25 Nov 2013

Treasurers to discuss online shopping tax

10:53 am on 25 November 2013

State, territorial and federal treasurers in Australia are to discuss charging GST for overseas online shopping worth less than $A1000.

They will meet in Canberra on Wednesday morning for the first since the change of government.

A spokeswoman for Federal Treasurer Joe Hockey said the meeting will focus on economic growth and ways to increase productivity.

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Photo: 123rf

The $A1000 threshold at which the GST is collected on goods and services purchased from abroad will be on the agenda.

AAP reports the treasurers will consider potential options on collecting the GST on online transactions if the threshold was to be lowered.

Australian businesses argue that while online shopping from foreign outlets may comprise a small component of the overall retail sector, it's a fast-growing trend being supported by an effectively GST-free status on less expensive items.

The previous Labor government argued that significant reforms were needed within the tax system to handle the job otherwise the cost of collecting the tax would outstrip the revenue collected.

NSW Treasurer Mike Baird said New South Wales had been pushing for reform on the low-value threshold on GST for online overseas purchases for a long time.

"It is about time we had a genuine discussion on the issues that matter and it's clear that under the new federal government this is what we are going to see," he told AAP.