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New GST Bill Suits Big Business Only

New GST Bill Suits Big Business Only

There is nothing for small businesses and their communities in the Bill being introduced which requires foreign online retailers to collect GST on digital and intangible services according to Booksellers NZ CEO, Lincoln Gould.

“Minister McClay talks of fairness and creating a level playing field. The Bill goes only halfway to rectifying the GST problem with foreign retailers and benefits only big businesses engaged in selling videos, music and e-books,” says Gould.

“It does not help small retailers, such as bookshops, that face an ever-increasing uneven playing field, where they have to collect GST for the government on the sale of small value goods, while the offshore online retailer does not.

A discussion paper on applying GST to online purchases of small value goods was expected this month.

“Now today, the Minister has said this discussion paper will not come out until April next year from the Customs Department.

“This will mean that Amazon, for instance, will be required to collect GST on the sale of an e-book, or an audio book to a New Zealand purchaser, but not on the sale of a printed book.

“It is unclear why Customs takes any longer to rectify this issue than the Department of Inland Revenue, given the years that it has been on the table. And the recently released guidelines on the issue from the OECD pointed a way forward, which other countries have followed already,” says Gould.

Booksellers NZ is the trade association representing 200 bookshops nationwide.

ENDS

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