GST on low-value imports

Goods imported into Australia – often by consumers using the internet – which cost less than $1,000 are currently GST-free.

On May 3 2016, as part of its package of Budget Night announcements, the Federal government proposed that, as of 1 July 2017, this low-value threshold (‘LVT’) of $1,000 will be abolished.

The removal of the LVT will see many purchases made by individuals and businesses over the internet from an overseas vendor being subject to GST from 1 July 2017.

It is proposed that, as of 1 July 2017, overseas businesses with an Australian annual turnover of greater than $75,000 will be required to register for GST and collect GST on sales made to Australian customers.

NOTE: It has been reported that the Federal government could use powers it has under the Telecommunications Act to force internet service providers to block websites of overseas businesses that do not meet their Australian GST obligations (although it remains to be seen if they would go that far . . . )

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