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Australia marketplaces split on e-commerce GST

  • Jul 9, 2018 | Richard Asquith

Australia marketplaces split on e-commerce GST

From 1 July 2018, Australia withdrew the AU$1,000 GST-free import threshold on goods imported by consumers.  This effectively ended the tax subsidy foreign online merchants had when selling to Australian consumers compared to domestic sellers obliged to levy the 10% consumption tax. Non-resident sellers are now liable to GST register, and charge tax on any B2C sales from abroad, if they pass the local selling threshold of AU$75,000 per annum.

The major two foreign marketplaces, eBay and Amazon, have tackled this new requirement in two different ways to help ensure all sales on their platforms are compliant with the new rules.

eBay opts for GST split payments

In response, eBay is to collect GST on sales made by foreign merchants on its platform. This will be done by eBay automatically adding 10% tax at the ‘checkout’. eBay will then remit this directly to the Australian Taxation Office (ATO). This means merchants will not have to separately GST register in Australia.

 Amazon launches with geo-blocking

By contrast, Amazon has launched an Australian marketplace,, in December 2017. This includes an in-country fulfillment centre. This means foreign e-tailers can first import the goods for local storage, and then make domestic sales at the regular 10% GST. Amazon has geo-blocked Australian surfers from its foreign marketplaces.

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VP Global Indirect Tax
Richard Asquith
VP Global Indirect Tax Richard Asquith
Richard Asquith is VP Global Indirect Tax at Avalara, helping businesses understand their compliance obligations as they grow globally. He is part of the European leadership team which won International Tax Review's 2020 Tax Technology Firm of the Year. Richard trained as an accountant with KPMG in the UK, and went on to work in Hungary, Russia and France with EY.