Lowdown on GST change
From Sunday, taxes will be applied to low-value imported goods but the effects are a mixed bag.
GST is about to kick in for all low-value imported goods, but what changes will you see when you head online to shop on Sunday, July 1?
UWA Business School senior marketing lecturer Paul Harrigan said people might see the tax straight away on some sites but not on others and there was some uncertainty around ensuring compliance to the new law.
“I would suggest that this will be very complicated,” he said.
An ATO spokeswoman said for businesses earning more than $75,000, it would be a commercial decision whether to raise prices on July 1 and some may include the GST in the advertised price, while others may show it during checkout.
Australian Retailers Association executive director Russell Zimmerman said the changes would put local retailers on a level playing field.
“We’re hoping this tax fairness will give a much-needed boost to the industry,” he said.
Mr Zimmerman said the move to apply GST to tangible products, such as the introduction of GST to digital services like Netflix last year, would be a boost to the broader retail industry.
But Dr Harrigan said he did not think the move would change consumers’ purchasing habits and thought it would have a negligible impact on local businesses.
“Not only would I suggest that consumers typically save more dollars by shopping online than this tax will cost them, but online shopping is now a learned behaviour for consumers,” he said.