Amazon to block Australians from global websites due to tax

Posted June 02, 2018

Under the new GST collection laws, online retailers like Amazon will be forced to apply the 10 percent GST to goods purchased on worldwide sites and shipped to Australia.

Currently GST is applied to items bought overseas that cost more than $1000.

Online retail giant Amazon will block Australian consumers from its global sites to counter new laws forcing it to collect GST on transactions.

After that date, Aussie customers who attempt to visit the United States version of Amazon or any of Amazon's overseas sites will find themselves redirected to Amazon's Australian site, which offers a much smaller selection of items.

Under new GST collection laws, online retailers will be forced to apply the 10 percent GST to goods purchased on global sites and shipped to Australia. As a placation, Australian customers will also have access to 4 million products that were previously available only on Amazon.com through its new Global Store.

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This is obviously a bit of a blow for Aussie shoppers - the USA version of the site has a vastly larger selection of goods available, many of which were cheaper even after factoring in shipping costs.

eBay also stated its case against the Bill which applied GST to overseas sales.

Amazon's primary site, Amazon.com, will be inaccessible in Australia, with buyers diverted to the local store, which has been heavily criticised for its higher prices and lesser variety.

Dr. Minifie, the economist, said that Amazon would probably continue to build a healthy customer base in Australia despite the change.

The ABC reported a spokesperson for Treasurer Scott Morrison as saying that the new GST regulations "level the playing field" for Australian businesses, and "The government doesn't apologise for ensuring multinationals pay a fair amount of tax here in Australia".

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The government would not back down on the new tax rules, which would raise AU$300 million a year, Morrison said.

National Retail Association CEO Dominique Lamb said Amazon's move was a surprise. "That tax revenue is used to fund essential services".

In a statement about the change, Amazon said it regretted "any inconvenience this may cause customers".

"A number of other countries are taking a similar approach and adopting a vendor collection model to collect GST from low-value imported goods".

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