ATO Crackdown on Online GST
The Australian Taxation Office is beefing up its data-matching capabilities with the Department of Immigration and Border Protection ahead of the government’s contentious plan to impose GST on internet imports worth less than $1000 from July next year.
The crackdown is flagged in a new submission to the Productivity Commission, which is inquiring into the model for collecting the 10 per cent GST on low-value imports. “This will complement our existing sources of information such as financial transaction tracking,” the ATO submission says.
The ATO says it has already identified up to 3000 businesses that may need to register for GST on the low-value goods. It says “a number” of businesses and tax professionals have sought information on compliance, but it will target those who fail to comply. “The ATO has long experience with managing the Australian tax obligations of non-resident populations,” the submission says. “Many non-residents have been required to register for and account for GST since it commenced in 2000.”
The ATO move comes as US retail giant Amazon pushes to change the way the GST will be collected on low-value purchases. Amazon insists that the shortcomings in the government’s planned model are more significant than those in the model the ecommerce player wants.
The online retail group wants a system that would see transport companies collect the GST on low-value imports they deliver but the government’s legislated plan is for online marketplaces to collect the tax.
Air delivery giants have fired a fresh salvo at the attempts by online retailers to change the model. Amazon and the freight companies have ratcheted up the debate in supplementary submissions to the Productivity Commission. (The Australian)