Tax targets Netflix and other downloading entertainment

NETFLIX lovers are in for some bad news - there is a proposed tax that could see you paying more.

The Australian Retailers Association (ARA) has commended Federal Treasurer, Scott Morrison, on draft laws introduced to Parliament this week to close the loophole which sees digital purchases, including e-books, music, and content streaming services escape tax if purchased from online overseas operators.

The ARA has lead the campaign on tangible and intangible GST collection changes, securing a major victory in August, with confirmation of the removal of the $1000 tax-free threshold on purchases from international retailers from July 2017.

ARA Executive Director, Russell Zimmerman, said the planned changes are necessary to bring purchases of digital goods in line with physical goods from 2017, and will put a stop to the advantage online overseas retailers now enjoy over Australian businesses.

"Mr Morrison's proposal to close the GST loophole that has seen international online operators given a leg up over local Australian players is the final frontier in our fight to maintain a fair an equal business environment for Australian retailers," said Mr Zimmerman.

If the proposed legislation is passed in Parliament, intangible items such as games, music, e-books, video and other content streaming purchased from international e-commerce entities will be subject to the same tax as Australian sold physical or digital goods. The laws would be expected to come into effect from July 2017.

"The issue of international online retailers escaping the payment of taxes has been a huge concern for Australian retailers, and the ARA is overjoyed to see that the Government is finally taking action. If passed, this legislation will finally offer Aussie companies a level playing field on intangible items, with the Government committed to fixing the GST on physical items.

"This change will have the added benefit of funnelling around $350 million in extra revenue into our States and Territories, which can be used to fund crucial services such as teachers, police, and doctors. We hope to see the quick passing of the laws in Parliament and the swift implementation of this sensible law."



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