this.
    Internet based importers already have massive advantages over our own local providers.
    Why should they have a further 10% advantage that actually comes at a loss of tax to our government?
    The claim of “high transaction costs” is a red herring. At the very least, more jobs for tax-paying Australians will be created and it could become a profitable activity for our struggling Australia Post.
    Australian business activity is carried out under enormous pressures.
    Allowing advantage to foreign suppliers via GST free trade is an obscenity.

  7. Bill

    I don’t quite see how he can get eBay to comply as a collection agent for the ATO as eBay does not sell anything. It is merely a platform to bring sellers and buyers together as is Gumtree and others. Good luck with that one. If he wants to pony up to the courts, eBay has far deeper pockets than this bankrupt Government to fight the whole stinking gambit.

  8. Judith Sloan

    My computer has gone bonkers sorry about the two same quotes.

  9. Motelier

    Can’t agree on this.

    Australian business activity is carried out under enormous pressures.
    Allowing advantage to foreign suppliers via GST free trade is an obscenity.

    The obscenity is thinking this will level the playing field.

    Reduce taxes, red tape, green tape and employment rules and perhaps business might be able to compete.

  10. The claim of “high transaction costs” is a red herring.

    A couple of months ago Mrs MV wanted a kitchen timer.
    I got her one on Ebay.
    From China.
    For $1.00.
    Including postage.

    How much is the GST?
    Who calculates it?
    How do I find out what is owing?
    How do I pay it?
    Who do I pay it to?

    Sheer lunacy.

  11. incoherent rambler

    Allowing advantage to foreign suppliers via GST free trade is an obscenity.

    A chain of problems. It is impossible to compete against low value GST exempt imports. Unless you are of Gerry Harvey scale.
    I know, I tried it.
    The GST on imports is a sh1t, GST on low value imports makes for a bigger sh1t.

  12. Fred of Greenslopes

    GST should be paid on overseas low value purchases and it would not be at all difficult with today’s technology that can track a package from go to whoa. The overseas dealer would simply charge the buyer the extra 10% then transfer it to the Australian Taxation Office who would issue a receipt code that can be barcoded to the package and scanned on arrival in Australia. Parcels without the barcode would be held for GST payment at this end with an added charge to cover costs. Overseas sellers who did not abide by rules would soon be out of business, at least as far as disgruntled Australian purchasers are concerned.

  13. closeapproximation

    Sewer rats just want to enshrine “Australia Tax into law. When finally after aeons of paying $35 for a CD etc ad nauseum, we actually have some international competition, Libs are gonna send us back. Ratfuckers.

  14. Internet based importers already have massive advantages over our own local providers.

    They don’t. Who buys from overseas the sort of stuff Hardly Normal mainly sells? Additionally, many eBay sellers buy certain stuff in bulk and then sell as an Australian retailer, therefore paying GST. I buy a lot of stuff from Australian eBay sellers, most of it in fact.

    Also, many small, low cost, items are simply not available in Australia. I’ve often had to buy from Asia, UK and US because no one in Australia sells what I’m after. This is the only time that I buy from overseas eBay sellers.

    I doubt that one, single, Australian retailer will be better off because of this additional tax.

  15. stackja

    Liberty Quote
    The right of revolution is an inherent one. When people are oppressed by their government, it is a natural right they enjoy to relieve themselves of

    oppression, if they are strong enough, whether by withdrawal from it, or by overthrowing it and substituting a government more acceptable.

    — Ulysses S. Grant

  16. Megan

    The overseas dealer would simply charge the buyer the extra 10% then transfer it to the Australian Taxation Office

    Yeah. The little Chinese factory owner who sends me my .30c a packet of coloured mica flakes which I find nearly impossible to find in art stores here is going to send .3 cents to the Australian Government because ‘it’s easy’.

    And very often, when I buy from the US, I am not charged the state tax because I am not a resident of that state. According to your logic, you would voluntarily pay that surcharge because ‘fairness’.

    The understanding of free markets is non-existent these days and sadly, we are now paying the price.

  17. Sparkx

    An item I use regularly costs around $37 here in Aus. I now buy the item out of HK for just under $5. Who is going to collect the 50c? Or the $1 for the timer I buy out of China for $10 that would have cost me $87 here? The SF liberals are barking mad.

  18. stackja

    Liberty Quote
    Australia doesn’t have a revenue problem, it has a vote-buying expenditure problem.
    — Mark Latham

  19. Motelier

    Overseas sellers who did not abide by rules would soon be out of business, at least as far as disgruntled Australian purchasers are concerned.

    Nope.

    I purchase an item from a retailer overseas and have it shipped to a friend or relative overseas who then repackages said purchase and posts it on to me.

    This is nothing but lunacy. In my example how much will it cost to track it then?

    Go home and play with your unicorn.

  20. DaveR

    @Rob Cant you see this is just a new form of tariff protectionism trying to embed high prices into the Australian economy? Australia has to compete on the world stage like it or not, and protectionism of retail millionaires/monopolies is just not on. Just about every item is cheaper overseas, GST or not.
    Even if the small retail model were to become based on selling eBay imports plus transport plus margin, it would be substantially cheaper than the wholesale/retail model in place today.

  21. RobK

    Many “ozi”eBay retailers charge GST but have the item shipped from overseas. The courier will need to determine which has and has not had GST paid . As said above many items are very cheap, as in $1-2 delivered. It’s crazy.

  22. .

    So, any chance of Morrison dropping PMV protectionism or the luxury car tax?

  23. Motelier

    This has to be put in the “own goal” by ScoMo.

    I am disgusted that anyone thinks this is a good idea.

    I was watching a business and politics show on wireless with pictures last night. The US economy surged since the Nov election. The lefties on the show concluded it was the good work by Obama because Trump has not done anything.

    Quite rightly they were shouted down.

    Now that Obama has left Hope and Change might get the correct meaning.

  24. Motelier

    So, any chance of Morrison dropping PMV protectionism or the luxury car tax?

    Bartender! I’ll have what he is having.

  25. Rococo Liberal

    I am still wondering how the Australian government is going to tax foreigners living abroad: which was btw a policy of the Silly Party whose leader Tarquin Fin-tim-lin-bin-whin-bim-lim-bus-stop-F’tang-F’tang-Olé-Biscuitbarrel was too busy laughing his arse off to comment.

  26. Motelier

    Want a new car?

    Read this and weep.

  27. Ez

    The overseas dealer would simply charge the buyer the extra 10% then transfer it to the Australian Taxation Office who would issue a receipt code that can be barcoded to the package and scanned on arrival in Australia. Parcels without the barcode would be held for GST payment at this end with an added charge to cover costs.

    So to implement this change:

    1. The seller must now print additional barcodes for low value items, creating greater inefficiency (and increase costs if more staff are required).
    2. Say the seller doesn’t care and ships (ex-GST) low-value items must then be held in storage (Where? Customs? Australia Post?); until they are paid for and dispatched from a (now) larger transit centre.

    So what is the cost to the taxpayer (customs or Aus Post) for sorting and holding memoryvault’s timer, because the 10c GST wasn’t paid?

    Overseas sellers who did not abide by rules would soon be out of business, at least as far as disgruntled Australian purchasers are concerned.

    Seems as though the sole purpose of this tax is raise the cost of retail items and create greater inefficiencies.
    Shouldn’t we be aiming to improve our standard of living?

  28. Speedbox

    I can’t imagine that anybody actually thinks this is a good idea. Bizarre really but this is the new Australia. The toilet of Asia.

  29. .

    Paul Keating was right and he was the most right wing politician to rule a Western country.

  30. H B Bear

    How the hell are the ATO or overseas retailers going to determine whether they have sold $75,000 worth of goods to Australians? Three options – they just add 10% to the cost of goods (while others possibly may not), they do nothing or simply stop selling to Australia.

    Another unenforceable law added to the pile.

  31. Habib

    How’s the ATO going to enforce it? Amazon is vulnerable as it’s opening outlets here, the rest can and will tell them to get fucked, come and get it. Embarrassingly idiotic, even by the parlous levels of this regime of retards.

  32. Habib

    Overseas sellers who did not abide by rules would soon be out of business, at least as far as disgruntled Australian purchasers are concerned. You mean the ones who charde 10% more than anyone else, to give it to spendthrift imbeciles? Yup, I can see the Australian market turning on them big time. I’m surprised the “liberals” can afford to pay trolls promoting moronic policy anymore, surely you’re not a volunteer, Fred? If so, seek help. You might get on the NDIS racket.

  33. KaaBee

    “Fair share” I am sick and tired of hearing this term from grasping politicians and bleeding hearts and always take the phrase as an alert to check who is being ‘done’ here.

  34. Neil

    They don’t. Who buys from overseas the sort of stuff Hardly Normal mainly sells?

    I suspect this tax has come about because the Libs want to help their base for once. People do use HN to look at products and then buy them OS or from online stores that have cheaper products because they have no showrooms like HN does.

  35. Habib

    Press release from the FTA:-

    Under this legislation, effective from 1 July 2018, suppliers, online marketplaces and redeliverers with an Australian GST turnover of $75,000 or more are required to register, charge, report and remit GST on sales of low value goods to consumers in Australia (vendor collection model). High value goods (with customs value greater than $1,000) will continue to be taxed at the border. Indications are that this outcome is not conditional on the outcome of a Productivity Commission Inquiry that is required to report on 31 October 2017.

    The Treasurer, the Hon. Scott Morrison, clarified in his speech to Parliament on Wednesday 26 June 2017 that the Government’s policy is to implement the vendor collection model as legislated and that businesses should take the actions needed to implement it on the basis of the vendor model. The Treasurer went on to say the Government will not look kindly on businesses that in 6 months time say it is too difficult to implement because they have not prepared for compliance by 1 July 2018. See the Treasurer’s Media release.

    Furthermore, FTA also received a commentary from the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) stating “the vendor collection model will commence on 1 July 2018 and is not conditional on the outcome of a Productivity Commission Inquiry.” In response, FTA questioned what the actual purpose is of the Bill amendment 177-20 (1) (b) that states that the Productivity Commission must include in its inquiry “whether models for collecting goods and services tax in relation to offshore supplies of low value goods other than the amendments might be suitable (including evaluation of the effects of the models on Australian small businesses and consumers)”

    177-20 (1) (b) seems to indicate that the Bill and the effects of models are being considered with the potential for changes to meet the intent of the legislation. Based on this interpretation, FTA suggested that it may be premature for industry to invest in changes until they know the final outcome of the inquiry and the legislative process. We also note that the ARA ,who have been strong advocates for the vendor collection model, are taking a pragmatic approach to support the Productivity Commission to examine alternate models https://www.insideretail.com.au/blog/2017/06/20/review-on-low-value-gst-looms/

    FTA has highlighted to the ATO that we are not trying to steer this one way or another. We are simply looking to give our membership the best possible advice to prepare for reforms and to that end we are seeking clarity as to what the purpose is of the Productivity Commission inquiry if no matter what, we are forging ahead with the vendor collection model.

    FTA again spoke with ATO representative this morning, 26 June 2017 and have received a commitment for a more detailed response in coming days which we will share with FTA / APSA members.

    Would not know if you were up them with a tram ’til you rang the bell, and even then they’d think their double de-caff almond latte’ was ready. These blithering fucknobs are making decisions ranging from stealing and spending money to peoples lives. FFS.

  36. Habib

    They don’t have 200+% margins and a harbourside and private yacht and plane lifestyle like HN & his missus. FIFY. Or the ear of their maaaaaaaaate and neighbour Lord Waffleworth. If HN & his ilk think this’ll drive punters back to be fleeced he’s actually stupider than those who drafted this legislation.

  37. I suspect this tax has come about because the Libs want to help their base for once. People do use HN to look at products and then buy them OS or from online stores that have cheaper products because they have no showrooms like HN does.

    But there’s not much that’s practical that you can buy from overseas that Hardly Normal sells. And I mean practical from the physical size point of view as well as warranty. I can’t really think of many things that Hardly Normal sells that I’d be prepared to buy from overseas. I did buy some de-scaling tablets from the UK for our Jura coffee machine, because Hardly Normal ones cost three times as much and they couldn’t supply them anyway.

    And if people are buying from Australian online stores, I don’t see a problem, these people are so far in front of Hardly Normal that I say good luck to them. Even the Good Guys have realised the advantage of selling on eBay and offer discounts, which we’ve taken advantage of several times, buying via eBay and picking up locally.

    This is the whole fallacy that Gerry Harvey has managed to concoct and sell to the government; as if Australian retailers can’t compete, they can, but not necessarily under his model.

  38. Neil

    But there’s not much that’s practical that you can buy from overseas that Hardly Normal sells.

    OK i think you are right. I suspect Gerry Harvey wants something done and feels life is unfair. I know people who want to see a fridge before they buy it so they check it out at HN and purchase it from Appliances Online because it is cheaper.

  39. L.B.Loveday

    “…supplied from overshore…”
    It would not surprise me if the children in Treasury issued a media release with “overshore”, but the release now says “offshore”. Looks like someone explained year 5 English to the children and they corrected it, on-line at least.
    http://sjm.ministers.treasury.gov.au/media-release/056-2017/

  40. Rabz

    I hope they all die in a filthy, pestilence infected ditch

    I second this entirely reasonable sentiment.

  41. Eyrie

    It isn’t a GST on imports that is shit. It is that the whole GST idea is shit. Why anybody would think that having the government stand in between two people doing an exchange is a good idea is beyond me.
    The again it was John Howard who brought in the GST and never saw a bad idea he didn’t like.

  42. It is that the whole GST idea is shit.

    The myriad of wholesale and other taxes was good? But if your point is that there should be no taxes, would you explain how society could exist?

  43. Habib

    But if your point is that there should be no taxes, would you explain how society could exist? Managed for an awfully long time with either none or very little tithing. A modern society should be so efficient and benign that extortion is unnecessary. What’s it say when government make the goombahs like like pikers when it comes to standover?

  44. Roger

    I don’t think Morrison ever knew the plot.

    He’s just another political opportunist who reads the script put in front of him by his current mentor.

    “Like a cushion, he bears the impression of whoever last sat on him.”

    Abbott made him look good, now he bears the impression of Maladroit.

  45. That’s not really true. Taxes, or variants of, have existed for time immemorial. For example, how would you pay for say our defence forces without taxes?

    The same would apply for any number of essential services. Your house catches fire, what do you do, pay up front before fire services will start fighting the fire?

    Certainly our taxes are far too high and collected in way too many forms, but I just couldn’t see society existing without any form of taxation.

  46. Beachside

    @ Roger

    Abbott made him look good, now he bears the impression of Maladroit.

    True!

  47. Sydney Boy

    The again it was John Howard who brought in the GST and never saw a bad idea he didn’t like.

    Sales tax existed well before John Howard.

    I think the overall problem is that people expect more and more from governments. Many want to be coddled by big government from cradle to grave. That costs money. Running a country would be much cheaper if people took more personal responsibility and expectations were lower. Pity it ain’t gonna happen.

  48. H B Bear

    I don’t think Morrison ever knew the plot.
    He’s just another political opportunist who reads the script put in front of him by his current mentor.

    Yep – a complete plodder. Costello was the last Treasurer who wasn’t lead around by the nose by the Keynesians infesting the Department.

  49. Dr Fred Lenin

    Morros idea is great ,it will probably onlu cost $1.03 to collect each $1.00 of “new revenue” “very sound socialist economics . It will also have a benefit providing secure well oaid jobs for some of the 400.000 batchelors of them yartz we “educate ” each year ,p its a win win situation ,it will ensure the re election of the national gangreen laboral party ,led by our innivative agile loider malcolm ruddbull .
    (The genius of these career pollies is astonishing ,they never fail to astound with their cynical stupidity.) >

  50. Diogenes

    I disagree – he is actually doing the Lord’s work reducing the tax take. Yes I know this is counter-intuitive ,but consider this,
    1.The legislation has been acknowledged to cost more to implement than it will raise (thereby reducing the overall tax income).
    2 This fckuknuckles bank tax. The drop in the share value of the big 5, which make up over 25% of the super fund’s Aussie Equities (the default & most popular) , and many funds are the same, has wiped out over half the annual rise in super returns (taxed at 15% ) , the SA & WA announcements/musing caused a further drop costing the C’wealth even more. Furthermore given the compounding of the returns, over the life of the investment, the effect will be even larger.

    But OTOH I am sure he is so stupid he thinks he is increasing the tax take.

  51. .

    Neil
    #2423083, posted on June 26, 2017 at 12:30 pm
    But there’s not much that’s practical that you can buy from overseas that Hardly Normal sells.

    OK i think you are right. I suspect Gerry Harvey wants something done and feels life is unfair. I know people who want to see a fridge before they buy it so they check it out at HN and purchase it from Appliances Online because it is cheaper.

    Keep on clutching those pearls.

  52. Jonah

    And how, pray tell, does Scotty suggest we go about obtaining refunds for faulty goods?
    I’ve previously taken photos of the goods and Amazon or eBay have cheerfuly refunded the money, what happens now is anybodys guess.

    Once Scotty was considered future PM material, now he’s nothing more than a joke.

  53. Neil

    Morros idea is great ,it will probably onlu cost $1.03 to collect each $1.00 of “new revenue” “very sound socialist economics .

    I suspect he did something just to shut the people up who said he should be doing something.

  54. Art Vandelay

    The simple fact is that Australian retailers are uncompetitive due to government policies.

    For example, over regulation in industrial relations (eg, inflexible awards, high penalty rates, mandatory super payments), exorbitant energy prices, high rents (due to restrictive land use rules), red tape, etc all push up costs. The GST has virtually nothing to do with with it.

    Yet the Liberal party hasn’t got the guts to tackle any of these problems. They’d rather just impose yet another tax on consumers.

  55. Dr Fred Lenin

    I must add ,my name is Fred ,but I do not wear green sleeves ,no,no,no, I dont like green ,especially gangreen ,like comrades brown. Sorry rhiannon ,and of christmas (di natale )_.

  56. Empire GTHO Phase III

    GST should be paid on overseas low value purchases and it would not be at all difficult with today’s technology that can track a package from go to whoa. The overseas dealer would simply charge the buyer the extra 10% then transfer it to the Australian Taxation Office

    No they won’t. They will simply refuse to trade with Australian consumers. Anyone with cross border transactions experience understands why. Only the players with scale like Amazon will entertain the idea of becoming a collection agent for Chris Jordan.

    The symbolism of alleged fairness is the red herring.

    I have no issue with declaring all of my small value imports each year in my tax return. If the moochers so desperately want more of my loose change, it can be paid (or refunded) in September.

  57. Dr Fred Lenin

    One good thing about our system. turnbull ,bishop ,pyne will all be gone after the next election ,consigned to the rubbish bin of history . In ten years if someone is asked who was PM in 2017 ,most will answer julia ruddbi]ll sic transit gloria .

  58. Neil

    Keep on clutching those pearls.

    Do you have a point or something to add to the conversation?

    My point was that Gerry harvey is making the wrong point. His main problem is online companies like Appliancesonline and Dealsdirect who sell the same stuff as him but cheaper. They can do this because they do not have showrooms where they have to pay rent, salaries etc. But some people like to see a product before they purchase it so they visit HN showrooms on the weekend and get advice from the sales person and then go home and purchase the product online. GST is not a problem for HN

  59. .

    My point was that Gerry harvey is making the wrong point.

    Totally agree.

  60. Squirrel

    “The GST collected from this measure will go to States and Territories to fund essential services.”

    Any revenue raised by this should only go to States/Territories which (re-)commit in crystal clear terms (with no weasel word escape clauses) to get rid of nuisance taxes and to NOT introduce or re-introduce any such taxes.

  61. Any revenue raised by this should only go . . .

    Haha – hehe – hoho. Snort.
    Stop it Squirrel, you’re killing me.

  62. old bloke

    How will the government collect the tax payments? If Mr. Wong collects 10 cents for MV’s timer purchase and decides to pocket this extra money, how will the Australian Government force Mr. Wong to send those 10 cents to the ATO?

  63. Oh come on

    The overseas dealer would simply charge the buyer the extra 10% then transfer it to the Australian Taxation Office

    Right. The govt might simply be expecting the big OS companies who already mail goods into Australia to add the 10% on, which most of them probably would. Small scale shippers they probably wouldn’t care much about. But if Amazon.com, The Book Repository and other OS mail order operations of some scale tack on the extra 10% and forward it to the ATO, that’d probably keep them happy. Money for jam, innit?

    Of course I can’t discount the possibility that the feds will do their utmost to levy the GST on every imported item that arrives through the post, even if this means spending $100 to recoup every extra dollar at the margins.

  64. Richard

    This mindnumbing stupidity I believe can only get worse, other countries will see this as an opportunity to collect some pennies and employ more bureaucrats for administration of Penny collecting. Will foreign governments be asking me to collect the taxes on low value goods, for example this year we’ve shipped to New Zealand without charging 15%, Malaysia at 6%, then China at 17%, as well as Vietnam at 10% and worst of all the smorgasbord of different VAT/GST taxes into the US. At the bottom of my BAS form there is a simple question of how long did it take to compile the information required to do your BAS, usually 2 hours.
    I could only imagine the hours required of dotting eyes and crossing teas for international value-added taxes on low value items we self as a hobby.
    The stupidity is strong in this government, and only appears to be getting worse.
    Please David Leyonhjelm save us.

  65. Habib

    Emergency services used to be largely volunteer, including the funding. If you called the old QATB and weren’t a subscriber, you got a whacking great bill. Government is shit st pretty much everything it does, and absolves lazy dickheads of any responsibility. It is the choice of the eternal infant.

  66. Rob MW

    Using a vendor collection model, the law will require overseas suppliers and online marketplaces such as Amazon and eBay with an Australian GST turnover of $75,000 or more to account for GST on sales of low value goods to consumers in Australia.

    This ort to be interesting considering that items will be paid for before dispatch and if customs withholds the items from the customer because the vendor gives the Australian Collection Model the big fuck you then paypal and the banks are going to get allot of complaints for the return of funds.

    I can just see those weirdly named Chinese manufacturing companies listed on Alibaba for example voluntarily telling the Australian Government what their turnover is. Good luck with.

    Yep, just another uniquely arrogant Australian fuck up.

  67. Tel

    No they won’t. They will simply refuse to trade with Australian consumers. Anyone with cross border transactions experience understands why. Only the players with scale like Amazon will entertain the idea of becoming a collection agent for Chris Jordan.

    So there will be a lot fewer small shipments to Australia: win for the government, win for Amazon, win for the big box stores, win for Kogan too.

    Also BTW win for Australia Post, because of the strange way packages are charged on international routes.

  68. JohnA

    Today, I received an email from Audible.com.au (books to listen to, part of the Amazon stable), which begins as follows:

    Hi there,
    From 1 July 2017, the Australian Government will begin applying GST to the international sale of digital products and services provided to Australian consumers. This means that 10% GST will apply to all purchases and memberships on Audible.com.au.

    Now, do I detect an anomaly here? I certainly do, regarding the commencement date. The Press Release says this particular piece of idiocy will commence 1 July, 2018.

    Let’s leave aside the error of law, to whit: the GST already applies to inbound international sales.

    Audible is going to increase the monthly charge to me from 1 Oct 2017 (waiting three months from the day they are supposed to report and pay to the ATO, so as to reward my loyalty, they say). But the ATO says they will not be collecting from Audible/Amazon and everyone else until 9 months later.

    I shall be generous to Amazon/Audible ONCE: when I respond to their email in order to help them overcome their embarrassment at having published such a terrible typographical error.

  69. JohnA

    From the ATO website page to which Audible linked:

    GST on low value imported goods

    The government has announced that from 1 July 2018 GST will apply to imported low value goods. This includes all physical goods sold to consumers and imported into Australia that have a value equal to or less than A$1,000. These goods are currently exempt from GST.

    Under this measure, you may need to register and pay GST if you:

    are a non-resident supplier who sells low value goods to consumers and imports the goods into Australia, and
    meet the registration turnover threshold of A$75,000.

    Comment on the bolded bits:
    a) definitely 2018 starting date
    b) the ATO doesn’t even understand what is happening

    And so my next question is:
    If an overseas supplier does not meet the criteria to register ($A75,000) then are they precluded from collecting the GST from their customers? Hmm? Presumably because they are small they will still be shaken down by the Australian Tax Office for 10% of their Australian exports, though.

    And if that is the case, then they may (or may not, as they choose) increase their billings by 10% to cover this heinous imposition of a rapacious Australian government, but their invoices will not be allowed to show any GST component (since not imposed), and therefore the government should have nothing to collect. So will the ATO be forced to give back what they grabbed?

    Alternatively, I wonder how many small suppliers of low-value items will increase their shipping and handling charges but actually send uninvoiced Samples with No Commercial Value? Like all those free pens we get – just so we will then buy Parker refills.

    Messy, isn’t it?

    Was it Tolkien who said (via Gandalf) do not meddle in the affairs of wizards…?

  70. Norm C

    If the difference between buying online from Australia v overseas was 10% or even 20% or 30%, I would always buy from Australian sites.
    But the difference is generally 50% and more for the same item. And delivery is often faster.
    Applying the GST will make little difference and will be massively inefficient. Just like many policies and decisions by politicians.
    Unfortunately little good comes out of Canberra theses days. They just get in the way of Australians trying to live their lives.

  71. peter cavanagh

    The sheer ignorance of how GST works is amazing , the collection costs are borne by the vendor and if it is an overseas vendor they already have the systems in place , do you really think all their sales have been below the exemption line. The productivity commission must be staffed by idiots if they think it will cost the government more than it brings in. For the odd seller it is easy enough to set up a barcode system where they go to a website and purchase a bar code for the required amount of GST

  72. Art Vandelay

    JohnA, Audible are correct. The GST will apply to digital products and other services imported by consumers from 1 July 2017. See the ATO website.

    The government abruptly deferred the application of the GST to physical low value imports to 2018 because it quickly became apparent that it was going to a be administrative disaster.

  73. Rob

    Not much sympathy for Australia’s challenged retailers and their employees here.
    Lucky Internet traders – no superannuation, safe workplaces, penalty rates, regulation, massive electricity tariffs, social welfare safety net, and no obligation to contribute to the Australian economy.
    A GST applied to overseas Internet purchases certainly wouldn’t “level the playing field”, nor would it break the bank of those who hypocritically and relentlessly demand rock bottom prices. It would however, signal that considerate Australians weren’t into tolerating positive discrimination against our fellow workers.

  74. Paridell

    Announcing the date of the tax over a year in advance gives everyone thinking of buying a camera from an overseas supplier a real incentive to do it soonish. As the date for commencing the tax approaches, the rate of imports to “beat the tax” can be expected to soar. After the tax begins, sales from all sources will probably be depressed for some time. And already my local camera store is advertising, “We pay the GST”!

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