Calls for online purchases tax

THE National Retail Association has called on the Federal Government to pass laws requiring foreign online retailers to pay the same taxes and duties as Australian businesses.

An Aussie Retail Jobs Act was vital, the NRA said, to protect the livelihoods of thousands of Australian workers.

The call followed the release of a report by the Federal Government's Low Value Parcel Processing Taskforce which was charged with addressing concerns about the tax treatment of foreign online retailers.

Under the Federal Government's tax regulation, known as the Low Value Threshold, foreign-based online retail giants currently do not pay any taxes or duties on items worth less than $1000 that they sell into Australia.

"Australians can no longer stomach foreign-based online retail giants such as Amazon, eBay and Macy's growing at the expense local small to medium sized businesses that so many Australians rely on," NRA executive director Gary Black said.

"The reality is the Federal Government has the legislative power to stop the loss of thousands of retail jobs across Australia," Mr Black said.

A report by Ernst and Young, which was commissioned by the National Retail Association earlier this year, found that a continuation of the Federal Government's current tax regulations for online goods could cost the Australian retail industry 33,400 local jobs and see foreign based online retailers capture 75% of Australia's online retail market by 2015.



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