GST on Digital Imports But Still Not Physical Goods

Call to the Federal Government

The additional assistance to small business is no doubt welcome. An immediate deduction on capital equipment purchases for business under $2m – Great! However in the Treasurer’s Budget Speech words or thereabouts, ‘Australian small business do not play on level field – paying higher rents, wages,’ etc than overseas businesses – he further stated “It is plainly unfair that a supplier of digital products in Australia has to charge GST and an off-shore supplier does not” as he announced the introduction of GST on overseas digital downloads and such. We ask what about physical products?

As we have consistently advocated for a number of years, our industry is labouring under the weight of internet competition –in addition to the economies of scale of overseas business and different distribution models. Our competitors are gifted a 10% bonus!

With an LVT on imports of $1,000 our retailers suffer unfair competition from overseas businesses that do not have to levy the GST. The vast majority of imports of musical instruments and print music are priced within this LVT – when will the government address the issue for the sake of all those small, family businesses that are competing with the tax free import of physical products as well as those in the digital realm.

Can a time-frame be nominated, will the Tax Review, for example, give our struggling retailers an opportunity to compete on a more level playing field?