STATES BACK NEW ONLINE SHOPPING TAX
Right now when you go online and order goods from overseas that cost under $1000, you pay no tax.
But this could be about to change.
If NSW Treasurer Mike Baird has his way, your cushions, your jewellery, your shoes, your bargain American perfume – anything worth more than $30 – would be subject to GST. And Baird has just won support for this idea from Victoria, South Australia and Queesland.
That will mean millions of online transactions will pour money into Government coffers which, according to Baird, could be used to scrap other taxes like stamp duty.
Baird’s call comes hot on the heels of the Federal Government report released yesterday recommending the lowering the GST-free threshold from $1000 to $100. Both Britain and Canada have a threshold of $30.
Baird wants to drop it further to $30; some retailers say the threshold should be dropped completely.
As every week seems to brings news of another retailer biting the dust – this week it was fashion chain Ojay – the review suggests such a move will help level the playing field for Australian retailers.
Margy Osmond of the Retailers’ Association told ABC radio today that the Government needs to act urgently.
“The last thing we need now is another endless discussion about this,” she said.
“It is about money that would flow back to the states for hospitals and schools and roads.”
David Mendels, managing director of clothing importer International Fashion Group told The Age he wants to scrap a threshold altogether: “I don’t think you are going to have a retail industry in Australia,” he said.
“I reckon 35,000 jobs can be lost at retail wholesale and distribution in the next nine months.”
The proposal hase received lukewarm support from the federal government and the opposition .
No wonder. With an election looming, it’s a proposal that could really cost votes.
What do you think? Will this actually help local business or is it revenue-raising pure and simple?
Will this affect you? Will paying GST on imported merchandise change your online shopping habits?