Government in knots on GST

Published: Thu 30 Jun 2016 04:12 PM
Government in knots on GST
The Government seems to be tying itself in knots over the collection of GST on small value goods including books bought from overseas online retailers, according to Booksellers NZ.
“The papers they have released today, contain nothing new in terms of a plan for collecting the millions of dollars currently being lost from non-payment of GST on small value goods bought online from overseas retailers. The Government is simply saying they need more time to look at systems and issues around the de minimis,” said Booksellers NZ’s CEO, Lincoln Gould.
“There has been so much research done on this issue over the past four or five years and it really is time for the government to act in the same way they have done on GST on intangibles and digital services – require offshore online retailers to register to collect GST in the same way as do all of our other retailers.
“The requirement to register will be met by all of the major players, thus 80-90 percent of the problem would be fixed. To get smaller offshore retailers to register is a matter of compliance. There is no point in further complicated research into systems that will ensure every last cent can be collected.
“Meanwhile, booksellers and other small businesses in communities around the country will continue to face unfair competition from offshore retailers,” said Gould.
The issue will be discussed by Booksellers at their 95th annual conference, where bookshops will be urged to re-engage in the #efairnessNZ campaign and write to their local MPs urging action.

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