A new tax on online shopping in Australia will be slashed to $25 a transaction and $20 a return, a decision that will affect more than 40 per cent of the economy, according to a new report.
Key points: The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission says a $25 tax will be levied on all online sales in the country by August 1st, and that it will be applied across the board for all retailers by August 2019The ACCC said it had received an average of 6,000 complaints about the new tax over the past yearThe new tax will affect online sales from retailers such as Coles and Woolworths as well as others that sell directly to consumers, such as Amazon.com.au and Zappos.com, according the ACCC.
The ACCCs proposed new tax comes after the Australian Competition Commission (ACCC) received an increasing number of complaints about a tax on the sale of online products and services.
In March this year, the commission said it received an “average of 6.5,000 submissions about the proposed Australian online sales tax from businesses and consumers over the previous 12 months.”
A new tax was first proposed in 2016, and is expected to be the most effective tax tool to reduce the cost of goods and services, according ACCC chairman Rod Sims.
But critics of the proposal say the new levy will be a regressive one, taking advantage of low-income earners.
“This will only affect those Australians who already have a taxable income of $15,000 or less, and those who do not already pay tax on their income,” Mr Sims said.
“In the short term, this is going to result in fewer Australians earning more money than they are taxed, so the government will only be raising revenue for the long term.”ACCC chairman Rob Sims says the new online tax will not benefit low- income earners.
(ABC News)The new levy on online sales will also apply to online purchases by businesses that sell direct to consumers.
In 2017, the ACCCs first proposed a similar tax on e-Commerce purchases in the retail sector, which was aimed at increasing revenue by $5.7 billion over four years.
“While the ACCIC believes that the current levy on eCommerce is regressive, this levy will apply to all eCommerce transactions in Australia, regardless of whether they are retail or non-retail,” the commission’s website states.
“It will also be applied for all non-Retail transactions, whether they be online, by mail or in person.”
In 2019, the government announced that it would reduce the levy by $50, and it will apply a one-time $25 surcharge on the value of online purchases made by consumers.
Mr Sims said the new measure was designed to reduce taxes on the supply chain.
“We are reducing tax burdens by increasing transparency,” he said.”[This] is part of the Government’s commitment to reducing taxes on business.”
The Australian Taxation Office has said that it received between 6,500 and 6,900 complaints about its proposed new online sales levy from retailers.
The organisation has said it will investigate whether there is a genuine need for the tax, and whether it could be implemented in other jurisdictions.
Topics:tax,business-economics-and-finance,commerce,business,consumer-protection,internet-technology,information-and,technology,internetaustraliaContact Peter WrightMore stories from Australia