From 1 July this year, low value goods imported from overseas by consumers in Australia will attract Goods and Services Tax (GST). This means that vendors—including merchants, electronic distribution platform operators and re-deliverers—with sales subject to GST of AUD 75,000 or more each year will need to register with the Australian Taxation Office (ATO), collect GST at the point of sale and remit that GST to the ATO.
What does this mean for my import reporting requirements?
While border processes will not change, you are advised to consider whether changes to your business processes are necessary.
Vendors registered for GST need to ensure that relevant tax information is included on import documents for low value goods. Vendors can face penalties if they fail to take reasonable steps to meet their reporting requirements.
To help vendors meet their reporting requirements, the Integrated Cargo System will allow, where necessary, the reporting of additional information, including Vendor ID, Importer ID and the use of a GST-paid exemption code. Please refer to (https://www.homeaffairs.gov.au/Cargosupport/Documents/external-release-notes-17402.pdf), which set out the additional information to report depending on the relevant import document and the information provided by the vendor.
Providing the additional information, particularly the GST-paid exemption code, helps prevent GST from being charged at the border when it has already been charged at the point of sale. If GST is charged a second time at the border, refunds will not be available from the Department of Home Affairs and must be sought from the supplier.
What is not changing?
The AUD1000 threshold for GST, duty and reporting at the border will remain.
These changes do not apply to tobacco, tobacco products, or alcoholic beverages. These goods will continue to be taxable importations at the border regardless of their customs value.