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GST low value imported goods Bill introduced



Measures to extend the application of GST to low value goods imported by Australian consumers have been introduced into parliament.


The Treasury Laws Amendment (GST Low Value Goods) Bill 2017 will amend the GST Act to ensure that GST is payable on certain supplies of low value goods that are purchased by consumers and are imported into Australia from 1 July 2017. This measure was announced in the 2016/17 Federal Budget handed down on 3 May 2016.


Under the current GST law, GST generally applies to supplies of goods within Australia regardless of the value of the goods. However, supplies of goods located outside of Australia are generally not subject to GST. Further, while the importation of goods is generally subject to GST, a $1,000 low value threshold exemption applies.


Under the proposed new arrangements, imported goods with a customs value of $1,000 or under will have GST collected at the point of sale, using a vendor registration model. Under this model, overseas vendors that have an Australian turnover of $75,000 or more will be required to register for, collect and remit GST on low value goods supplied to consumers in Australia as well as any other taxable supplies they make.


The amendments will apply in working out net amounts for tax periods commencing on or after 1 July 2017 and the GST treatment of importations occurring on or after 1 July 2017. The proposal will, to a certain extent, reverse the weaknesses of Australian companies, especially the small retailers.

(Information Source: Wolters Kluwer)