On Monday 5.7.2021, the Government announced that it has asked the Board of Taxation (Board) to review the collection of GST on low value imported goods, implemented from 1 July 2018. The review is to ensure the system is operating as intended, its effectiveness and any relevant international developments. The Board is to report back by 17 December 2021.
See below for further details.
Review of low value imported goods
On 5 July 2021 the Government announced that the Board of Taxation would undertake a review into the Low Value Imported Goods (LVIG) measure which facilitates the addition of Goods and Services Tax (GST) on low value imported goods.
The Board will assess the effectiveness of the LVIG regime and provide advice regarding its ongoing operation.
Before 1 July 2018, goods imported directly by consumers costing $1,000 or less did not attract GST. High value goods with a customs value over $1,000 were assessed and charged GST at the border.
From 1 July 2018, GST was applied to low value goods using a vendor registration model known as the LVIG arrangements. This model requires suppliers, online platforms and re-deliverers with an Australian GST turnover of $75,000 or more to register, collect and remit GST to the ATO. Suppliers can also access the simplified GST registration and reporting system. The existing processes to collect GST on imports above $1,000 at the border remain unchanged.
At the announcement of this measure in the 2016-17 Budget, the Government also announced that the LVIG arrangements would be reviewed after two years to ensure they were operating as intended and to consider any international developments. The Board is requested to undertake this review with the following terms of reference.
Terms of Reference
The Board of Taxation is asked to do the following:
- Assess the effectiveness of the LVIG regime to efficiently collect GST with reference to the policy intent of the law that low value goods imported by consumers face the same tax regime as goods that are sourced domestically. In doing so, the review will:1.1 assess the effectiveness of the administration of the measure;
1.2 assess industry compliance with the LVIG rules;
1.3 undertake a targeted external consultation process, working closely and collaboratively with the Treasury, Australian Taxation Office, and Australian Border Force;
1.4 examine the issues identified in the consultation process; and
1.5 provide any observations, findings, and appropriate recommendations for improvements and certainty to the ongoing operation of the LVIG regime.
- Report on and assess any relevant international developments and experiences regarding the collection of GST and other consumption taxes on LVIG.