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Australia to abolish tax-free threshold on import retail tax

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Australia intends to apply its goods and services tax (GST) to all offshore sales into the country from July 2017, Treasurer Joe Hockey said on Friday.

[SYDNEY] Australia intends to apply its goods and services tax (GST) to all offshore sales into the country from July 2017, Treasurer Joe Hockey said on Friday.

The decision to abolish the current low value import threshold, which exempts items valued under A$1,000 (US$730) from the 10 per cent tax, follows lobbying by the domestic retail ok, thindustry as it faces tough competition from online companies selling into Australia. "This will ensure that there is a fair and equal treatment of all goods and services," Mr Hockey told reporters in Canberra."The low value import threshold has had a negative impact on Australian businesses and Australian jobs." Mr Hockey's announcement followed talks between state and federal treasurers, who collect the GST. The plan must now go to parliament, where it is expected to pass, although collecting the tax from all foreign sellers is likely to be costly and complicated.

REUTERS

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