Australian Retailers Association opposes delay in implementing GST to low-value imports

Wellington Parade, East Melbourne, 2017-May-01 — /EPR Retail News/ —The Australian Retailers Association (ARA) opposes any delay in implementing GST to low-value imports and strongly supports the Government in closing the Low Value Threshold (LVT) loophole for the purchase of offshore tangible goods under $1000.

Executive Director of the ARA, Russell Zimmerman said any delay to low-value GST legislation will result in a number of job losses throughout the industry.

“The retail industry is already operating in a tough environment and any delay to this much-needed legislation will significantly affect employers and employees working in this sector,” Mr Zimmerman said.

“Levelling this unfair playing field for retailers is an area that both the industry and unions strongly agree on, and collectively support.”

The ARA firmly believe that that the proposed GST collecting system is the best model at this point and should not be postponed.

“This legislation should be implemented as soon as possible, as we already know that overseas retailers have the capability of charging similar taxes online in Australia,” Mr Zimmerman said.

“These big global players already collect GST for digital products, therefore we want to see these retailers register and collect GST as of July 1 this year.”

The ARA called on the Senate Crossbench to pass this GST at the Senate Economics Legislation hearings last Friday 21 April, and pushed for overseas retailers to immediately start collecting this tax from low-value imports.

“It is unreasonable for global retailers like Ebay, who currently don’t pay any tax in Australia, not to register and collect the GST,” Mr Zimmerman said.

The ARA have been working with the Federal and State Governments to reduce the low-value threshold and provide a level playing field for Australian retailers.

“The commencement for this process for low-value imports was first introduced in 2011 by then Assistant Treasurer, Bill Shorten, and has been supported by both parties,” Mr Zimmerman said.

“Therefore, there should not be any issue in adhering to the agreed implementation date of 1 July 2017.”

For interview opportunities with ARA Executive Director Russell Zimmerman call the ARA Media Line on 0439 612 556, or email media@retail.org.au

About the Australian Retailers Association:

Founded in 1903, the Australian Retailers Association (ARA) is the retail industry’s peak representative body representing Australia’s $310 billion sector, which employs more than 1.2 million people. The ARA works to ensure retail success by informing, protecting, advocating, educating and saving money for its 7,500 independent and national retail members throughout Australia. For more information, visit www.retail.org.au or call 1300 368 041.

Source: Australian Retailers Association

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