NZ imposes 15% tax on overseas e-book orders

NZ imposes 15% tax on overseas e-book orders

The New Zealand government is collecting a 15% goods and services tax (GST) on e-books and digital products from overseas retailers as of 1st October 2016. 

Following legislation introduced in New Zealand's parliament last week, overseas retailers of digital products will have to register and return GST if they supply to New Zealand residents. Those customers placing orders online from foreign retailers will also be charged a 15% GST. The move will raise projected revenues of around $NZ40m (£17.36m) for New Zealand.

Representing the interests of New Zealand booksellers, Lincoln Gould, c.e.o for Booksellers NZ, however, said that the tax didn't go far enough. Gould told Books+Publishing: “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.

“A discussion paper on applying GST to online purchases of small value goods was expected this month. Now the minister has said this discussion paper will not come out until April next year from the Customs Department.”

In August, the New Zealand parliament discussed applying a 10% GST to overseas online orders applying to all goods - not just digital - from July 2017.