GST debate heats up

business, online, e-commerce, graphThe National Retail Association (NRA) has called on the West Australian Government to stop playing games with Australian jobs and end the political stand off over closing the GST loophole for overseas retailers.

Trevor Evans, NRA CEO, welcomed today’s confirmation that online media services were to be levied with GST in next week’s Budget.

“Small Australian retailers are expected to collect and pay GST on their sales to Australians.  There is no good reason that some of the largest and most profitable companies in the world should be allowed to avoid the tax,” he said.

He also welcomed comments by Assistant Treasurer, Josh Frydenberg, indicating he would seek to go further after the Budget and attempt to close the loophole for overseas retailers that allows them to avoid paying the GST, import duties and customs charges on packages worth less than $1000.

“We commend Mr Frydenberg for listening to industry and taking the initiative on this important issue,” Evans said.

“Unfortunately the West Australian Government has indicated it will continue to stand in the way of reform despite the otherwise unanimous support of other states.

“This is a calculated move to put a gun at the heads of the States and Commonwealth, but the people who are really getting hurt here are small business owners and their employees.

“We have research showing that this loophole is costing tens of thousands of Aussie jobs, and many millions of dollars in revenue to the Federal and State Governments, including WA.

“Importantly, we know this unfair advantage for overseas businesses is hurting local retailers.

“We call on the West Australian Government to stop playing games on this issue and put the interest of their businesses, their workers and the entire nation ahead of petty political concerns.”

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