$1000 Import Threshold 2017 Idiotion

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$1000 Import Threshold 2017 Idiotion

Postby AUbicycles » Wed Apr 19, 2017 7:07 am

That's right, Idiotion replaces Edition as a more apt title.

The $1000 GST threshold raises its head again with news that treasurer Scott Morrison wants to levy GST on ALL imports from July 1 so Ebay is up in arms about this "Gerry Harvey" tax because they will be liable for the taxes though they pitch themself as a platform and not seller or supplier.

Local online bike shops have become stronger and more competitive so the anti-online shop retailers, industry and lobby will have to rethink their strategy as it is no longer about missing local tax dollars and missing local jobs... the threat is not overseas but from local competitors.

My suggestion however is for consumers to rebel order numerous super low priced items from overseas. 50 cent items and then if the government wants their 0.05 cent tax and $40 customs fee, let them keep it. When customs warehouses start filling with useless rubbish coupled with processing costs that gave not relation to the item value, then the government will be forced to rethink.


Scuse the typos and grammer... on the iDing and will correct errors.


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Re: $1000 Import Threshold 2017 Idiotion

Postby Usernoname » Wed Apr 19, 2017 7:33 am

I'm in when it starts. What's big in volume but cheap?

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Re: $1000 Import Threshold 2017 Idiotion

Postby Jawa » Wed Apr 19, 2017 8:05 am

I believe there’s this misconception that all of a sudden every package coming onto the country will be held up in some customs neverland awaiting a GST payment. The proposed policy is not to on charge the tax to the end buyer directly but for the seller irrespective of location to “capture” the 10% GST on behalf of the government if sales reach above a 75k threshold per year. This is why ebay are kicking a stink because they are being asked to add GST to aussie purchases but as they don’t handle the money transaction how can they pay the GST back to the government.

Like new piracy “laws” there’s initial hooha to scare the masses and appease big business but end of the day nothing changes and I think this will be similar

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Re: $1000 Import Threshold 2017 Idiotion

Postby Warin » Wed Apr 19, 2017 8:13 am

It is not the physical volume that will be the biggest effect, but the quantity volume.

Ordering the smallest amount (both volume and price) with free postage today, and again tomorrow and again the day after... each one would be processed separately ... each one will need a separate contact, each one tracked ... can you see the costs (and employment opportunities). Once you refuse to pay .. they will have an auction... and get pennies back.

As Jawa says .. the gobermint wants overseas firms to collect the tax. How can they effectively enforce that? How can they separate out 'gifts' from things purchased? It has worts on it.

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Re: $1000 Import Threshold 2017 Idiotion

Postby hamishm » Wed Apr 19, 2017 11:15 am

Jawa wrote:This is why ebay are kicking a stink because they are being asked to add GST to aussie purchases but as they don’t handle the money transaction how can they pay the GST back to the government.

Given the tight integration with PayPal (they even owned PayPal until 2015) that doesn't really seem like an issue.

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Re: $1000 Import Threshold 2017 Idiotion

Postby Abby » Wed Apr 19, 2017 12:06 pm

AUbicycles wrote:My suggestion however is for consumers to rebel order numerous super low priced items from overseas. 50 cent items and then if the government wants their 0.05 cent tax and $40 customs fee, let them keep it. When customs warehouses start filling with useless rubbish coupled with processing costs that gave not relation to the item value, then the government will be forced to rethink.


Customs warehouses won't fill with anything.

The overseas sellers have to collect the GST at the point of sale, and the remit it to the Aus Govt. Hence why ebay and others are peeved off - they don't want to take on the burden of being tax collectors and the associated administration.
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Re: $1000 Import Threshold 2017 Idiotion

Postby ball bearing » Wed Apr 19, 2017 12:15 pm

Abby wrote:
AUbicycles wrote:My suggestion however is for consumers to rebel order numerous super low priced items from overseas. 50 cent items and then if the government wants their 0.05 cent tax and $40 customs fee, let them keep it. When customs warehouses start filling with useless rubbish coupled with processing costs that gave not relation to the item value, then the government will be forced to rethink.


Customs warehouses won't fill with anything.

The overseas sellers have to collect the GST at the point of sale, and the remit it to the Aus Govt. Hence why ebay and others are peeved off - they don't want to take on the burden of being tax collectors and the associated administration.

What about all the transactions outside of Amazon and eBay et al? My bike frame has been sitting in a Customs warehouse for three weeks. I can just imagine the huge pile of parcels currently being held by Customs - when parcels with a value of less than $1000 are also subject to the same fees and charges the pile must get higher!

Jobs and growth? Maybe if you are a warehouse person.

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Re: $1000 Import Threshold 2017 Idiotion

Postby Abby » Wed Apr 19, 2017 12:42 pm

ball bearing wrote:
Abby wrote:
AUbicycles wrote:My suggestion however is for consumers to rebel order numerous super low priced items from overseas. 50 cent items and then if the government wants their 0.05 cent tax and $40 customs fee, let them keep it. When customs warehouses start filling with useless rubbish coupled with processing costs that gave not relation to the item value, then the government will be forced to rethink.


Customs warehouses won't fill with anything.

The overseas sellers have to collect the GST at the point of sale, and the remit it to the Aus Govt. Hence why ebay and others are peeved off - they don't want to take on the burden of being tax collectors and the associated administration.

What about all the transactions outside of Amazon and eBay et al? My bike frame has been sitting in a Customs warehouse for three weeks. I can just imagine the huge pile of parcels currently being held by Customs - when parcels with a value of less than $1000 are also subject to the same fees and charges the pile must get higher!

Jobs and growth? Maybe if you are a warehouse person.


The legislation requires overseas vendors, electronic distribution platforms and goods forwarders – many of which are multinationals – with an Australian turnover of $75,000 or more to register for, collect and remit GST for low-value goods supplied to consumers in Australia.

"Australia is leading the way in taxing low-value imports. We will be the first country to apply GST to the importation of low-value goods using a vendor collection model," Mr McCormack said.


The GST only applies to sales made through "overseas vendors, electronic distribution platforms and goods forwarders" with an AUD$75K annual turnover. And its collected at the time fo sale, not held up in a customs warehouse. So the only change we'll see as consumers is an extra 10% when buying from ebay/amazon/wiggle etc. Unless they jack up and just don't sell to Australia in protest (which will save me a LOT of money... *lol*)
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Re: $1000 Import Threshold 2017 Idiotion

Postby ball bearing » Wed Apr 19, 2017 12:51 pm

Abby wrote:
ball bearing wrote:
The GST only applies to sales made through "overseas vendors, electronic distribution platforms and goods forwarders" with an AUD$75K annual turnover. And its collected at the time fo sale, not held up in a customs warehouse. So the only change we'll see as consumers is an extra 10% when buying from ebay/amazon/wiggle etc. Unless they jack up and just don't sell to Australia in protest (which will save me a LOT of money... *lol*)

Really? If I buy from a private seller there is no GST, duty or fees?

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Re: $1000 Import Threshold 2017 Idiotion

Postby Abby » Wed Apr 19, 2017 1:07 pm

ball bearing wrote: Really? If I buy from a private seller there is no GST, duty or fees?


Correct (with the Bill in its current form). And it hasn't been legislated yet so that could change.

But remember that the selling platform (eg ebay) is considered the supplier under the proposed legislation. So long as you purchase direct from the private seller and they don't qualify under the '$75K' rule, then you're fine.

That's why ebay, amazon, et al are pushing back so hard. The govt have avoided all the compliance & storage problems (which is the sole reason why they've never hit sub-$1000 imports before - the cost would be astronomical) by putting that back on the selling platforms/websites, who obviously aren't keen on making separate administrative arrangements in place to cover just their Australian clients.

Arrangements for goods valued greater than $1000 have not (and will not) change. They'll still get held up in customs pending payment of GST (and duty if applicable).
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Re: $1000 Import Threshold 2017 Idiotion

Postby Jawa » Wed Apr 19, 2017 1:18 pm

Honestly, this will co ck up harder that Labor’s Pink Batts scheme. (source Google) As at 2015 there are 12-24 million eCommerce stores selling products online ... and Turnbull Inc wants each that generate in excess of 75k AUD annual turnover to collect tax for Australia! Lol, where do I start! They also realise currency values fluctuate right so it could be 75k one year then 65k the next. Does that mean they don’t have to collect tax for 12 months? Also, you think that mum and dad operation selling handmade candles located in smalltown USA are going to turn over their financials to our government to verify incomes ... thats ludicrous. You can start see why this will never take off. The policy is just out there so the government can been seen to be doing something.

Worst case .. ebay, amazon and the like comply .. big woop, there’s up-teen million other sites to go too so as to bypass this so called import tax.

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Re: $1000 Import Threshold 2017 Idiotion

Postby Thoglette » Wed Apr 19, 2017 1:23 pm

As I've said in every one of these threads (there's at least three now, Mods) the Govt is attacking the problem at the wrong point.

The correct point is the removal of funds from your account to a non-ABN account. The banks already know exactly when and where this is and collect $ at this point (especially if you're doing a FOREX transaction).
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Re: $1000 Import Threshold 2017 Idiotion

Postby ball bearing » Wed Apr 19, 2017 1:38 pm

Abby wrote:
ball bearing wrote: Really? If I buy from a private seller there is no GST, duty or fees?


Correct (with the Bill in its current form). And it hasn't been legislated yet so that could change.

But remember that the selling platform (eg ebay) is considered the supplier under the proposed legislation. So long as you purchase direct from the private seller and they don't qualify under the '$75K' rule, then you're fine.

That's why ebay, amazon, et al are pushing back so hard. The govt have avoided all the compliance & storage problems (which is the sole reason why they've never hit sub-$1000 imports before - the cost would be astronomical) by putting that back on the selling platforms/websites, who obviously aren't keen on making separate administrative arrangements in place to cover just their Australian clients.

Arrangements for goods valued greater than $1000 have not (and will not) change. They'll still get held up in customs pending payment of GST (and duty if applicable).


This intrigues me. What happens if I buy from a company that has not registered with the ATO? I very much doubt that the ATO will be able to effectively police the many thousands of companies that will be very unlikely to register as an Australian taxation agent. I doubt the the Good Ol' Boys at Lynskey will give two hoots about the ATO.

I smell an impending disaster.

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Re: $1000 Import Threshold 2017 Idiotion

Postby ball bearing » Wed Apr 19, 2017 1:41 pm

Thoglette wrote:As I've said in every one of these threads (there's at least three now, Mods) the Govt is attacking the problem at the wrong point.



Indeed. The problem is being gouged by Australian distributors and retailers. If the prices were reasonable then we would not be buying from offshore outlets.

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Re: $1000 Import Threshold 2017 Idiotion

Postby tallywhacker » Wed Apr 19, 2017 2:11 pm

Thoglette wrote:As I've said in every one of these threads (there's at least three now, Mods) the Govt is attacking the problem at the wrong point.

The correct point is the removal of funds from your account to a non-ABN account. The banks already know exactly when and where this is and collect $ at this point (especially if you're doing a FOREX transaction).


the problem with this is when you pay for goods and services consumed outside australia like paying for a hotel or buying a meal.

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Re: $1000 Import Threshold 2017 Idiotion

Postby Thoglette » Wed Apr 19, 2017 3:30 pm

tallywhacker wrote:the problem with this is when you pay for goods and services consumed outside australia like paying for a hotel or buying a meal.


Not really. Anyone travelling for business is already dealing with this and submitting claims for expenses incurred. It's really not that hard.
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Re: $1000 Import Threshold 2017 Idiotion

Postby Top_Bhoy » Wed Apr 19, 2017 5:00 pm

Thoglette wrote:As I've said in every one of these threads (there's at least three now, Mods) the Govt is attacking the problem at the wrong point.

The correct point is the removal of funds from your account to a non-ABN account. The banks already know exactly when and where this is and collect $ at this point (especially if you're doing a FOREX transaction).

I'd pay using my UK credit card :P
How would they be able to differentiate me transferring money from my Oz bank account to my UK bank account. I'd be getting taxed on money already taxed and which was not used to derive income.

I'm pretty sure the big players would get around this issue though it may take a few months for them to set-it up.
Last edited by Top_Bhoy on Wed Apr 19, 2017 5:08 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: $1000 Import Threshold 2017 Idiotion

Postby AUbicycles » Wed Apr 19, 2017 5:00 pm

Thanks for the clarification Jawa - I admit that I completely ignored it and recall that it came up last year (or the year before).

In Europe, the process of collecting tax works because of the trade agreement however Australia doesn't have consistent agreements and is asking for special conditions that will actually have the effect of overseas retailers turning their backs on Australia and Australian consumers have less access. The except are the large online retailers who do good business and will be willing to comply. Costs will be passed onto the consumer and their buying power can still mean cheaper retail pricing... but the difference is that there is less choice.

How does this proposal differentiate Australian business and Australian consumers? If a small or medium sized importer technically order online from the brand - does the system change from the goods being taxed on entry to the brand (seller) being forced to capture Australian tax.

A more effective approach would be the government reducing bureaucracy - the amount of superfluous administration and time consuming accounting to operate a small business is mind numbing.

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Re: $1000 Import Threshold 2017 Idiotion

Postby Thoglette » Wed Apr 19, 2017 6:14 pm

Top_Bhoy wrote:I'd pay using my UK credit card :P


This is the basis of a large number of tax minimisation schemes. Enough small players do it and the ATO will stomp on you. Enough large players doing it and the ATO will have its funding cut. Of course that could just be a coincidence.
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Re: $1000 Import Threshold 2017 Idiotion

Postby eeksll » Wed Apr 19, 2017 9:24 pm

If customs are not holding on to the package for me to pick up, what incentive is there for overseas retailers to sign up?

Can the govt actually do anything ?

Is it at all likely this type of gst will be brought up in trade agreements with the UK / EU ?

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Re: $1000 Import Threshold 2017 Idiotion

Postby Jawa » Thu Apr 20, 2017 8:34 am

eeksll wrote:If customs are not holding on to the package for me to pick up, what incentive is there for overseas retailers to sign up?

Can the govt actually do anything ?

Is it at all likely this type of gst will be brought up in trade agreements with the UK / EU ?


*pure speculation*
Similar to ISP’s being ordered to block websites of piracy and other nefarious activity I wouldn’t put it past our elected morons to request some ecommerce websites be blocked also if they are not collecting tax.

I think however from all this robust discussion we can conclude there are more holes in this proposed policy than a block of swiss cheese. Like piracy laws before where one hole’s blocked another three open.

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Re: $1000 Import Threshold 2017 Idiotion

Postby tallywhacker » Thu Apr 20, 2017 9:23 am

Thoglette wrote:
tallywhacker wrote:the problem with this is when you pay for goods and services consumed outside australia like paying for a hotel or buying a meal.


Not really. Anyone travelling for business is already dealing with this and submitting claims for expenses incurred. It's really not that hard.


believe it or not but not everyone travels for business

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Re: $1000 Import Threshold 2017 Idiotion

Postby Abby » Thu Apr 20, 2017 10:03 am

Jawa wrote:Honestly, this will co ck up harder that Labor’s Pink Batts scheme. (source Google) As at 2015 there are 12-24 million eCommerce stores selling products online ... and Turnbull Inc wants each that generate in excess of 75k AUD annual turnover to collect tax for Australia! Lol, where do I start!


Has anyone seen any estimates of how many e-commerce sites are expected to fall into the '$75k annual turnover in Australia' threshold? I'm assuming that someone somewhere did some modelling to come up with the $75K figure as the threshold amount. I searched but couldn't come up with anything...

I wonder if it might end up being a bit of a win for bigger companies like ebay? Smaller companies that would just slip over the $75K threshold may choose to change their Australian sales model from their own website to via ebay - that means the compliance costs move to ebay...
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Re: $1000 Import Threshold 2017 Idiotion

Postby Thoglette » Thu Apr 20, 2017 10:31 am

tallywhacker wrote:believe it or not but not everyone travels for business

I believe it. My point was that submitting a claim for valid expenses incurred overseas can (and should) be no big deal.

Like most parts of the system there'll be a very small number of people inconvenienced and a similar number "rorting" the system to some degree. But in the large it is a very easy way to collect a largish amount of tax while also "doing something for Australian businesses"

If it encourages some people to holiday here rather than overseas that would also be no bad thing.
Last edited by Thoglette on Thu Apr 20, 2017 5:58 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: $1000 Import Threshold 2017 Idiotion

Postby AUbicycles » Thu Apr 20, 2017 3:12 pm

Further news shows Auspost welcoming the move to have the Vendor collect as they project that the cost is $900 millions while (entire) revenue is only $300 million.

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