The Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry has today called for a major rethink of the current $1,000 online GST-free threshold that unfairly excludes items bought from overseas sellers placing domestic sellers at a competitive disadvantage. The Chamber supports inclusion of the issue in the upcoming tax white paper process, as foreshadowed by new Federal Assistant Treasurer The Hon. Josh Frydenberg MP, and would like to see the threshold lowered or abolished.
John Osborn, ACCI Director of Economics & Industry Policy, said “lowering the threshold is a case of tax equity and fairness. It’s not a case of online versus bricks and mortar retailers or a tax grab.”
“The current system gives preferential treatment to overseas sellers and places Australian businesses – including online retailers and small businesses – at an unfair competitive disadvantage.”
“The original rationale for the threshold of high cost collection is rapidly fading as an issue as technology improves and other comparable countries lower or remove their exemptions.”
“We should ideally be lowering or abolishing the GST-free threshold once a suitable cost-benefit model can be found.”
Kate Carnell AO, ACCI CEO, said “a significant proportion of lower value parcels come from a small number of large foreign companies that could easily collect and remit GST to the Australian government.”
“A simple solution can be found to this issue as long as the political will for reform exists across the political divide.”
“This is an issue business would like to see bipartisan support for and we expect the Federal Opposition and the government will work together to secure a timely solution.”