Tag Archives: ecommerce

Australian GST changes from 1 July 2017

1 July 2017, supplies of things other than goods or real property made to an ‘Australian consumer’ will be connected with Australia and subject to GST. The Australian provisions are broader than some other jurisdictions and essentially anything other than goods or real property are caught, and if an entity’s GST turnover exceeds the registration turnover threshold of AUD 75,000, it would be required to register for GST in Australia. Non-resident suppliers will be able to access a limited and simplified GST registration, although they can also register under the full registration procedure.

Where supplies of inbound intangibles are made through an Electronic Distribution Platform (EDP), the GST liability on these supplies would shift to the operator of the EDP (i.e. generally, online marketplaces that act as intermediaries). The Australian Taxation Office (ATO) has released a draft Law Companion Guideline (LCG 2017/D4) dealing with the EDP provisions.

In addition, under proposals still before Parliament (the Treasury Laws Amendment (Goods and Services Tax (GST) Low Value Goods) Bill 2017), low-value goods (AUD 1,000 and under) supplied by overseas retailers to Australian consumers would become taxable supplies  beginning 1 July 2017. The Bill was referred to the Senate Economics Legislation Committee which recommended that the implementation of the measures be delayed to 1 July 2018. The Bill is listed to be debated in Parliament in June 2017.

Please see the attached newsletter for further details.

Australia-gst-changes-13jun17

Australia – changes to the GST rules for online sales of goods

The Australian Federal Treasurer announced yesterday that it will be discussing GST measures with State Treasurers today with a view to announcing changes to the Australian GST rules for online sales of goods into Australia. You may be aware that currently goods sold into Australia under A$1,000 (approx. USD 730) are not subject to GST or duty.

At this stage, we do not have any details of the precise changes, but on the basis of statements made by the Treasurer, it is assumed that the measures are likely to involve a requirement for a non-resident seller to register and account for GST on the sales of all goods into Australia. Such a change may not impact on the current import rules, potentially meaning that goods imported into Australia below the current A$1,000 low value threshold could continue to remain free of customs duties. Find out more

Online shopping – PwC’s Total Retail Survey 2015

Fifteen years ago, in the heyday of the e-business boom, Internet promised to change industries and business models very quickly, first of all in the retail sector. When these promised changes did not realise that quick, it resulted in the burst of the dot-com bubble.

However, even if change took longer than expected, now it is already part of our lives and not only in the developed countries, but all around the world. New online business models have a disruptive effect on long established businesses, as the fate of firms, such as Blockbuster, Borders and quite recently, RadioShack shows.

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USA – Internet Tax Freedom Act (ITFA) temporarily extended through 11 December 2014

On September 18, 2014, President Obama signed House Joint Resolution 124, which includes provisions extending the Internet Tax Freedom Act (ITFA) through December 11. The Act was previously scheduled to expire November 1, 2014, and the extension gives Congress a chance to consider the ITFA’s long-term future during the lame-duck session after the midterm elections.

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USA – Michigan Court finds certain cloud computing services not subject to sales and use tax

The Michigan Court of Claims recently held in a summary disposition that remotely accessed software is not subject to Michigan sales and use tax. The court held that software accessed remotely was neither tangible personal property nor ‘used’ by the taxpayer as defined under Michigan statutes. Further, any prewritten computer software provided to the customer was only an incidental component of the various services purchased and did not subject the charges to tax. [Auto-Owners Insurance Company v. Department of Treasury, State of Michigan Court of Claims, No. 12-000082-MT (March 20, 2014)]

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South Africa – Follow-up Webcast on the planned indirect taxation of eservices – 23 April 2014, 15.30 – 16.15 CET

As previously reported here, the implementation of South African VAT on electronic services and associated obligation for non-resident businesses to register for VAT purposes in South Africa, has been delayed by 2 months and will be effective as of 1 June 2014.

PwC’s Indirect Tax Webcast series continues with a follow-up session of the latest developments in the South African legislation.

The presenter will be again Gerard Soverall, Tax Partner of PwC South Africa, who is specialised in e-commerce and cross-border indirect taxation.

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USA: Taxing Internet commerce: What global retailers need to know

With the availability of high speed Internet access, smart phones, and tablets, it is not surprising that the global retail industry is experiencing a fundamental shift in how individual consumers research, select, and eventually purchase products. Individuals are shopping through a variety of different channels, some physical, some virtual, making for an easier and more streamlined shopping experience. E-commerce has quickly become a key channel for retailers to reach their customers. This embrace of digital technology and social media is creating a new landscape for retailers as they ensure that their policies and practices support these changes. These shifting business models are creating unique consumption tax issues for global retailers selling within and into the United States.

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USA: Illinois Supreme Court rules click-through nexus law pre-empted by Internet Tax Freedom Act

On October 18, 2013, in a 6-1 decision, the Illinois Supreme Court ruled that the state’s click-through nexus law is pre-empted by the federal Internet Tax Freedom Act’s ban against ‘discriminatory taxes on electronic commerce.’ The court did not reach the issue regarding whether the click-through nexus provision violated the US Commerce Clause. [Performance Marketing Association, Inc. v. Hamer, Ill. Sup. Ct., #114496 (10/18/13)]

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USA: Digital products and remote sales subject to sales tax in Minnesota

On May 23, 2013, Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton signed H.F 677, which makes significant changes to Minnesota’s sales and use tax, including taxing digital goods, adding click-through nexus provisions, authorizing multiple points of use exemption certificates, and requiring remote sellers to collect and pay sales and use tax consistent with federal legislation.

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