Australia to tax online overseas book orders

Australia to tax online overseas book orders

Australia will reportedly begin a 10% tax on books ordered online from within Australia and shipped from abroad.

Beginning in July 2018, the new regulation follows lobbying from the country’s retailers and the Australian Booksellers Association according to Publishers Weekly. The trade body has argued that its members are disadvantaged under the current tax system.

Booksellers claim that overseas companies were taking advantage of a regulation placing taxes only on imported items shipped from abroad valued at $1,000 or more. This has left items below the threshold, such as books, tax free.

The new legislation will extend the 10% tax to “low value” goods including those costing $1, and must be collected by companies $75,000 of goods or more a year.

Amazon was one of the companies opposing the law and claimed it to be “unworkable” and overly complex. It is expected to open Australian based business next.

The Australian Booksellers Association’s c.e.o Joel Becker praised the new regulation. He said: "I congratulate the Australian Government and praise all those within the books community and the broader business sector who collaborated so effectively on this long campaign.”

Last year, the association joined with other Australian book industry organisations to protest changes proposed by the government to turn the country into an “open market” and allow booksellers to import both UK and US titles without restrictions.