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Old 06-02-2018, 08:31 AM   #31
darryl
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The $1,000 de minimus GST exception was simple common sense. The tax was uneconomic to collect on these items and still is. Amazon Australia is registered for GST and pays GST. Amazon's new world store will obviously register for Australian GST. I suspect Amazon's concern here is the thin end of the wedge. Laws of this type set a dangerous precedent. Taken to an extreme every Amazon site would have to bear the costs of collecting tax for every country on the face of the earth. What is required is that the relevant Amazon companies register for GST for its US site and potentially all of its sites, meet various requirements for invoicing etc, lodge returns quarterly and remit payments, all at its own cost. Including modifying its computer system and employing any necessary staff for administration. Good over $A1,000 value are simply taxed at the border, with Customs collecting the GST from the customer importing. The goods are not released until payment is made. This regime would work for smaller imports also, but of course the administrative burden and costs (and the outrage) would fall on the Australian government.

Last edited by darryl; 06-02-2018 at 08:34 AM.
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Old 06-02-2018, 08:46 PM   #32
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I should add to my previous post that Amazon's response shows its typical long term outlook. It is establishing an international store which will top-up items available on the Australian site with some products previously only available from the UK. I suspect it is anticipating that other countries will follow Australia's lead. I suspect that this international site will cater for the actions of such other country. When they implement the offending regime Amazon will simply prevent its other stores from shipping to that country and implement the changes to cater for the new tax on one single site, the International one. A much better alternative than implementing these taxes individually in every store. A good solution for Amazon to Government stupidity. Not so good for consumers forced to the International store.
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Old 06-02-2018, 10:24 PM   #33
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shalym View Post
According to the original post, Amazon is creating a store just for Australia.

The reason I asked whether the tax needs to be included in the display price is because it *does* make it a completely different proposition from how it's handled in the US. In the US, the tax is added at the end of the transaction, based on where the items will be shipped to. The display price is the same for everyone, but the actual price paid changes.

For instance, I have this item in my cart: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B013EANPI6/ The list price is $176.21. If I ship it to Connecticut, $11.19 is added to the final price for sales tax. If I decide that I want to ship it to my brother in law in Utah instead, the $11.19 tax changes to $12.07. I tried to choose a friend's address in Canada, and wasn't allowed to ship there.

How would this work for a country where the tax needs to be included in the display price? Maybe the people in those countries just aren't allowed to ship to an address outside the country? I find it interesting that I'm not allowed to ship to Canada anymore...I'm pretty sure that I've had stuff shipped directly there in the past. Maybe because they have their own store now?

edit: Never mind...I tried setting a different item to ship to my Canadian friend, and it worked. It did add "Import Fees Deposit: $12.80" to the cost, which I believe covers the taxes and fees.

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The population of Australia is estimated to be 24,951,700 as of 31 May 2018.
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Old 06-03-2018, 07:43 AM   #34
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Quote:
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The population of Australia is estimated to be 24,951,700 as of 31 May 2018.
Huh? Was this directed at me? Did I mention anything about population numbers anywhere?

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Old 06-03-2018, 08:00 AM   #35
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shalym View Post
Huh? Was this directed at me? Did I mention anything about population numbers anywhere?

Shari
I suspect it was meant to address my attempt at humor regarding the population of Australia. Maybe Cane and I should start a comedy team and tour the world. I could use a straight-man. (and maybe a comedy writer!)
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Old 06-03-2018, 10:19 AM   #36
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I didn't realise the US tax collection system was so complex. I would say that is one good thing about our GST that it is collected as same rate everywhere and is usually inclusive or it tells you what is what. I remember when I went to the US, the actual price I paid wasn't correct as I didn't take into account gst equivalent/tips.

My problem is that I buy some stuff from Amazon Japan. Does this mean I will be blocked from buying and shipping stuff to Australia? Will I need to use a VPN (which I use for kindle manga anyway) or baggage forwarding service to get stuff. Or will this only be relevant to the US and UK store? I guess I will find out after July.

I also heard the Australia Amazon store wasn't performing very well and had limited range of products. It will be interesting to see how it goes in the future.

I can understand the retailers frustration in Australia and know the government doesn't want to administer it. But it makes things difficult. It would be great if there was one international store which had everything and you just change the currency and ship anywhere...but I know there are restrictions on releases and country rules etc...A girl can dream I suppose.

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Old 06-03-2018, 12:50 PM   #37
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A VPN won't help if the ship to address is Australia.

I wonder how package forwarding services will be affected. In the majority of countries, all taxes are paid by the consumer upon receipt of a parcel, so taxes don't enter into the quotation when using a freight forwarder. But under the new legislation, Australian GST would not be paid by a retailer when shipping to a US forwarding address. Might be a risky business especially if the parcel is not repackaged.
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Old 06-04-2018, 04:35 PM   #38
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Inukami View Post
I didn't realise the US tax collection system was so complex.
In theory, it is simple. A straight percentage of the purchase price.

What makes it difficult to calculate, is that the boundaries of the various entities that raise funds via sales tax can be somewhat nebulous, I've been to at least one mall, that had lines running through it, to demarcate the borders of the fire district, school district, and some other entity that levied sales tax.

The most common entities to raise funds via sales tax are:
* State government;
* County Government;
* City/village government;
* School district;
* Fire district;
* Business improvement zone;
* Tribal area;

Furthermore, just because one remits the sales tax to the state department of revenue, that does not mean that they know how much should be collected.

Roughly a decade ago, I read an article about the lawsuit between one of these small agencies, and the state department of taxation, claiming that the latter had failed to remit collected sales tax to them. The state department's response was along the lines of "who are you?" Apparently, the state department had no idea that sales tax for that entity had been remitted to them by retailers in that agency's catchment area.

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Old 06-04-2018, 07:47 PM   #39
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The State of Georgia receives all sales tax collected by merchants. It then takes it's share and disperses the rest to each county government. The counties take their share and then allocates the rest to the cities and towns within the county. The largest town in my county sued the county a few years ago. They claimed that the county should have allocated a larger portion of the taxes collected to them.
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Old 06-11-2018, 11:49 AM   #40
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Originally Posted by tubemonkey View Post
...and between cities within the same state.
WA (I loved dealing with these nice folk. When I asked about a series of forms: You have Employees here? Tear them up ) and CA (my home state: Nasty to deal with) made that easy for shippers. They provided decent tables with the city (with a tax id code), county and rate.

Others left 'taxing jurisdiction' sleuthing to the Shipper. (I once did not collect the city tax for a show's sales, because we were not in Maricopa County. The Taxman said I owed because the town crossed county lines into the adjacent county. ) Forget asking the customer for help , some don't even know what jurisdiction they are in, let alone the rate (the tax forms DEMAND proper allocation )

Other jurisdictions taxes (and rates) vary by commodity. CA does not tax some groceries. TIt axes a single Brownie, but NOT a sheet of Brownies.
Believe me, getting the Tax Code correct is hard work for even a single STORE Location, let alone, crossing jurisdictional lines.

I once was advised by someone (also a customer) who worked at AU customs, to try and keep shipments under x US$, as it was too much effort to collect (the same person advised to NOT under declare, as every shipment, fro now on, WILL be scrutinized once detected)

We need a simplified, Uniform Tax schedule (at least by country) and submission points, for collection to work. Can you imagine mailing out 1,000 (unique) tax forms and checks every month?
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Old 06-11-2018, 11:54 PM   #41
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As I posted above, I expect that Amazon's new international store anticipates other countries taking Australia's approach. That way its indifidual national stores can deal only with the local taxes, which are complicated enough in the US alone. Compliance with the rules of other countries which seek to make Amazon responsible for collecting and paying their taxes will be kept within the national store for that country and the Internation store. Imagine the complexity and the administrative nightmare created if each national store had to register, administer and collect taxes for multiple countries. Even implementing this in one International store will be a nightmare.
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