20 AUGUST, 2015: The Australian Retailers Association (ARA), has stressed the importance of State Treasurers’ agreement to an extension of the GST to include purchases from overseas online retailers under $1000 when they meet in Canberra this Friday (August 21).
Russell Zimmerman, Executive Director of the ARA, says that while State Premiers came to an in principle agreement to lower the low value import threshold (LVIT) below the current $1000 at the COAG meeting last month, State Treasurers must also support the move.
“Extension of GST to international online purchases is crucial to the survival and growth of Australian retailers and the retail industry as a whole,” Mr Zimmerman said,
“This is about removing the anomaly and levelling the playing field for Australian-based retailers to ensure our local industry can thrive and compete effectively in what is now a global economy,” he said.
The ARA is encouraging Government to drop the GST threshold on international purchases to zero. The introduction of this would provide a dual advantage, in that the funds raised will contribute to much needed services within Australia, as well as eliminating any advantages currently enjoyed by international businesses over Australian retailers.
“The ‘Netflix tax’, which has introduced GST on the purchase of international digital products has already been approved, and we now need a similar requirement for hard goods.
“The ARA considers the simplest method of collecting this sales tax is at the point of sale. Most international retailers already have mechanisms in place to be able to accept GST at the point of purchase, and we don’t envision that this would involve extra effort on their part, and will not incur any additional costs by the Government.
“While the ARA welcomes this long overdue extension of the GST, it is critical that the process does not stall. The agreeance of State Premiers must also be backed up by State Treasurers tomorrow,” said Mr Zimmerman.
About the Australian Retailers Association:
Founded in 1903, the Australian Retailers Association (ARA) is the retail industry’s peak representative body representing Australia’s $284 billion sector, which employs more than 1.2 million people. The ARA works to ensure retail success by informing, protecting, advocating, educating and saving money for its 5,000 independent and national retail members throughout Australia. For more information, visit www.retail.org.au or call 1300 368 041.
For interview opportunities with ARA Executive Director, Russell Zimmerman, call the ARA Media team on 0439 612 556 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Please note Mr Zimmerman will not be available on Thursday August 20 until 8:30am.