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article imageOp-Ed: Taxes on online purchases? A few more problems Special

By Paul Wallis     Dec 16, 2012 in Internet
Sydney - Australian governments, which have presided over ridiculous electricity price rises, insane home prices, ludicrous airfares and everything else now want to make Australia the only place on Earth charged tax for buying online.
The Sydney Morning Herald explains the level of intellect involved while doing yet another directly consumer-related article where there’s no space for comments:
The independent GST review, carried out by former premiers Nick Greiner and John Brumby and tax expert Bruce Carter, said the high exemption threshold for the 10 per cent GST on online shopping hurt Australian businesses and cost the states ''hundreds of millions of dollars'' in lost revenue. It says the current low-value import threshold should at least be halved from $1000 to $500.
It said this could be done almost straight away, without changing GST or customs law.
But it said in the longer term, governments should consider replacing the ''at-the-border'' collection of GST with a system that imposed a GST liability directly on overseas suppliers of goods and services.
Put simply:
Foreign suppliers will have to collect taxes for the Australian government. Does this happen anywhere else on Earth? Is any other nation on Earth paying tax for online transactions? If not, why should we be the first?
“Hundreds of millions” may or may not be accurate at a 10% tax rate. “Hundreds” would mean multiple billions of dollars’ worth of purchases. If it is, it’s a good representation of how strongly motivated Australians are to buy offshore.
Lousy math
There’s a reason for that motivation. Protecting Australia’s retailers isn’t such a great deal for consumers:
Minimum price for iPhone 4S at a randomly chosen online aggregator site in Australia: $659AU ($691US @ $1.05AU to $1.00US) This, by the way, is from a top online distributor.
From Apple online for an iPhone 5 $199US= $189.52, unlocked and contract-free.
So Australian consumers would pay $69.50 tax buying in Australia at absurdly inflated prices and would pay $19.90 if they bought in the US.
Then there's TVs:
Australian price for a 50" TV $989 minimum, from another online distributor.
From Walmart US, $448.
The list just goes on and on.
Aren’t you pollies brilliant? Is that $19.90 for the iPhone for a super-popular product a deterrent against a massive ripoff like that? Whose side are you on, the people who voted you in, or the people who are going to get you voted out? You've got a few months to make up your minds.
Add to this the fact that processing taxes will add to charges against consumers.
The short answer for consumers-
Refuse to buy any major retail products in Australia that don’t measure up to online prices.
Make a point of buying overseas.
Even allowing for delivery costs, it’ll be much cheaper. These bloodsucking bastards can go as broke as they’ve been sending consumers.
As for our spineless, grovelling to anything corporate, shameless and unbelievably stupid, pig-ignorant politicians- This is a classic case of how far out of touch with reality you are.
Anyone in favour of a performance based pay scale for politicians? Just a thought, but would definitely save hundreds of millions over time.
We could also save money by not paying car manufacturers $200 million to pretend to “carry on producing in Australia” and then lay off staff six months later.
Given the way taxes are wasted and more costs are put on Australian consumers, why pay taxes at all? There’s no benefit, no attempt to improve competitive pricing, nothing at all of value.
You want to pay the states more GST? Pay it yourselves. We get nothing at all out of it.
DO NOT PAY THIS TAX. USE EVERY LEGAL MEANS TO GET AROUND IT.. If the tax is $500, buy two separate orders at $499.99. There are 7 billion people not getting charged taxes online, so why should we?
Foreign readers- If this can happen to us, it can happen to you. Our enchanting global parasitic governments will find a way of screwing you out of more money given half a chance.
In the meantime- Go to hell, you wankers. Start charging competitive prices or you'll pay for it the hard way.
Just one more thing, but it is relevant. One phone call could get cheap goods crashing in to this country like an elephant through toilet paper.
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of
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