A significant GST matter reflecting brave new policy globally
The NZ Government announced last week that it is seeking consultation on the best way to collect GST on online purchases, by private NZ consumers, of imported low value goods (LVGs) under NZ$400 (approx. USD 280). If enacted, the new rules will apply from 1 October 2019.
This is a significant issue which has been discussed by the OECD, governments and regulators around the world. If enacted as currently proposed, the new LVG rules will be broadly consistent with the introduction of NZ’s remote services rules (implemented in October 2016).
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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.
In accordance with our posts (here and here) on the new GST rules proposed to be effective form 1 October 2016 we would like to update you that PwC New Zealand has recently been advised by New Zealand Inland Revenue Policy that the standard legislative process will not be followed and the passage of the law will be accelerated.
As next step it is expected that the proposed draft legislation will be passed by the New Zealand Parliament under urgency in April 2016. We do not expect major changes to the draft law so businesses can already start / continue with their preparation for the new rules now. For convenience, please see below updated timeline until the go live date of 1 October 2016. Find out more
Further to our previous post the New Zealand Government submitted its legislative proposal in relation to the GST law reform on offshore online purchases of services.
The Government has followed the modern VAT/GST practices and OECD recommendations and has decided to reform the GST system. The reforms focus on two main areas:
- Digital products and cross border services, in respect of which draft legislation proposes imposing GST on digital products and other services purchased by New Zealand private consumers from offshore sellers. The new rules will apply from 1 October 2016.
- Low value imported goods, where a consultation paper is being worked on regarding the options to impose of GST and duties on low value imported goods. PwC New Zealand expects the document to be released in April 2016.
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Treasury has released a second exposure draft (ED) legislation on the Government’s integrity measures to extend the GST to imported digital products and other services. The ED also seeks comments on provisions to give effect to the announced measure relating to GST cross-border business to business transactions and the ‘connected with Australia’ rules.
Treasury has noted that as a result of feedback from consultation (including feedback from a number of international suppliers that have had experience in dealing with similar provisions in other jurisdictions), changes have been made to the content of the earlier exposure draft. This is especially in relation to the Australian Consumer test and also the operation of the intermediary provisions.
There is still an opportunity to make submissions on these measures and given that Treasury has appeared to take onboard a lot of the feedback obtained, impacted taxpayers should use this opportunity to make any further comments on the ED to Treasury by Wednesday 21 October 2015.
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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
As widely anticipated, the Government of New Zealand has released a discussion document on the GST treatment of digital products and other services purchased online by New Zealand consumers. The analysis in the discussion document is based on the OECD guidelines for applying GST to cross-border services and intangibles (e.g. music, movie, and game downloads).
In relation to imported goods, the Government has indicated that various challenges exist to devising a solution for low value goods imports (covered by the current so-called $400 threshold or the minimum duties / taxes $60 concession). Although the goods solution is expected to take more time, work is progressing on a solution for collecting duty / GST on imported goods in the most efficient way.
According to PwC New Zealand the discussion document demonstrates that the Government and policy makers have a desire to keep the GST model current for the digital economy. This is in line with recent OECD guidelines and developments in Australia, Europe, Japan, South Korea, and South Africa. The document also addresses matters of sound tax policy, tax leakage (estimated at $180 million per annum and growing) and fairness. The measures will go a long way to ensuring that consumption in New Zealand is taxed in the same way as domestic purchases of goods and Services.
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Further to our previous posts (here and here) in relation to the proposed changes to Australian GST obligations for non-established B2C e-service providers, we are now pleased to provide you with the link to recorded version of our webcast. You can access it here.
As anticipated in our recent post tonight’s Budget announced new law in relation to the GST treatment of digital products and other services imported by Australian consumers, based on the OECD guidelines for the taxation of cross-border intangibles. The new law will apply to supplies made on or after 1 July 2017. The closing date for the submission of comments on the draft legislation is 7 July 2015, which does not give affected taxpayers long to consult on the process.
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As indicated in our recent post regarding the Australian government’s plan to introduce new GST measures aimed at overseas companies supplying digital services into Australia, we now invite you to our webcast on this topic on 14 May.
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