Published: Sat, June 02, 2018
Business | By Pearl Harrison

Amazon can't or won't collect sales tax in Australia

Amazon can't or won't collect sales tax in Australia

"This will allow us to provide our customers with continued access to worldwide selection and remain compliant with the law which requires us to collect and remit GST on products sold on Amazon sites that are shipped from overseas", the spokesman said. A loophole in tax regulations, however, means that the GST is now applied only to items purchased from overseas retailers if they are worth $1,000 AUD or more, which many local companies argued gave Amazon, eBay and other overseas competitors an unfair advantage.

It was the move we all dreaded was coming: Australian shoppers will no longer be able to shop on Amazon's United States site as the company shifts focus to its local offering.

As a result, Amazon said Australian shoppers wanting to use its global platforms will instead be directed to its smaller Australian site, which offers much less for sale. Goods sold on Amazon.com, the U.S. site, will cease shipping to Australia on July 1.

For now, the GST change looks like a win for local businesses, which will have an easier time retaining shoppers while Amazon builds out its Australian inventory.

"While we regret any inconvenience this may cause customers, we have had to assess the workability of the legislation as a global business with multiple worldwide sites", Amazon said in a statement.


"I think it is disappointing that Amazon have taken this out on consumers in Australia but that is their commercial position", Mr Morrison said.

"If multinationals aren't forced to pay their fair share of tax, they will have a competitive advantage over retailers here in Australia, on our own main streets and in our shopping centers".

Labor's digital economy spokesman Ed Husic said the treasurer should have sat down with Amazon and other retailers earlier to talk through the changes. "That tax revenue is used to fund essential services".

The "Global Store" will offer some 4 million items, in addition to the 60 million products previously offered at Amazon.com.au, the spokesperson said.

"A number of other countries are taking a similar approach and adopting a vendor collection model to collect GST from low-value imported goods".

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