Amazon blocks Australia from global sites over tax

01 June, 2018, 05:13 | Author: Mary Valdez
  • Shoppers will be redirected

Amazon's ban on Australian shoppers could see other companies follow suit, experts have warned.

"While we regret any inconvenience this may cause customers, we have had to assess the workability of the legislation as a global business with multiple worldwide sites", an Amazon spokesman told Reuters. This rule now exists, but only on purchases over $1000.

We speculated this might happen back when Amazon Australia was about to launch.

From July 1, Amazon will redirect local shoppers trying to visit the likes of Amazon.com and Amazon.co.uk to its much smaller Australian site, thwarting those who enjoy the lower prices and larger range offered overseas.

July 1 marks the date that new GST rules come into play, with 10 per cent GST applying to all online purchases shipped into Australia from overseas.

Amazon is getting a bit of flack this afternoon over its intentions to re-direct Australian visitors to their global site to their Australian arm thanks to upcoming changes to GST on imported goods.

'Australian consumers have become quite accustomed to purchasing from large overseas retailers, Amazon begin the biggest example but also department stores like Nordstrom's, Macy's, and global retailers like ASOS, ' he said.

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Under new GST collection laws, online retailers will be forced to apply the 10 percent GST to goods purchased on global sites and shipped to Australia.

"I've been pushing for this for years", he said, adding: "Retailers like Amazon and their subsidiary the Book Depository have been able to avoid collecting G.S.T. from Australian customers whereas we are legally bound to collect, so immediately we are at a disadvantage".

Amazon's Australia site boasts of selling over 60 million products, while Amazon's main site (the United States version) boasts of selling over 500 million.

"The government doesn't apologise for ensuring multinationals pay a fair amount of tax here in Australia".

Dr. Minifie, the economist, said that Amazon would probably continue to build a healthy customer base in Australia despite the change.

The new legislation requires any business which generates more than $75,000 in sales will be required to register with the ATO - a category that Amazon would clearly fall into.

A spokesperson for Treasurer Scott Morrison said the new GST regulations "level the playing field" for Australian businesses.

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