5 July 2021

Board of Taxation to review the application of GST on low value imported goods

The Government is delivering on its commitment to provide a fairer playing field for Australian businesses by asking the Board of Taxation to review the collection of Goods and Services Tax (GST) on low value imported goods and ensure the system is operating as intended.

The GST on Low Value Imported Goods was introduced on 1 July 2018 removing the unfair advantage foreign businesses had prior to that.

Before this date, goods imported directly by consumers costing $1,000 or less did not attract GST and only high value goods with a customs value over $1,000 were assessed and charged GST at the border.

Australia was one of the first countries in the world to implement a vendor model, requiring suppliers, online platforms and re-deliverers with an Australian GST turnover of $75,000 or more to register, collect and pay GST to the ATO.

When announcing the measure in the 2016-17 Budget, the Government committed to reviewing the measure after it was operational, to ensure it was consistent with international best practice. 

Given the measure has now been in place for several years, with many countries moving in the same direction, the Government has requested the Board consider:

  • the effectiveness of the Low Value Imported Goods regime to efficiently collect GST
  • any relevant international developments and experiences regarding the collection of GST and other consumption taxes.

The Government looks forward to considering the Board’s findings later in the year. 

The terms of reference can be found on the Board of Tax website.