Online shoppers could soon be charged GST on all their purchases

Online shoppers purchasing goods under $1000 currently avoid paying GST but federal treasurer Joe Hockey says the tax could soon be charged on all transactions below the threshold.

Last week the Nationals agreed to broaden GST to include online transactions under $1000.

Hockey told ABC radio: “It could, it may well go to zero as well.”

He also said the government would attempt to apply the tax on lower priced items from international companies and that moves to charge GST on imports when they entered Australia were a logistical “nightmare”.

“We have identified a new way, through Australia’s leadership of the G20, to be able to impose the GST on the supplier,” he said.

“We can go to the Amazons, we can go to the various retailers overseas, and say you have to identify the goods you are selling into the Australian market and they will do so and that is how we are going to collect it.”

Assistant treasurer Josh Frydenberg last week said that a $20 threshold was being considered.

State and territory leaders would need to agree to the changes. Hockey said raising the level of GST paid, for example to Mike Baird’s 15% proposal as a way to fund education and health spending shortfalls, isn’t the answer.

“If you simply increase taxes to meet the increased spending by government you will see the Australian economy pay a price,” Frydenberg said.

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