Amazon to block Australians from global websites due to tax
01 June, 2018, 16:06 | Author: Eric Barnett
From that date, Australia will impose a 10 percent consumption tax on online retailers for goods bought from overseas sites and shipped to Australia. This rule now exists, but only on purchases over $1000. Goods sold on Amazon.com, the U.S. site, will cease shipping to Australia on July 1.
In a statement about the change, Amazon said it regretted "any inconvenience this may cause customers".
The ABC says GST collection requirements for online shopping sites come after years of intense lobbying from local retailers in Australia such as Harvey Norman, Myer, JB Hi-Fi and David Jones, "who have seen their traditional bricks and mortar sales suffer from online competitors".
eBay also stated its case against the Bill which applied GST to overseas sales.
The tax is created to level the playing field for local retailers like JB Hi-Fi and Harvey Norman, who say global online sellers get a competitive advantage by not having to include GST in their prices.
Amazon closing its global stores to Australians to avoid paying GST is disappointing but Treasurer Scott Morrison is promising there will be no exemptions.
Shoppers visiting the US store Amazon.com will be redirected to the Australian version, Amazon.com.au, from July 1 when Australia starts applying new tax rules, Amazon said in a statement on Friday.
"We have taken this step to provide our customers with continued access to worldwide selection and allow us to remain compliant with the law, which requires us to collect and remit GST on products sold on Amazon sites that are shipped from overseas", Amazon is reported as saying.
The global store has more than four million items, however Amazon US has 480 million products.
But even with the changes, the number of products available will be a fraction of what's on sale globally.
Amazon only launched a local Australian site last December, shipping from a warehouse in Melbourne with another planned in Sydney.
"This isn't an anti-trade move by the Australian government", he said.
"A level playing field will help Australian businesses grow and create more jobs and opportunities".
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