Feeds

Online shopping tax slug not worth the effort: National Australia Bank

$AU800 million? Tell 'em they're DREAMING, son

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

State and federal governments lovingly eyeing off a billion-dollar windfall if the GST threshold on online purchases is lowered are deluding themselves, according to a former Treasury economist now with the National Australia Bank.

The NAB conducts a long-running research series into online commerce in Australia, giving weight to its chief economist, Alan Oster, stating that the take from eliminating the GST threshold entirely would raise a paltry $AU360 million.

Currently, the Australian Customs Service allows incoming packages to escape assessment for GST if the goods are valued at less than $AU1,000. This administrative decision, labelled a “loophole” by the retail industry and its lobbyists, is designed to avoid spending five dollars in bureaucracy to recover three in tax.

The threshold has long been fingered by bricks-and-mortar retailers as the cause of their woes, helping them draw attention away from geographic price discrimination practiced by multinational manufacturers.

In late November, Australia's state treasurers began lobbying the Federal government to change the threshold.

According to The Age Ostler, launching the latest NAB retail sales index, said the “best case scenario” of a zero threshold would be $AU360 million.

In fact, Ostler said, NAB's analysis of two million transactions per day leaves no doubt that there's no secret pot of gold awaiting the government.

“If you lowered the threshold from $1000 to $500, you would raise $40 million; if you lowered it to $100, you would raise $210 million; if you lowered it to $25, you would raise $310 million,” he said. “And if you got rid of it completely, you would get about $360 million.” ®

Security for virtualized datacentres

More from The Register

next story
Ex-US Navy fighter pilot MIT prof: Drones beat humans - I should know
'Missy' Cummings on UAVs, smartcars and dying from boredom
Facebook, Apple: LADIES! Why not FREEZE your EGGS? It's on the company!
No biological clockwatching when you work in Silicon Valley
The 'fun-nification' of computer education – good idea?
Compulsory code schools, luvvies love it, but what about Maths and Physics?
Doctor Who's Flatline: Cool monsters, yes, but utterly limp subplots
We know what the Doctor does, stop going on about it already
'Cowardly, venomous trolls' threatened with TWO-YEAR sentences for menacing posts
UK government: 'Taking a stand against a baying cyber-mob'
Happiness economics is bollocks. Oh, UK.gov just adopted it? Er ...
Opportunity doesn't knock; it costs us instead
Sysadmin with EBOLA? Gartner's issued advice to debug your biz
Start hoarding cleaning supplies, analyst firm says, and assume your team will scatter
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Cloud and hybrid-cloud data protection for VMware
Learn how quick and easy it is to configure backups and perform restores for VMware environments.
Three 1TB solid state scorchers up for grabs
Big SSDs can be expensive but think big and think free because you could be the lucky winner of one of three 1TB Samsung SSD 840 EVO drives that we’re giving away worth over £300 apiece.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.