Australia, as well as many other jurisdictions including New Zealand and Switzerland, are implementing new rules regarding the application of the goods and services tax (GST) or value added tax (VAT) to the supply of low value goods to consumers.
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).
The final report of the Low Value Parcel Processing Taskforce (“the Taskforce”) was recently released by the Australian authorities.
In a previous report in 2011 the Productivity Commission found that the low value import exemption threshold for GST and duty on imported goods (currently set at AUD 1’000) was not the main factor affecting the international competitiveness of Australian retailers (this is a totally opposite conclusion than the one made by the EU – see here for more info) . The Productivity Commission advised that there could be grounds to reduce the low value import relief threshold, but it is not cost-effective to do so without streamlining the procedure of processing low value parcels.
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