• GST on low value imported goods

    The Federal Parliament has passed law that will extend goods and services tax (GST) to low value imports of physical goods imported by consumers from 1 July 2018.

    Businesses that meet the A$75,000 registration threshold will need to take action now to review their business systems to ensure that they are able to comply.

    The existing processes to collect GST on imports above $1,000 at the border are unchanged.

    In summary, the reforms:

    • make supplies of goods valued at A$1,000 or less at the time of supply connected with Australia if the goods are purchased by consumers and are brought into Australia with the assistance of the supplier
    • treat the operator of an electronic distribution platform (EDP) as the supplier of low value goods if the goods are purchased through the platform by consumers and brought into Australia with the assistance of either the supplier or the operator
    • treat re-deliverers as the suppliers of low value goods if the goods are delivered outside of Australia as part of the supply, and the re-deliverer assists with their delivery into Australia as part of a shopping or mailbox service that it provides under an arrangement with the consumer
    • allow non-resident suppliers of low value goods that are connected with Australia to elect to access the simplified registration and reporting system
    • prevent double taxation.

    Legislation and supporting material

    The Treasury Laws Amendment (GST Low Value goods) Act 2017External Link received royal assent 26 June 2017.

    The Bill provided for the Productivity Commission to undertake a review of the new law and to report to the Federal Government. The Productivity Commission reportExternal Link was sent to government on 31 October 2017, then tabled in Parliament and publicly released on 9 November 2017.

    The report found that; 'given the decision to collect GST on low value imported goods and the current limitations of alternatives, the legislated model is the most feasible'.

    See also:

      Last modified: 15 Nov 2017QC 47380