August 21, 2015
Federal Member for Gippsland Darren Chester says the lowering of the GST threshold for overseas purchases is a win for small business owners in regional areas.
Goods bought offshore will have the GST included from July 1, 2017, after agreement was reached by Federal and State treasurers today.
The current GST threshold for overseas purchases online is $1000.
Mr Chester said Gippsland small business owners would be delighted by the news.
“I have lobbied the current Treasurer and previous Treasurers on behalf of Gippsland small business owners for several years on this change,” Mr Chester said.
“Our small to medium enterprises are the engine room of our regional economies. Every time we shop locally, it creates jobs.
“Small shops in Gippsland and the Latrobe Valley have been forced to pass on the GST to their customers, while online competitors from overseas do not. These changes will level the playing field.”
The Nationals MP said he acknowledged the 2017 start date was a long lead-in time for businesses, but changes would be complex.
Mr Chester said small businesses were major supporters of regional communities through sponsorships and paying taxes, while online competitors from overseas did not.
“This change is about making sure businesses that want to effectively operate in Australia have to make a contribution to the revenue base to provide betters schools, hospitals and roads,” Mr Chester said.
“This is not about policing people who choose to buy from overseas retailers. It is about policing the vendors overseas and giving our Australian small businesses owners a fair chance of competing against their overseas rivals.”