Parliament passes GST legislation

But retail disappointed at time lag.

The one-year delay to the application of GST for online overseas purchases under $1000 has had a mixed response from industry associations.

While generally happy with the long awaited legislation there was disappointment about the 12-month delay before overseas retailers can start collecting the tax.

It is not ideal for struggling Australian retailers, but does allow the government more time to iron out the practical challenges involved in its implementation, National Retail Association (NRA), chief executive, Dominique Lamb said. “A 2017 implementation date would have gone a long way to helping Australian retailers level the playing field with their overseas counterparts,” she said, adding that the logistics surrounding it are challenging and need time to iron out.

“The year’s delay should give all parties the time needed to work through the issues. This tax applies to all purchases from Australian retailers, even those who are online-only, so it is not just about bricks versus clicks, but about applying the exact same goods and services tax to overseas retailers as we do to local retailers,” she said.

Australian Retailers Association (ARA) executive director, Russell Zimmerman described the decision as a “big win”, acknowledging that “this much-needed GST will significantly assist our local retailers when trading against our international counterparts”. Zimmerman said it creates a fairer tax system for Australian retailers who are currently operating in a tough trading environment.

“We are disappointed there will be a 12-month delay but look forward to Australian retailers finally being given a fair chance.”  The ARA has been working with Federal and State Governments since 2008 to reduce the Low Value Threshold (LVT).

The Federal Government voted on Monday in favour of delaying the introduction of the proposed Treasury Laws Amendment (GST Low Value Goods) Bill 2017 until July 1, 2018.

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