Australia keeps non-resident e-commerce registration threshold

Thu 7th Nov 2013

The Australian government is to leave the Australian Goods and Services Tax (GST) registration threshold for e-commerce online sales to consumers unchanged.  This comes despite a review into the GST threshold for internet retailers in 2013.

Administration cost deters lowering GST registration threshold

The previous Australian government had hoped to lower the current registration threshold of AUD 1,000 per package.  This means that approximately AUD 1 billion is missed in potential taxes per annum.  It also means domestic Australian online retailers are at a disadvantage compared to foreign retailers as there is no tax on most sales.

However, no solid business case has been worked out to show the impact of having to resource the tax authorities to cope with the huge number of Australian GST registrations and compliance reporting.

In Europe, most countries have a low-value goods relief of around €15 per package.  The UK last year ended the Low Value Consignment Stock relief for the Channel Islands which had enabled them to create a big industry selling DVD’s, books, CD’s etc. to the UK without charging UK VAT.