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Retailers demand reduction in GST threshold

GST threshold will be reviewed as treasurer Joe Hockney meets with counterparts in Canberra.

Treasurer Joe Hockney will hold talks with his state and territory counterparts in Canberra today (November 27th) to discuss the goods and services tax (GST) threshold. At the meeting, the results of a report on changes to the GST, commissioned last year, will be revealed. Although prime minister Tony Abbott says the GST threshold won’t be lowered, there is a chance that the application of the tax could be broadened to include more international online sales.

Currently, imported goods are taxed under the GST only if they are valued at $1,000 or more. Retailers across the country are calling out for a fairer application of the GST, which would apply to all imported goods, regardless of their value.

In an interview with SmartCompany, Melbourne University public policy fellow Nicholas Reece said: “It seems that there is a consensus that has emerged between states and the Commonwealth that online, offshore retailing is an area that needs to be examined.”

Previous research estimates that a reduction in the threshold from $1,000 to $20 could bring in around $1 billion in tax revenue.

National Retail Association chief executive Trevor Evans said the GST loophole is outdated, and must be reviewed with respect to the recent rise in popularity of online shopping. “It’s time that it was applied fairly across the board, and this week’s meeting will be a good place to start,” Mr Evans said.

Posted by Craig Francis

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