It is intended that from 1 July 2017, the changes to the GST rules will:

  • make supplies of goods valued at $1,000 or less at the time of supply connected with Australia if the goods are, broadly, purchased by consumers and are brought to Australia with the assistance of the supplier and therefore subject to GST;
  • treat the operator of an electronic distribution platform as the supplier of low value goods if the goods are purchased through the platform by consumers and brought to Australia with the assistance of either the supplier or the operator;
  • treat re-deliverers as the suppliers of low value goods if the goods are delivered outside Australia as part of the supply and the re-deliverer assists with their delivery into Australia as part of, broadly, a shopping or mailbox service that it provides under an arrangement with the consumer;
  • allow non-resident suppliers of low value goods that are connected with Australia only because of these amendments to elect to be a limited registration entity and as such access the simplified registration and reporting system; and
  • prevent double taxation by making importations of goods non-taxable importations if the supply of the goods is a taxable supply only as a result of these amendments and notice is provided in the approved form.

If you are registered for GST and buy low value imported goods for your business from overseas, you will need to supply your ABN at the time of purchase so you won’t be charged GST.

If your business is not registered for GST, you will be treated as a consumer and unable to recover the GST charged by the overseas business.

The Bill containing these changes has not yet passed Parliament, though it is anticipated the Bill will pass shortly. A Senate Committee had also recommended the implementation date be deferred until 1 July 2018.

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