The Senate has pulled back from passing the Treasury Laws Amendment (GST Low Value Goods) Bill 2017, which would have seen GST imposed on goods valued under $1000 from July 1.
The new law would have seen overseas businesses with an annual turnover of $75,000 or more required to register with the ATO to collect GST on all goods sold. ‘Electronic platforms’ (ie, retailers) such as Ebay and Amazon would have been required to collect GST on behalf of their retailer clients. It was budgeted to bring in $300 million over the next four years.
The Senate Economics Legislation Committee report made the following recommendations:
· The Government note the in-principle support of Labor Senators for the collection of GST on low value imports;
· That the Senate should not pass the Treasury Laws Amendment (GST Low Value Goods) Bill 2017;
· The Government complete a full review within one year, with engagement from all stakeholders. The review should include an analysis and comparison of alternative implementation models;
· The Government deliver a Regulation Impact Statement with any revised legislation to assure small businesses and consumers that measures will operate as intended;
· Any revised legislation is to have a start date of 1 July 2018
Our report in late April flagged the probability of this outcome, provoked in part by aggressive lobbying by the giant multinational retailers, which included threats of boycotts of Australian consumers (Ebay) and non-compliance with Australian laws (Amazon).