Last month, Parliament passed legislation that will see GST applied to all consumer imports regardless of their value. Currently, imports below $1,000 are excluded from GST.
The perceived preferential treatment of internet shopping has been a contentious issue for a while with the retail sector lobbying hard to ensure that where a business is benefiting from sales to Australian consumers, the purchase is taxed in the same way as local retailers.
While the start date of the change has been pushed back until 1 July 2018, businesses importing goods into Australia will need to review their position to check whether supply chains are affected and determine which entity is actually liable for the GST. Australian businesses that purchase low value goods from overseas should also check to make sure that overseas suppliers are not imposing GST on supplies of these goods unnecessarily.
The new rules are intended to apply to situations that are not captured by the existing GST importation rules because the goods are worth $1,000 or less. The rules are designed to only apply when goods are delivered to Australian consumers who are either not registered for GST in Australia or where the goods do not relate to an enterprise or business being carried on in Australia. If your business imports goods into Australia and is registered for GST, the tax should not apply to low value goods you import.
To find out if this may impact your circumstances call PPT Accounting on (03) 5331 3711.
DISCLAIMER: The material and contents provided in this publication are informative in nature only. It is not intended to be advice and you should not act specifically on the basis of this information alone. If expert assistance is required, professional advice should be obtained.